Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton. Plus: meet the new intern.

Before I begin: I sent a notice to the Literary Devil regarding the one-sidedness of my deal with him, and how I needed help. So he sent me a partially-fictional intern to help me out. Her name is Jo, and–


Yeah, look, first off, if anyone’s “mama” here it’s me, considering I run the reviews.

“Wow, dude, why you gotta be so mean? You need to go outside more, Hellbrarian. Maybe then you wouldn’t be so cranky.”

Maybe you weren’t aware, but… I am physically incapable of going outside until I finish all the books in this library.

“You can’t set limits like that for yourself, hon!”

All right then. Anyway, on to the book.

“I love these books! You know, I think the slave master from your second review and Danny Coffin from your first review should totes get married. Or maybe the slave girl joins them and they go off in a love triangle, only the kind with no jealousy or whatever.”

Oh. Lovely. Lit Satan sent me a fangirl.

“Says the guy who still thinks Tai and Sora from digimon are a good couple.”

Image courtesy of... someone else or something



Ethan Frome is a very sad person. I mean it. You can't imagine how sad he is. Seriously. Sad sad saddity sad.

What page I survived until: Read the whole thing, it’s mercifully short

Boredom: Googolplex out of 500 video game breaks

Needless Description: 200 out of 500 meditative epiphanies on a petunia

Cruddy Metaphors: 225 out of 500 cats on the hot tin penis of my soul

Thematically, Just Plain Wrong: thankfully, 0 out of 500 skinheads setting endangered rhinos on fire

The gist of it: Man in love with his wife’s cousin, goes sled riding with her and paralyzes them both. In other words, not much of any importance.

My problem with this book is not so much that it is badly written. In fact, the writing is pretty good. The thing is… gah. Jo, get me a reaction image for my problem with this book.

"Sure thing, H. North Dakota... the state where nothing happens! EVER!"

I’d say Vermont would have made a nice choice too, but I guess ND is more portentous in its nothingness.

See, I have no idea why this is taught in so many schools across America. At all. There’s no thematic significance to it! All we do is see a guy cheat on his wife and paralyze himself as a result, and it goes on for a whole story. This entire book could be condensed to “Yo. Don’t cheat on your wife. It sucks. Edith Wharton out.” Then we all go home in agreement.

“Sure it’s got literary significance!”

Is that so? Prove it.

“It shows the problems posed by forbidden love.”

Exactly. And most kids in school know that already about forbidden love. How does that affect their academic performance?

“…fucksauce, I got nothin’.”

You learn quickly.

This is literally one of the most unimportant books I have ever read. If you feel you have to read this book just because it was a classic, tell you what: you don’t. If you want a deeper character study…

...then read this.


Yes. I don’t like it either.

“But that series shows that the main thing a girl needs in her life is an abusive boyfriend!”

I know. But it does more than state the blatantly obvious.

“So, you like Twilight?”

… I just told you, I don’t.

“But you’re defending it.

I’m just doing my job.

“So were the Nazis.”

…It appears I’ve painted myself into a corner.

“Hitler started off as a painter.”

I’m not a Nazi. Are you trying to start a fight with–

“You tell me, you invaded Poland.”


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