5 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read In A Sitting To Figure Out Life

Animal Farm

Published in 1945, just five years before the death of its author George Orwell (real name Eric Arthur Blair) Animal Farm is one of the finest books published in the 20th century. It is an allegorical take on how revolutions fall prey to counter- revolutions and become polar opposites of the original ideology. Sounds familiar? This 122 page book is a landmark in political literature and perhaps, will always be relevant.


Letters To A Young Poet

Not originally written as a novel, this is a collection of ten letters written by Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke to Franz Xaver Kappus. The correspondence started in 1902, when Kappus was 19 years old and was torn between the choices of choosing a literary career or career as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Kappus sought the advice of the popular poet and author from 1902 to 1908, to improve the quality of his poetry. The letters were compiled and published by Kappus in 1929- three years after Rilke died from Leukemia.


 The Prophet

If you are into reading, chances are you have already heard of this book. Since its publication in 1923, the book has never been out of print. Coming to the content, The Prophet is a book containing 26 prose poetry fables written by the Lebanese-American artist, philosopher, and writer Kahlil Gibran. With a mammoth fan base, this one has been translated into over 40 different languages.


The Little Prince

Coming to a mammoth fan base, The Little Prince is one of the best-selling books ever published and has sold over a staggering 140 million copies worldwide. It was first published in 1943, and is the most famous work of French aviator, writer, poet and aristocrat Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It has been translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well as Braille!) and is a treat for people from all walks of life.

P.S – Once you are done with the book, do watch the movie by the same name!


The Stranger ( The Outsider (UK))

Published in 1942 by French author Albert Camus, the book is a philosophical masterpiece and immediately draws you in right from beginning, with eerie opening lines.

MOTHER died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.

It is often cited as an example of Camus’s philosophy of the absurd and existentialism, although the latter label was personally rejected by Camus himself.  The story is divided between two parts, and is a first person narrative by the protagonist, who, is an indifferent French-Algerian. Camus’s own views about the book, expressed in January 1955 are :

I summarized The Stranger a long time ago, with a remark I admit was highly paradoxical: ‘In our society any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.’ I only meant that the hero of my book is condemned because he does not play the game.


So, have a great time reading!

Author : Tabish Ahmed

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