Some Questions for Tony

What is a novella?
A novella is a novel that is less than 150 pages.
A novel has 150 or more pages.
A long novel has 400 or more pages.
A damn long novel has 500 or more pages.

Should a novella be eligible for major literary prizes?
Yes, definitely
In fact, I would give the world literary prize for perfection to just the following three lines I learned when our daughter was young.

    In the middle of the night
    Miss Clavell turned on her light
    And said, “Something is not right!”

“Madeleine” by Ludwig Bemelmans

Why are some novels given dull bland titles like “The Archivist” or “The Anthologist”?
It’s almost like they are daring you to read the book. I prefer more clever titles like “Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It” or “The Imperfectionists”. But next year there surely will be a novel called “The Sociologist” or “The Proctologist”.

How come a month ago did it seem there were only one or two novels that might qualify for the Man-Booker, but now all of a sudden there are thirteen novels on the longlist?
The committee must have made up the titles and author names of the other eleven longlisters.

What is the penalty during the next two months for reviewing a novel that is not on the Man-Booker longlist?
Solitary Confinement on the Internet.

Which novel is going to win the Man-Booker this year?
Is there a novella on the longlist? I’d like to read that.


10 responses to this post.

  1. Hilarious!


  2. Oh, and I should have added that I feel that way about the Man Booker. It IS a lot of work when you get too excited about it… It’s like a race!

    Thank God other people are reviewing the Booker longlist.


    • Hi Frisbee,
      My usual technique is to wait until the Booker is over, and then probably read the winner and maybe one or two others on the shortlist if I’ve heard good things about them. I do usually read the winner.


      • That’s about me too … have no need to read all the short or longlisted books. I read them if they happen to come to me for some other reason, but I usually do end up reading the winner. And, mostly, I like them.


  3. LOL Tony … love it. And, I agree with you re novellas (as I think you know). Love the Madeleine quote!


    • Hi Whisperinggums,
      I’m happy you liked the Madeleine quote. I keep thinking I should have used :

      “In an old house in Paris
      that was covered with vines
      lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
      In two straight lines they broke their bread
      and brushed their teeth
      and went to bed. They smiled at the good
      and frowned at the bad
      And sometimes they were very sad.”

      To me, the entire first Madeleine book is perfection. If I remember correctly “Madeleine’s Rescue” was also excellent. “Madeleine and the Gypsies” not nearly as good.


  4. Posted by Kelly S on August 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    “Madeleine” was among my favorite books as a child. You’ve inspired me to read it again!


    • Hi Kelly,
      Happy to help you rediscover a lost treasure from your childhood. While you’re at it, you might as well check out “Madeleine’s Rescue” too. I remember we put a lot of mileage on those two books at our house. Probably the same at yours.


  5. Posted by Kelly S on August 13, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    Why, yes it was! What a coincidence!


  6. […] magazine in which she praises short novels (or, novellas*). Tony of Tony’s Bookworld likes novellas, and so do […]


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