Re: RARA-AVIS: short fiction

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 13 Oct 2007

And I agree, too. The demand for the 300 pages forces some writers to pad, though I've also seen short books printed in huge type in order to make them seem longer. Many of the books that people on this list revere are short by today's standards: The Burnt Orange Heresy, many of Thompson's, most of the Gold Medals... in fact, the fashion of longer books in the mystery and crime field seems to be fairly recent
(last couple of decades). While some books require the length because of their ambition or because they paint a wide social canvas or cover a long period (Pelecanos, Ellroy, Puzo), most do not. What I'm not sure about is the reader's role. A priori, I would doubt that readers demand longer books. Literature by the inch is not a huge priority for most people, and people have less time to read, not more, so what gives?



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