Monday, April 13, 2009

Short Cuts

So I had several interesting diversions from work last week but the one that captured my interest most was an out-of-the-blue email from fellow Bookslut contributor John Madera, who embarked on a huge project and ended up with really interesting results.

John asked a whole bunch of writers, critics, bloggers and other ne'er do wells to come up with a list of their ten favorite...novellas?

I'm not much of a list-maker, but this particular task struck my fancy for some reason. For obvious reasons, John asked me to direct my attention to mystery and crime novellas in particular in order to fill some of the genre gaps in the list. I thought I'd have trouble coming up with that many bloody novellas but once I started digging, I was surprised how quickly it filled out. You can see my list here.

It was damned tricky business, actually, and I'm sure at least a couple of the items on my list don't fit the technical definition of a novella, but I did try to stick to the rules of the thing. Because of their length and specificity of subject, all the entries on my list at least lean towards that category in my mind.

You can also find John's introduction to the project here, as well as links to all the other contributions. Other items of note include Paul Kincaid's list of science fiction novellas, and a discussion of the whole thing over at HTML Giant.

Any gig that manages to tie together H.G. Wells, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad and Amy Hempel is okay with me.

The book I would have put on the list, had I had more time to think about it? Graham Greene's The Third Man.


John Madera said...


Thanks again for your list and commnents. And feel free to append as a comment any others you think must be added onto your entry and then I'll adjust the composite list to reflect the new additions.

How about going down that "30s and 40s road with Chandler and Hammett" you teased us about?

Anonymous said...

I love book lists! I'm excited to look at all of the lists. This is a timely blog because it's time to be finishing lists for summer reading. Gerat work as always!