David Frum on Middlemarch:

What is a woman to do with herself?

That question has inspired probably hundreds of thousands of novels over the past 200 years, but never with more triumphant result than in George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

Middlemarch is a stupendously great book, one of the supreme masterworks of English literature. And yet I sadly realize as I type those words how very offputting they sound. They summon up high-school literature classes, and term papers, and all the dull obligations of reading for credit rather than for pleasure.

So let me put it a different and I hope more exciting way – the 30-second “elevator pitch” that screenwriters are taught to prepare to sell their work in the time it takes to rise from the lobby to the studio executive’s office:

It’s the story of four women, their choices and love affairs, kind of a “Sex and the City” set in England on the verge of economic and social revolution – only it tries to be true rather than to indulge in semi-pornographic shopaholic fantasy … and phhhhht … the elevator doors have shut.

Maybe, reader, you are already gone too? But if not –

If that intrigues you read the rest of Frum’s post.