For the impatient among you, it is understandable that you may not have the time or the patience to go through really long books. After all, we are all blessed with limited will power, and many times, even if we don’t will it, our will power tends to run out. So what can we do?
Well, not reading must never be an option. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. We’ve looked around on the internet and compiled a list of the most influential books that are less than a 100 pages in length. Here, check them out and pick up the ones whose description you liked best.
1 – Animal Farm
“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”
One night on an English farm, Major the boar recounts his vision of a utopia where his fellow creatures own the land along with the means of production and are no longer the slaves of humans.
Before long his dream comes true, and for a short while all animals really are equal. But the clever pigs educate themselves and soon learn how to extend their own power, inevitably at the expense of the rest of the community.
This well-loved tale is, of course, a satire on the Soviet Communist system that still remains a powerful warning despite the changes in world politics since “Animal Farm” was first published.
2 – The Little Prince
Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.
3 – The Old Man and the Sea
Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway’s magnificent fable is the tale of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. This story of heroic endeavour won Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. It stands as a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements.
4 – Notes from the Underground
In 1864, just prior to the years in which he wrote his greatest novels — Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed and The Brothers Karamazov — Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881) penned the darkly fascinating Notes from the Underground. Its nameless hero is a profoundly alienated individual in whose brooding self-analysis there is a search for the true and the good in a world of relative values and few absolutes. Moreover, the novel introduces themes — moral, religious, political and social — that dominated Dostoyevsky’s later works. Notes from the Underground, then, aside from its own compelling qualities, offers readers an ideal introduction to the creative imagination, profundity and uncanny psychological penetration of one of the most influential novelists of the nineteenth century. Constance Garnett’s authoritative translation is reprinted here, with a new introduction.
5 – The Death of Ivan Ilych
Hailed as one of the world’s supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist, a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his dying so much as a passing thought. But one day, death announces itself to him, and to his shocked surprise, he is brought face to face with his own mortality.
How, Tolstoy asks, does an unreflective man confront his one and only moment of truth?
This short novel was an artistic culmination of a profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoy’s life, a nine-year period following the publication of Anna Karenina during which he wrote not a word of fiction.
A thoroughly absorbing and, at times, terrifying glimpse into the abyss of death, it is also a strong testament to the possibility of finding spiritual salvation.
6 – On Dreams
Among the first of Sigmund Freud’s many contributions to psychology and psychoanalysis was The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900, and considered his greatest work — even by Freud himself. Aware, however, that it was a long and difficult book, he resolved to compile a more concise and accessible version of his ideas on the interpretation of dreams. That shorter work is reprinted here. Since its publication, generations of readers and students have turned to this volume for an authoritative and coherent account of Freud’s theory of dreams as distorted wish fulfilment.
After contrasting the scientific and popular views of dreams, Freud illustrates the ways in which dreams can be shown to have been influenced by the activities or thoughts of the preceding day. He considers the effect on dreams of such mental mechanisms as condensation, dramatizations, displacement, and regard for intelligibility. In addition, the author offers perceptive insights into repression, the three classes of dreams, and censorship within the dream.
Students and psychologists will welcome this inexpensive edition of an always-relevant work by the father of modern psychoanalysis. This volume will also appeal to anyone interested in dreams of the workings of the unconscious mind.
7 – Chess Story
Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig’s final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.
Travelers by ship from New York to Buenos Aires find that on board with them is the world champion of chess, an arrogant and unfriendly man. They come together to try their skills against him and are soundly defeated. Then a mysterious passenger steps forward to advise them and their fortunes change. How he came to possess his extraordinary grasp of the game of chess and at what cost lie at the heart of Zweig’s story.
This new translation of Chess Story brings out the work’s unusual mixture of high suspense and poignant reflection.
8 – Anthem
Rand was a Russian born American author who pioneered the philosophy of “objectivism.” Anthem is a futuristic science fiction novella. Man is in a dark age, because of earlier socialistic values. Technology is carefully planned and rarely allowed to advance. Individualism has almost ceased to exist. The theme of individualism versus collectivism runs throughout the novella.
9 – The Waste Land and Other Poems
Few readers need any introduction to the work of the most influential poet of the twentieth century. In addition to the title poem, this selecion includes “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, “Gerontion”, “Ash Wednesday”, and other poems from Mr. Eliot’s early and middle work.
“In ten years’ time,” wrote Edmund Wilson in Axel0s Castle (1931), “Eliot has left upon English poetry a mark more unmistakable than that of any other poet writing in English.” In 1948 Mr. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize “for his work as trail-blazing pioneer of modern poetry”.
10 – The Doors of Perception
Sometimes a writer has to revisit the classics, and here we find that “gonzo journalism”—gutsy first-person accounts wherein the author is part of the story—didn’t originate with Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe. Aldous Huxley took some mescaline & wrote about it some 10 or 12 years earlier than those others. The book he came up with is part bemused essay & part mystical treatise—”suchness” is everywhere to be found while under the influence. This is a good example of essay writing, journal keeping & the value of controversy—always—in one’s work.