Known for his Abridged Classics series, cartoonist John Atkinson of Wrong Hands, has a unique and playful way of summarising some of literature’s most celebrated works. In his series Atkinson shares hilarious “spoilers” of novels including The Catcher in the Rye and 1984.
His very brief reports of the books are pared down to their most basic and includes a hilarious summary. Take George Orwell’s 1984, for instance, where the cartoonist sums up the tale as “Vision of a dystopian future (now called Tuesday).”
His inspiration for his Abridged Classics series including its spinoff comics, came when the artist stumbled across the results of a survey.
“It revealed that around 60% of people pretend to have read books they haven't and around 40% rely on movies and TV to feign knowledge of classic novels. That coupled with our ongoing obsession with ‘tweet-culture' got me to thinking that it might be a funny idea to help everyone out and provide synopses of classic books suitable for dinner parties and awkward social functions.”
Abridged Classics was turned into a book back in 2018. And since then Atkinson has continued to show his creative and humorous side his some other spoiler comics he created about literature that includes Dickens novels, Shakespeare plays, and more. He’s even ventured from writing topics onto artists.
Even though some of the books can be summed up in a very hilarious once sentence, these books are still very fascinating. “I'm always quick to tell students not to use them as book reports unless the want a solid D- or an F,” Atkinson says.