To contrast with my post reviewing the longest books I’ve gone in the opposite direction so we can take a look at the shortest book’s I’ve read to date.
There are a couple more rules this time to try and keep the list interesting. As before all the books on the list are stand alone books. I won’t be including poetry, graphic novels, plays, books I read as a child, or the Penguin Little Black/Modern Classics.
40 pages- The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Composer is dead is a children’s picture book that’s best experienced alongside the audiobook. If you buy the hardback then it comes with a CD. I bought this because I love Lemony Snicket and I was not disappointed. It’s the strange story of an orchestral composer being found dead and a detective investigating the orchestra to uncover the murderer. Part murder mystery, part Peter and the Wolf, Snicket manages to keep you engaged with the mystery while also giving you a whistle-stop music lesson.
92 pages- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ⭐️
I’m just going to come out and say it. I really hate Alice in Wonderland. I like the concept. I like adaptations that I’ve seen. But there is something about this book that I can’t stand. Maybe that’s a little harsh? I’ve read Alice in Wonderland twice (and Through the Looking Glass once, which was marginally better) and I have not enjoyed the experience at all. It’s a wierd one because I can’t quite explain why. I enjoy fantasy in general, and I enjoy classic books. I think it’s the nonsense that just alienates me. I wouldn’t say that I’m adverse to a bit of nonsense but perhaps this is just not my particualr brand on nonsense.
96 pages- Bah Humbug! by Heather Horrocks ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I read this for one reason nd one reason alone, that it was a free Christmas ebook. The main plot is a romance between a young single mother, and her handsome, if a little grumpy neighbour. It was cute, it was sweet, and it was festive. In 96 pages I couldn’t really ask for more.
116 pages- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad ⭐️⭐️
Spark Notes describes this as a book which “centers around Marlow, an introspective sailor, and his journey up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, reputed to be an idealistic man of great abilities.” I also knew that this was a book about sanity and madness. It sounded thrilling. It really was not. I read this in 2014 and all I can remember is being bored. I know that there a plenty of people who adore this book, but I am not one of those people.
117 pages- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James ⭐️
Do you ever look back on a book rating and think you may have been too harsh? That’s how I feel about this book. The Turn of the Screw is a classic– if not the classic– ghost story. It follows a governess that takes up a new position with two children, and some creepy things happen. Sometimes you just don’t click with a classic and I think that might have been the case here.
What about you… What is the shortest book that you’ve read and what did you think of it? Have we read any of the same books? Do we have the same opinions?