The best books under 100 pages

by on April 3, 2007 at 12:53 pm in Books | Permalink

What are they?  A loyal MR reader wants to know.  Comments, of course, are open.

Patrick Rice April 3, 2007 at 12:57 pm

any Lovecraft novella

Brad April 3, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Candide’s under 100? Borges or Cortazar short stories

tucker April 3, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Heart of Darkness

Mihailoff April 3, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Siddharta; Heart of Darkness

non-fiction: Herman’s Vulgar Latin (trans. R. Wright) (for real)

Andrew April 3, 2007 at 1:16 pm

death of ivan illich

Peter April 3, 2007 at 1:23 pm

War and Peace. In the new Microscopic Print edition.

Benquo April 3, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Grounding on the Metaphysics of Morals -Kant

Second Treatise on Government -Locke (though you should read the first half of Hobbes’s Leviathan first)

Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – Hume (slightly over the limit)

Book of Job

HGChr April 3, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, hands down.

false_cause April 3, 2007 at 1:35 pm

The Old Man and the Sea

j.a.s.o.n April 3, 2007 at 1:42 pm
KipEsquire April 3, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Flatland, by Abbott.

j.a.s.o.n April 3, 2007 at 1:46 pm
Cyrano April 3, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Flatland by Abbot
Silk, by Alessandro Baricco,
The Little Prince

Scott Scheule April 3, 2007 at 1:56 pm

The Little Prince.

Short stories don’t count; it has to be a book.

James McNiece April 3, 2007 at 1:56 pm

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean (slightly over 100 pages)

Cedric Morrison April 3, 2007 at 1:59 pm

The Prince, also, The Little Prince

Jeffrey April 3, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Personal favorites:
-Einstein’s Dreams (144 pages, but it’s physically small) by Alan Lightman
-Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
-A Universal History of Iniquity (122 pages, just a bit over) by Jorge Luis Borges
-Any of the books from Penguin’s Epics series (e.g., Epic of Gilgamesh)

obsessed economist April 3, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Arrow’s Limits of Organization
Debreu’s Theory of Value

Kieran April 3, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Off the top of my head: The Communist Manifesto; Mauss’s The Gift; The Prince; Albert Hirschman’s The Passions and the Interests (just over, but only barely); Strayer’s The Medieval Origins of the Modern State; and Ernest Gellner’s Postmodernism, Reason and Religion.

Bevan Houston April 3, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Bridge of San Luis Rey

Rex Pjesky April 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Also a bit longer than 100 pages,

But “The Law” and “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

Rob April 3, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Harry Frankfurt, “The Importance of What We Care About.” Contains his famous and indispensable essay, “On Bullshit.”

liberty April 3, 2007 at 3:29 pm

a lot of repeats, people should read each others comments (or were those votes?)

Its 160 (small) pages, but I nominate Contradictions and Dilemmas by Kornai

Also, Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth by Mises which comes as a book even though I guess its really a paper.

Slightly longer of course are Road to Serfdom and this collection of brilliant (under 100 page) essays.

Slocum April 3, 2007 at 3:58 pm

A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean (slightly over 100 pages)

Beat me to it. My second candidate was going to be another novella in a collection — “Morpho Eugenia” in A.S. Byatt’s Angels & Insects. But that turns out to be closer to 200 pages…rats.

Slocum April 3, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Ah, here we go, if you exclude the “biological notes” at the end, Valentino Braitenberg’s Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology comes in under 100 pages.

Daniel Klein April 3, 2007 at 4:31 pm

Economical Writing, by Deirdre N. McCloskey

Macneil April 3, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Almost anything from the Wooden Books series. The book Q.E.D. is a particularly nice example.

Douglas Paulsen April 3, 2007 at 5:47 pm

‘Night’ by Elie Weisel is 106 pages, I believe, and is the best short book not already on the list.

jcm April 3, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Perhaps it does not count but is the only work that can rival Notes of the underground( the first phycological novel): Warden No 6 Chekov.
The Aspern Papers and The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
Marlowe┬┤s Faust
Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
The art of war Sun Tzu and
Manual Oracle and Art of Prudence by Gracian.The two books that complete the cicle with The Prince.
Maxims by La Rochefoucauld

My vote for the best Hemingway: the old man and the sea.

Billy Budd by Herman Melville
The Dickensonian-kafkian Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street by Herman Melville
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
And alomost every work by Shakespeare but for Marc Anthony and Cleopatra is under 100 pages

wph April 3, 2007 at 6:32 pm

“The Dead” by James Joyce, even though it is not technically its own book.

Cyrus April 3, 2007 at 7:11 pm

So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba comes in at 96 pages. Amazing read.

Seconded. I only picked Things Fall Apart because more non-Africanists have heard of it. The list of really good African short novels lengthens easily.

kaelen April 3, 2007 at 7:55 pm

miss lonelyhearts by nathaniel west!

david April 3, 2007 at 8:25 pm

The Seventh Man, by Graham Greene

James Weikamp April 3, 2007 at 9:09 pm

A modest Proposal — Swift

Alejandro Hope April 3, 2007 at 9:53 pm

1. The Prince

2. The Communist Manifesto

3. On Bullshit

somthng_tookish April 3, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Tears of my Melancholy Whores – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

John Goes April 3, 2007 at 11:59 pm

Metamorphosis- Kafka
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- Stevenson
Transparent Things- Nabokov
Jealousy- Robbe-Grillot
The Invisible Man- HG Wells
The Time Traveller- HG Wells
The Mezannine- Baker
any Shakespeare play

Ramki April 4, 2007 at 1:13 am

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Douglas April 4, 2007 at 4:02 am

In Praise of Shadows – Tanizaki

vanya April 4, 2007 at 8:17 am

Moskva-Petushki by Venedikt Yerofeyev. The greatest novel about alcohol ever written. At least in the original Russian it clocks in under 100 pages, but the English translations seem to be around 130.

Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov can be found sometimes as a stand-alone book.

Justin April 4, 2007 at 4:44 pm

What Does It All Mean? by Thomas Nagel. An extremely gentle introduction to philosophy.

Chip Smith April 4, 2007 at 6:29 pm

“A Sorrow Beyond Dreams” by Peter Handke

“SkrewJack” by Hunter Thompson

“Tool” by Peter Sotos

phil April 4, 2007 at 7:04 pm

The Hero and the Blues, Albert Murray

Liberalism, John Gray

Concerning the Spiritual In Art, Kandinsky

The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

Heaven and Hell, Huxley

Intellectuals and Socialism, Hayek

Josh April 5, 2007 at 1:02 am

Evolution of Cooperation, Axelrod

Matt McIntosh April 5, 2007 at 8:14 pm

Omar Khayyam’s _Rubaiyat_, if that counts as a book (and if the _Tao Te Ching_ does, it certainly must). Musashi’s _Book of Five Rings_, for pretty much the same reasons as Sun Tzu’s _The Art of War_. Anything by Hume or Mill that clocks in at under 100.

Ian Deary wrote a good short introduction to the study of human intelligence called, well, _Intelligence_. _Godel’s Proof_ by Nagel & Newman is a classic, and whoever suggested Fermi’s _Thermodynamics_ has my respect. Finally, and possibly best: _What is Calculus About?_ by W. W. Sawyer, which is the best little intro to calc anyone could ask for.

CleverlyStated April 5, 2007 at 10:28 pm

It is VERY hard to find, but Travesty by John Hawkes is awesome (and about 132 pages).

entire book is a first person perspective of a guy in a car with his best friend and his daughter and how he is justifying to himself that he plans on crashing the car as an act of art.

Cato April 6, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Since the “Evolution of Cooperation” was already taken, might I suggest “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Frankel?

gmiller April 6, 2007 at 11:10 pm

If you enjoy adventure and a cultural study on Africa via a wilderness education organization, In Mind / In Country is a good choice

Alain April 9, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Any Borges’ writing.

Caleb August 9, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Animal Farm or The Little Prince.

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