in praise of short novels

Recently, Ian McEwan was quoted in the Telegraph UK as saying “very few long novels earn their length. My fingers are always itching for a blue [editing] pencil.” Although I myself have enjoyed a few doorstoppers lately (The Bone Clocks, The Goldfinch, The Interestings, The Casual Vacancy), there is something satisfying about reading a novel in one or two sittings. Sometimes I have the time and desire to be immersed in a novel, but sometimes I want a quick read that doesn’t insult my intelligence. Here are five short novels/novellas I can recommend without reservation:

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