In the sixteenth century, Japanese monks developed the Haiku, a poem consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables. Now, in The Loose Canon, David Bader applies this ancient poetic form to 100 Great Books. From Homer to Milton to Dostoyevsky, the entire literary canon is finally within reach of even the shortest attention spans. The formal requirements of the haiku have, admittedly, necessitated a few cuts, such as characters, plot, dialogue and descriptive passages. Still, these are small sacrifices in view of the huge savings in time and shelf space. Avoid eyestrain and deforestation and show off your literary prowess at parties. It's the perfect gift for today's busy reader.