Abridged Too Far

When long books shouldn’t be shortened.

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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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DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

Mother Jones was founded to do things differently in the aftermath of a political crisis: Watergate. We stand for justice and democracy. We reject false equivalence. We go after, and go deep on, stories others don’t. And we’re a nonprofit newsroom because we knew corporations and billionaires would never fund the journalism we do. Our reporting makes a difference in policies and people’s lives changed.

And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

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