5 Recommended Novellas

In recent years I have read numerous novellas. This week’s post is dedicated to 5 of the more memorable ones. Click on the links to read my reviews.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (1958)

Truman Capote’s masterful ability to develop character is on full display in this compelling and at times humorous tale about an independent young society figure with a past shrouded in secrecy.

My Review: Holly Golighty is a young woman living in 1940s New York. The story follows Holly’s ambiguous relationship with a nameless narrator, whom we are told almost nothing...(more)


One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1962)

Whilst the morose subject matter (Gulags) will not appeal to everyone, this reader, an avid Solzhenitsyn fan, is of the opinion that One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of the best books ever written.

My Review: Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is a former POW serving a 10 year term in a Gulag on the Kazakh steppe for being a spy. He is innocent. The book chronicles a single day of his existence…(more)


The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth (1939)

This compact and compassionate novella has an alcoholic tramp protagonist. Its author, Joseph Roth, succumbed to a premature alcohol related death shortly after finishing this allegorical tale.

My Review:  The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a short novella written by the iconic Austrian-Jewish author and journalist Joseph Roth. Set in Paris between the wars the story is…(more)


Queer by William S. Burroughs (1985)

Autobiographical in nature, the book is an account of Burroughs’s life in Mexico, during a troubled time in his life. The author adeptly portrays a deep sense of longing and loss. 

My Review: Queer is an unreciprocated love story, in which the protagonist craves love and attention from a young American by the name of Eugene Allerton. Set in the American ex-pat…(more)


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)

Heart of Darkness is a disturbing, multi-layered story about what can occur when man exists outside of civilisation’s constraints. Readers are challenged to question the existence of being.

My Review: A steamship sailing up a river through the jungles of The Congo, in search of Mr Kurtz, a mysterious ivory trader, who has reportedly turned native…(more)


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