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

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate