Mirymom's Blog

Dangerous When Bored

In praise of short books… June 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 5:18 pm

Shannon Turlington

Lately, I’ve very much been appreciating the short book. In fact, I have tentatively come to the conclusion that a novel’s perfect length is between 250 and 350 pages.

It’s not that I don’t love big, fat, epic novels. In fact, I count several of them among my favorite reads: Lonesome Dove; The Passage trilogy; Anathem; The Stand and It. Perhaps it’s a side effect of growing older; as my time here gets shorter, my patience for long books wears thin. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve noticed that long books seem to be what’s expected these days, and I always appreciate those who buck the trend.

I’m a believer in the idea that boundaries can help foster creativity. The short form of the novel challenges the writer to be succinct and on point, to be deliberate about every choice, to tell the story in the most direct and pared-down manner possible. And…

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