Sunday, August 23, 2015

Thug Notes

Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature by Sparky Sweets, PhD
Vintage: 8/18/15

eBook review copy: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 9781101873045

Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature by Sparky Sweets, PhD is CliffsNotes and SparkNotes written in gangsta. With a wise-cracking street sensibility, it breaks down the plots and analyzes 16 literary classics. The titles analyzed include: Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird. Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, Invisible Man, Lord of the Flies, Moby Dick, A Raisin in the Sun. Hamlet, Fahrenheit 451, The Catcher in the Rye, Crime and Punishment, Things Fall Apart, The Color Purple, and The Scarlet Letter. There is also a Bibliography.

What you need to know is that Thug Notes began as a humorous online series presented by Sparky Sweets, PhD, and Wisecrack. Sparky Sweets, PhD, is comedian, writer, and actor Greg Edwards. The videos of this series have been used in classrooms to try to make classic literature accessible, which lead to this written guide. The guide does a good job breaking the selections down to the essential basics. He begins by introducing characters, and then does a walk-through analysis of the plot. Included are important themes, symbolism, and passages. But keep in mind all of this is written in "thug" or street language.

I, personally, struggled with reading the actual guide because of the language and phonetic spelling used in the conversational gangsta-street-talk-style. I think I can follow the videos easier than the written guide. (Some of my struggle also involved a technical issue with how the review copy interfaced with the eReader program I use on my tablet.)

While I think Thug Notes has its place and could be beneficial, I'm having a hard time rating this one. I think the videos are far easier to follow than the written guide. Recommended for those who need some gangsta interjected in their study of classic literature.

Disclosure: My eBook edition was courtesy of
Vintage for review purposes.

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