Thursday, August 9, 2012


With Republicans pushing through "voter i.d." laws to combat "voter fraud" which has been proven to be almost nonexistent (The Daily Show worked it out to .7 cases per state per year based on the facts) and the media not pointing out the on-the-record admission from top Republicans that either there is no real "voter fraud" or that the i.d. laws will get Romney and other Republicans elected and that's what they're for, and with last month being the hottest July in history and Romney and other Republicans still denying global warming or that humans have anything to do with it, and studies showing corporate (Monsanto) altered food creating infertility and stunted growth and all kinds of other Frankenstein-ish monstrous effects in animals...

I thought I'd take a break from the news and force myself to make a list as a distraction.

As those of you who know me or have been reading this blog for a while know, all my life I made lists in my head all day long, and over the years I posted many here. In fact for many years the "list" category in the archive down to the right was always way more than anything else. That's no longer the case because after brain surgery I no longer have the urge to make lists, and even when I try to force myself to make one I lose interest after only one or two items.

But after writing a post the other day on a novel I read that seemed like a novella because it read so fast it made it seem short, I thought I would try and write a list of my favorite short novels, or novellas, by looking on my bookshelves, because trying to do it as I used to pre-brain op wasn't getting me anywhere. [Unfortunately one whole bookcase is in a corner behind my youngest's drum set, so I'm sure I'm leaving off some good ones I can't see without moving his entire drum set which I ain't doing today.] So, here 'tis (and a pretty short list in the end):

TRACY'S TIGER by William Saroyan
THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL by William Carlos Williams
TRISTESSA by Jack Kerouac
PRATER VIOLET by Christopher Isherwood
FREAKS by Doug Lang
THE STREET by Aram Saroyan
BY NIGHT IN CHILE by Roberto Bolano
OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck

[Kate Chopin's THE AWAKENING has been called a novella and it's one of my favorite books but judging by the number of pages in my copy it's longer than the others listed here, as is Jean Toomer's CANE, another alltime favorite.]

[And then there's long short stories in story collections that some see as novellas, like James Joyce's "The Dead" from DUBLINERS and Terence Winch's title story from CONTENDERS.]


Anonymous said...

I'm going to copy this down and carry it with me to the library and book sales.... Perfect for those of us with short attention spans, easily intimidated by tomes.

Lally said...

Well, some of them are still a little challenging even if short. Especially the William Carlos Williams one that used to be called an "experimental novel" way before that kind of writing began to get academic acceptance.

Lally said...

PS: And some are pretty dark. The lightest and most delightful, for my taste, is Willaim Saroyan's TRACY'S TIGER, a proto-fabulist work.