Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Hayley

      Signing Up   11/06/2018

      Signing Up is once again available. New members are very welcome
    • Hayley

      BCF on Patreon!   11/10/2018

      I'm very excited to finally share with you that BCF now has patreon! I'm sure some of you are familiar with patreon already, but for those who aren't here's what it means for the forum:   You will now be able to support the forum monthly. The amount you'd like to give is entirely up to you but, the more you give, the more rewards you get. The rewards (this is the most exciting part!) include entry to a monthly competition when you donate $2 or more. I really cannot wait to show you the first competition prize!   I really do need your support to keep this forum running and I hope that with patreon I can give something back to those who do support too. I am also aware that there's a possibility this might not work. For that reason, I'll be running it on a 6 month trial and I would really appreciate your feedback in that time.   Members who are current supporters will get automatic entry into the competitions until their current years membership runs out (although obviously you can still join the patreon before your current membership runs out if you want to!)   If you have any questions just send me a message, or come to the 'Changes' section of the forum.   If you'd like to get started on patreon, you can find the Book Club Forum here... https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum       
Prometheus

The best short novel of all-time ?

Recommended Posts

After completing "The Heart of Darkness" I was spellbound by its magical prose. This has led me on a mission to reading short novels. It may be fashionable to write verbose books but sometimes the point can be more forceful in fewer words.

 

So I am reading books that have an economy of style but are richer for it

 

The Old Man and the Sea - a good introduction to Hemingway. Not the best novel I have read but very successful in its descriptions.

Of Mice and Men - Good overall but I felt that it was disjointed at the crucial scene.

 

Other classics that I have read include 1984 (fascinating in its complexity), Animal Farm (A brilliant allegory), To Kill a Mockingbird (loved the court case), Darkness at Noon (brilliant), Brave New World (underrated and hardly talked about these days whereas 1984 is cliched),

The Great Gatsby (depressing), A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (which I can't seem to start for some reason),

 

I would be very grateful if you could recommend any short novels that are worthy of reading and has an emotional impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved and would highly recommend The Third Man by Grahame Greene (the movie is also excellent) and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (also an excellent movie, but quite different to the book).

 

I've also read The Outsider by Albert Camus, which wasn't too bad.

 

We have very similar reading tastes. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first few that spring to mind are as follows...

 

Fred Uhlman's "Reunion" touched me quite deeply - it's about the friendship between two boys, a German aristocrat and a middle-class Jew, tested by Nazism.

Dostoevskij's "White Nights" is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking things I've ever read.

 

I'm not otherwise a big fan of Goethe's but his Sorrows of Young Werther is one of my favourite books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Camus's The Stranger is one of my absolute favourite books -- mainly because my biggest interest in life is philosophy, and the protagonist sums up the concept of angst so beautifully and understandably, his eccentric mindset seems not only logical, but unavoidable. That book definitely gets my vote for the best short novel.

 

Otherwise, I loved A Clockwork Orange, which left a deep impact on me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov

Queer by W. S. Burroughs

Junky by the same

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

The Europeans by Henry James

 

All brilliant short novels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ghost-seer- Friedrich Von Schiller

The Red Badge of Courage- Stephen Crane

Autobiography of a Pocket Handkerchief- James Fennimore Cooper

Loveless Love- Luigi Pirandello

The Kreutzer Sonata- Leo Tolstoy

 

Pocket-sized works of genius...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Ghost-seer- Friedrich Von Schiller

The Red Badge of Courage- Stephen Crane

Autobiography of a Pocket Handkerchief- James Fennimore Cooper

Loveless Love- Luigi Pirandello

The Kreutzer Sonata- Leo Tolstoy

 

Pocket-sized works of genius...

They sound like it, I'll have to investigate. I love Schiller as a philosopher and Fennimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans" is one of my favourite books from childhood (plus let's face it, his title is pure genius).

 

I must say, as an Italian who rather enjoys the occasional Pirandello fix ("Six Characters in Search of an Author" being my undisputed favourite) I think I may have missed "Loveless Love"...! You wouldn't happen to know the original title, would you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They sound like it, I'll have to investigate. I love Schiller as a philosopher and Fennimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans" is one of my favourite books from childhood (plus let's face it, his title is pure genius).

 

I must say, as an Italian who rather enjoys the occasional Pirandello fix ("Six Characters in Search of an Author" being my undisputed favourite) I think I may have missed "Loveless Love"...! You wouldn't happen to know the original title, would you?

'Loveless Love' is a perfectly formed collection of 3 short stories by Pirandello- 'The Wave', 'The Signorina' and 'A Friend To The Wives' all dealing with unfulfilled and disturbing love...Enjoy!

Edited by Mysterioso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many books so little time!! Thanks for the excellent suggestions

 

Definitely a lot of food for thought.

 

Keep them coming in as there are some I have never come across before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think for me, my two favourite short novels were;

 

Of Mice and Men

Animal Farm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, for me I think it would have to be "Address Unknown" by Kathrine Kressman Taylor. The book is only 65 pages long and consists of letters between a Jewish man and a German who were business partners and good friends in US. The German decided to go back to live in Germany just as Hitler was coming to power and the transformation in his thinking is just unbelievable. I think it is one of the most powerful books to come out of Nazi Germany. Definitely worth reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote? Great book.

 

I also very much enjoyed The Time Machine, by H G Wells.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also very much enjoyed The Time Machine, by H G Wells.

 

Seconded. Along with The Invisible Man it is his best SF. The films never do his work justice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to the list 'The Vendetta' by Balzac - taut, but slightly melodramatic towards the end, but still very readable - spurred me on to more of his work - just got a copy of 'Cousin Bette' which is much later and from what I've read so far more polished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about

The plague - Albert Camus

Dr jeckyl + Mr Hyde

The island of Dr moreau - H G Wells

Lonesome traveller - Kerouac

I suppose you could say that Brave new world is pretty short

And how about a much more contemporary one, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am surprised that Thomas Mann's Death In Venice has not yet been mentioned, so...I am mentioning it!

 

For a writer who tended to go overboard with the verbiage (although the verbiage is always of interest), Mann produced this succinct 75-page novella to symbolize "fin-de-siecle" Europe before WWI. The book is a microcosm of melancholy, one of the best evocations of life before 1914.

 

Concerning the movie by Visconti from the 1970's: it changes the main character to a composer (mainly so that music by Gustav Mahler can therefore be used in the soundtrack) and adds a character modeled on composer Arnold Schoenberg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

 

Also:

84 Charring Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Daisy Miller by Henry James

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×