50 Great Classic Novels Under 200 Pages

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Saturday February 27, 2021 at 3:25pm
"A few notes: Because the “contemporary” list surveyed novels published since 1970 (inclusive), this list will define “classic” as being originally published before 1970."

Adolfo Bioy Casares, tr. Ruth L.C. Simms, The Invention of Morel (1940) : 103 pages

Both Jorge Luis Borges and Octavio Paz described this novel as perfect, and I admit I can’t find much fault with it either. It is technically about a fugitive whose stay on a mysterious island is disturbed by a gang of tourists, but actually it’s about the nature of reality and our relationship to it, told in the most hypnotizing, surrealist style. A good anti-beach read, if you plan that far ahead.

steinbeck of mice and men

John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men (1937) : 107 pages

Everybody’s gateway Steinbeck is surprisingly moving, even when you revisit it as an adult. Plus, if nothing else, it has given my household the extremely useful verb “to Lenny.”

George Orwell, Animal Farm

George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945) : 112 pages

If we didn’t keep putting it on lists, how would future little children of America learn what an allegory is? This is a public service, you see.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) : 112 pages

A people-pleaser, in more ways than one: Sherlock Holmes, after all, had been dead for years when his creator finally bent to public demand (and more importantly, the demand of his wallet) and brought him back, in this satisfying and much-beloved tale of curses and hellbeasts and, of course, deductions.


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