November 19, 2012

Good short books

Since cultural works keep getting longer and more serialized, we'll probably have to visit the not-so-distant past in order to find something punchier. I finally got around to reading Bright Lights, Big City and Story of My Life, both by Jay McInerney, and both around 200 pages long. They're great reads, although I don't have time to review them right now. His storytelling is much more irreverent than wistful, so not like Fitzgerald as I'd read in a few places beforehand, but still has a similar Irish charm.

I got about half-way through Less Than Zero and returned it. It feels like you keep waking up momentarily from a deep sleep, catching glimpses of events and doing a few lines before crashing back into your slumber, repeating the cycle ad nauseam. Neat concept, but it keeps you from getting absorbed and from connecting with the characters. The movie version wasn't too bad -- it at least had a plot to follow, and decent characterization. (The movie of Bright Lights, Big City was more of a let-down, and it would've been more so if I'd read the book first and had high hopes.)

Got any others to recommend? Bonus points of course if they have a New Wave soundtrack...


  1. I always liked the novels of Mario Puzo(The Godfather, etc.). They're pretty short.


  2. It's very old and a classic, and you've probably read it, but on the off-chance you haven't, I think you'll love Frankenstein.

  3. I recommend "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey. Its an excellent novel about an individual struggling to retain his humanity and help others regain their manhood against the collective. It is far superior to the movie.

    The James Bond novels are short.


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