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10 More Classic Novels Under 200 Pages

Here's the final 10 classic novels under 200 pages from the list started in October (no, there was no November issue) and extended in December, January and February. The first 40 (and now these 10) are in the idleguy.com library and can be accessed on their original pages here, here, here and here. All 50 are now in the idleguy.com permanent library.

by Vladimir Nabokov (1957)

One of the best-loved of Nabokov's novels, Pnin features his funniest and most heart-rending character, professor Timofey Pnin. A haplessly disoriented Russian emigre precariously employed on an American college campus in the 1950s, Pnin struggles to maintain his dignity through a series of comic and sad misunderstandings, all the while falling victim both to subtle academic conspiracies and to the manipulations of a deliberately unreliable narrator. Initially an almost grotesquely comic figure, Pnin gradually grows in stature by contrast with those who laugh at him. Whether taking the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he has not mastered or throwing a faculty party during which he learns he is losing his job, the gently preposterous hero of this enchanting novel evokes the reader's deepest protective instinct. Serialized in The New Yorker and published in book form in 1957, Pnin brought Nabokov both his first National Book Award nomination and hitherto unprecedented popularity.

by Charles Portis (1966)

Ex-Marine Norwood Pratt of Ralph, Texas, accepts an offer to deliver a car to New York and takes the Trailways bus back to Texas. The story is told in the language of the rural South, in conversation that sounds like Country Western music.

by Philippe K. Dick (1969)

Ubik is Dick's masterpiece, filled with psychics, dead wives partially saved in cold storage, and disruptions to time and reality that can be remediated by an aerosol available at the local drugstore. If it wasn't part of this world, it would be out of it.

Near to the Wild Heart
by Clarice Lispector (1943)

Clarice Lispector's first novel, Near to the Wild Heart was written from March to November 1942 and published around her twenty-third birthday. Written in a stream-of-consciousness style reminiscent of the English-language Modernists, the story centers around the childhood and early adulthood of a character named Joana, who bears strong resemblance to her author. The book, particularly its revolutionary language, brought its young, unknown creator to great prominence in Brazilian letters and earned her the prestigious Graca Aranha Prize. Joana, a young woman very much in the mode of existential contemporaries like Camus and Sartre, ponders the meaning of life, the freedom to be one's self, and the purpose of existence.

A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess (1962)

A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. And when the state undertakes to reform Alex to redeem him, the novel asks, "At what cost?" This edition includes many notes, a NADSAT Glossary, and some essays, articles, and reviews.

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
by Barbara Comyns (1954)

This is the story of the Willoweed family and the English village in which they live. It begins mid-flood, ducks swimming in the drawing-room windows as they sail around the room. A series of gruesome deaths plagues the villagers. Through all madeness, Comyns' unique voice weaves a narrative as wonderful as it is horrible, as beautiful as it is cruel. Originally published in England in 1954, this overlooked, small masterpiece is a twisted, tragicomic gem.

Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person - no mean feat for a black woman in the 1930s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and a journey back to her roots.

Ethan Frome
by Edith Wharton (1911)

Ethan Frome is haunted by a past of lost possibilities until his wife's orphaned cousin, Mattie Silver, arrives and he is tempted to make one final, desperate effort to escape his fate. In language that is spare, passionate, and enduring, Edith Wharton tells this unforgettable story of two tragic lovers overwhelmed by the unrelenting forces of conscience and necessity.Included with Ethan Frome are the novella The Touchstone and three short stories. Together, this collection offers a survey of the extraordinary range and power of one of America's finest writers.

Picnic at Hanging Rock
by Joan Lindsay (1967)

It was a cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared. They never returned. Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.

The Magic Toyshop
by Angela Carter (1967)

One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother's wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave the comfortable home of her childhood, she is sent to London to live with relatives she never met. The classic gothic novel established Angela Carter as a most imaginative writer and augurs the themes of her later creative works.

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Untitled FASTPAGES: 1. Cover \ 2. Prelude / Publisher's Desk \ 3. Contents /Credits \ 4. Calendar \ 5. Books \ 6. State of the World \ 7. NCAA Tournament Blog \ 8. MLB AL Preview \ 9. MLB NL Preview \ 10. Toast of the Town \ 11. Public Domain \ 12. Back Page \ Daily Idler \ Home \ idleguy.com March 2024 | Page 5