Log of the S.S. the Mrs. Unguentine by Stanley Crawford (my favourite of any length)
The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark
Pedro Paramo by Juan RulfoThe Bathroom by Jean Philippe-Toussaint
The Revisionist by Miranda Mellis
The first thing I think of when the question is ‘great short novel?’ is Notes from Underground, but it comes in at 160 pages. It’s a short Dostoevsky novel . . . (- as is The Gambler, at 192.)
“120 pages” is a tricky constraint. The Old Man and the Sea is 128, as is Mrs. Caliban. God Jr. – 163. The Great Gatsby – 216 doorstopping pages. I think of The Optimists’s Daughter as a quick, sharp read – 192 pages.
Novel / Novella / Short Story / Flash : If not, why not?
i second “Person” Sam Pink. i like a lot of short novels that aren’t under 120 i think. sidenote: it bothers me for no particularly rational reason when reviewers call something marketed as a novel a novella because of its short length. in france they have lots of short novels and i like short novels (i also like long novels and medium-length novels)
That crazy history of Europe that I can’t think of the title of and I think Dalkey Archive might have published. A bunch of books from the bizarro genre that I can’t think of right now because I’m really tired (a lot of them are around 100 pages). Maybe one of them is Sea of Patchwork Cats by Carlton Mellick III.
I second (or third or fourth, or whatever at this point) Mrs. Unguentine.
And also the below mentioned Postman.Pretty much all Toussaint is that short, and it’s all pretty great.
I really loved Tom William’s The Mimic’s Own Voice.
–Yes, I LOOK DEVINE.
(–some of the books people have picked are longer, I think, than 120 pages. Just saying.)
–Play It As It Lays by Joan Dideon.
–Notes From Underground–that Feydor guy
–Goodbye, Columbus–P. Roth
DUE TO A VENDETTA AGAINST “LOAD MORE COMMENTS” ZZZZIPPP WILL NOT “LOAD MORE” TO SEE IF ANYONE HAS MENTIONED THE BOOKS OF CÉSAR AIRA. THE ONES NEWLY TRANSLATED BY NEW DIRECTIONS ARE ALL AROUND 130 PAGES.
MIMI ZZZZIPP TOO LOVES “COMING TO SLAUGHTER”. HE READ IT IN ONE DAY WHEN ICE COVERED THE ENTIRE PLANET AND THE SUN WINKING OFF THE ICE MADE LIVING SEEM WORTHWHILE AFTER HE FINISHED COLLATING/READING IN THE EMPTY HOSPITAL BASEMENT.
Blue of Noon by Georges Bataille
Vathek by William Beckford
Distant Star by Roberto Bolano
Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide
Urien’s Voyage by Andre Gide
Aladdin’s Problem by Ernst Junger
The Man Who Died by D.H. Lawrence
The Stream of Life by Clarice Lispector
The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
Dark Spring by Unica Zurn
I’m currently reading An Obscure Man, by Marguerite Yourcenar. I intend for it to be my favorite short novel ever.
Also:I Am Elijah Thrush, by James Purdy.
Death Sentence & When the Time Comes, Maurice Blanchot.
Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, Barbara Comyns.
The Turn of the Screw (but is that a novel?), Henry James.