The Great Gatsby – The car crash

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Daisy, the love interest of the titular Jay Gatsby, is a real shitty driver and crashes her car, setting off a tragic chain of events leading to multiple deaths. But if I had been in this situation, I would have not crashed the aforementioned car. I have actually never crashed a car, and I’m not going to start with this hypothetical fictional scenario set almost a century in the past.


Catch-22 – World War II

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, is a book that takes place during World War II. Most of the novel’s conflict stems from the “war” occurring in the novel—the aforementioned World War II. If I had been in this situation, I would not have let World War II happen. World War II killed a lot of people and had a lot of negative effects on the world. Things would have been better if someone had just killed Hitler in 1929 or something, so that’s probably the approach I would have taken.


Lolita – The whole pedophilia thing

Lolita is a 1955 novel by Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov, in which a middle-aged Frenchman “Humbert Humbert” is obsessed with a 12-year-old girl. Many of the problems in this novel would have been solved if I had been in this situation instead of the story’s aforementioned protagonist, because I am not a pedophile. I think that pedophilia is gross and expect that I will still feel this way when I become middle-aged, move to France, and change my name to Humbert Humbert.


American Psycho – Patrick Bateman needing therapy

In Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, the main problem is that there is an American psycho named Patrick Bateman. Unfortunately for Patrick and for many people around him, nobody was there to look after his mental health. If I had been in this situation, I would have just told Patrick Bateman that it’s okay not to be okay. Delivering this aforementioned advice would likely have allowed Patrick Bateman to introspect, curb his toxic tendencies (e.g. murdering) and finally begin some much-needed therapy.


To Kill A Mockingbird – racism

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic American tale about how racist America was before Martin Luther King Jr.’s well-written and endlessly quotable speeches fixed everything. If I had been in this situation as a white Alabamian in the 1930’s, I would have just aforementioned off some lines about the contents of people’s character and the raging stream of justice or whatever, winning over hearts and minds of every race and creed. Problem solved.


Fahrenheit 451 – Censorship

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a book about a brutal society that censors ideas with flamethrowers and a guy named Beatty. But if I had been in the situation of Ray Bradbury’s aforementioned Fahrenheit 451, I would have just spoken my mind. Nothing can censor a true free thinker like me, and that’s just who I am. I’m not afraid of fire, and I’m especially not afraid of the aforementioned dude named Beatty. He wants me to shut up, he can come and try to make me.


The Book of Mormon – Hiding the golden plates

Joseph Smith Jr.’s The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi is a book that claims to contain ancient writings from prophets who lived in America during antiquity. The double-aforementioned plates were supposedly made of gold, which, being rather expensive, would have been hard for the aforementioned Joseph Smith Jr. to forge. This would lend credence to the aforementioned claim that the triple-aforementioned plates came from aforementioned antiquity, but unfortunately the quadruple-aforementioned plates were hidden from everyone except twelve people. If I had been in this situation, I would have simply shown everyone the quintuple-aforementioned plates, instantly catapulting Mormonism into a world religion. Not that hard, Joseph!


—B. Hollander-Bodie