Say what you will about length and literary genius, but there’s something to be said for brevity when it comes to literature. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t get out there and take a crack at works like Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace) or Ulysses (James Joyce); all we’re saying is that it’s best not to equate length and artistic merit, as there’s plenty of short novels out there that manage to pack an entire text’s worth of knowledge into a small space. As luck would have it, we happen to have ten of those novels selected and ranked for your pleasure, so as to make sure all our readers know what to pick up the next time they want to read a literary classic in a single day. With that in mind, here’s 10 classic novels you can read in a single day.
10. The Prince (Niccolo Machiavelli)
The man whose political theory inspired the adjective “Machiavellian” (to be cunning or duplicitous), Niccolo Machiavelli wasn’t the most well-liked man on the planet when he published The Prince in 1513. Exiled from his position in the Italian government, Machiavelli was so irate at his removal from power that he went on to write the definitive text on power; how to gain it, how to keep it, and best of all how to wield it. A cunning example of political ideology that suggests it is most definitely better to be feared than loved, The Prince remains one of the most studied philosophical texts in the Western canon, and one that is inescapable in university classrooms around the country.