Required Reading List: The Bluth Family


Arrested Development fans are busy counting down the hours until Season 4 premieres this Sunday at midnight on Netflix, and here at Flavorwire, we’re no different. So, we’re passing the time by declaring this Arrested Development Week, all leading up to a Recap-a-thon on Sunday, when our own Jason Bailey will review the whole season, episode by episode. Click here to follow our coverage.

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten,” Ralph Waldo Emerson famously quipped, “even so, they have made me.” In this bi-weekly series, Flavorwire plays professor to some of our favorite pop culture characters, assigning reading lists tailored to their temperaments or — in some cases — designed to make them into slightly better people. After all, even fictional characters can have their lives changed by books. Or so we imagine. This week, in honor of Arrested Development , we recommend a reading list for everyone’s favorite family, the Bluths.

Michael Bluth — Hamlet , William Shakespeare

The show’s straight-man, Michael is constantly lamenting, fighting with, and being frustrated by his family. But an evening reading about the dysfunctional family in Shakespeare’s Hamlet might offer him a little relief. He’d either decide that his family isn’t all that bad or get some catharsis by imagining a Shakespearean-style tragic ending for each and every one of them.

G.O.B — The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , L. Frank Baum

It may be at the top end of G.O.B.’s reading level, but he’d probably find this book inspirational. After all, the Wonderful Wizard himself is just a charlatan, a displaced stage magician who convinces an entire land that he’s a powerful sorcerer and becomes its leader. See, it can happen.

Lucille Bluth — A Good Man Is Hard to Find , Flannery O’Connor

If the Grandmother of this collection’s title story were a little drunker, a little wealthier, and a little less horrendous, she might look something like Lucille. The famous final line, at least, applies. Maybe this story, and the piercing, violent collection around it, would shake some sense into her — but probably not.

George Michael — One Hundred Years of Solitude , Gabriel García Márquez

Hey, someone’s got to warn him against “breeding iguanas” and the danger of having children with pig’s tails. Plus, this book might just shake up George Michael’s super-square worldview a little bit.

Lindsay Bluth Fünke — The Road , Cormac McCarthy

If there’s anyone in this family who needs a little perspective, it’s Lindsay. Some super-bleak, post-apocalyptic literature (no shopping!) might just do the trick.

Buster Bluth — Oedipus the King , Sophocles

It may be a little obvious, but what better read for someone accused of leaving “claw marks” inside his mother’s womb? Not to mention the fact that despite his many social awkwardnesses, Buster might be the smartest member of the Bluth family, a career graduate student for whom only the highest brow of literatures will do. Sophocles it is.

George Bluth, Sr. — The Grapes of Wrath

Again with the perspective. This is what real homesteading, family in tow, is all about. Plus, at nearly 500 pages, it’ll keep him entertained for at least a week of hiding out.

Maeby Fünke — Black Hole , Charles Burns

This book really needs to be turned into a movie, and Maeby might just be the studio executive to do it. Besides, it might give the girl some comfort to know that there are worse side effects to kissing a boy than finding out he might be a blood relation.

Dr. Tobias Fünke — Go Hang a Salami! I’m a Lasagna Hog! , Jon Agee

Tobias should never change. And this just seemed sort of up his alley.

The Narrator — If on a winter’s night a traveler , Italo Calvino

Finally, a story in which he gets to be the main character. Plus, you know the Narrator has to love postmodernist literature.