Abridged Too Far

When long books shouldn’t be shortened.


SO MANY BOOKS, so little time. To help you prioritize, we’ve condensed a few tree-killing tomes and calculated their reading level and readability scores according to the widely used Flesch-Kincaid algorithm (0=hard, 100=easy).

Rising Up and Rising Down

by William T. Vollmann

GRADE LEVEL: 12th

READING EASE: 56

3,352 PAGES IN 7 WORDS: Why can’t we all just get along?

Infinite Jest

by David Foster Wallace

GRADE LEVEL: 9th

READING EASE: 65

1,079 PAGES IN 7 WORDS: Tennis, footnotes, and pot are gateway drugs

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

GRADE LEVEL: 9th

READING EASE: 68

1,296 PAGES IN 7 WORDS: Russian names and winters are brutally long

Ulysses

by James Joyce

GRADE LEVEL: 6th

READING EASE: 81

816 PAGES IN 7 WORDS: Rambling Dubliner keeps literature profs employed forever

2666

by Roberto Bolaño

GRADE LEVEL: 15th grade

READING EASE: 42

912 PAGES IN 7 WORDS: Five dense postmodern books rolled into one

Atlas Shrugged

by Ayn Rand

GRADE LEVEL: 9th

READING EASE: 70

1,168 PAGES IN 7 WORDS: To each according to his ridiculous megalomania

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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