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Cliffs Notes DVDs: Why read when you can watch?

Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 at 2:31 PM Central

by Tim Briscoe

Back in high school, I had some friends -- not myself mind you -- who would skip reading an assigned play or novel like Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and instead read the much shorter Cliff Notes study guide. I also knew some people -- again, not me -- who would watch a film adaptation of Hamlet rather than reading the book.

Funny how the teacher always found me my friends out. Perhaps I, err, they shouldn't have written about Laurence Olivier's performance in my report...

Ah, who am I kidding? Yes, it was me who would skip the thick, boring book for the movie or Cliffs Notes. I mean, what was I supposed to do? I had Atari 2600 to play! (I'm sure I would've gotten a better letter grade on that "Hamlet" paper if the movie was in color instead of black and white!)

Well, the kids these days have it much better off. First off, they have Xbox 360. I hear its graphics are a little bit better than my dear ol' Atari 2600.

These kids will also have the upcoming series of Cliffs Notes DVDs from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. They combine the film adaptations of classic literature with Cliffs Notes study guides. How easy is that? They might as well packaging a couple of ready-to-submit term papers while they're at it.

Titles include Of Mice and Men, Anna Karenina, Inherit the Wind, Wuthering Heights, Moby Dick, Lord of the Flies, Les Miserables, Jane Eyre, and Henry V. They will be released on July 24.

Even with these time-saving DVDs, today's kids will still not be able to break my record on Yars' Revenge.