Books

The best books under 100 pages every man should read

Posted by
Chris Sayer
Published

There’s always something better to do than read a book.

Hold on, let us rephrase that: there always seems to be something better to do than read a book. Those morning e-mails you just have to reply to before you get into the office; that new Netflix series that everyone’s talking about in the pub; and the totally adorable viral video of a sausage dog pretending to have had nothing to do with eating a pillow (but he so did it!) all like to get in the way of losing yourself in an epic page-turner. We get it – modern life is demanding.  

That’s why we’ve found 12 epic books that you can gorge on in their entirety in just one afternoon, meaning even the most time-poor amongst us can add a couple of ticks to that must-read list. So put down your work phone, hit pause on Netflix, tweet about that viral video tomorrow, and get stuck in now. 

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read

    The Metamorphosis

    Author: Franz Kafka

    Pages: 52

    Felt a bit ropey when you woke up, did you? A touch hungover, perhaps? You know who definitely doesn’t care about your AM woes? Gregor Samsa, the protagonist in this, who “woke up one morning from unsettling dreams” to find he’d become a cockroach. Yep, a cockroach. Now take your aspirin, open up what’s often argued to be the finest short story ever written, and quit yo’ self-pitying.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 1

    Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story Of Wall Street

    Author: Herman Melville

    Pages: 58

    Melville’s tale of the big white whale is a good ten times the length of this read, and even at a snail’s pace you’ll get through this peculiar and compelling story of one man’s isolation in just an afternoon. 

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 2

    Animal Farm

    Author: George Orwell

    Pages: 56

    Yes, we know you read it at school. We all read it at school. But pick it up again now that you’re a little older, a little wiser, and a little more pissed off at the world’s political failings, and it’ll seem like a whole new and important read to you.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 3

    The Art Of War

    Author: Sun Tzu

    Pages: 64

    "Been reading that book you told me about. You know, The Art of War by Sun Tzu. I mean here's this guy, a Chinese general, wrote this thing 2400 years ago, and most of it still applies today! Balk the enemy's power. Force him to reveal himself. You know most of the guys that I know, they read Prince Machiavelli, and I had Carmela go and get the Cliff Notes once and he's okay. But this book is much better about strategy." – Tony Soprano, on finding mobster strategy inspiration in this book, in The Sopranos.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 4

    Notes from the Underground

    Author: Fydor Dostoyevsky

    Pages: 96

    Cracking into Dostoyevsky seems like a daunting prospect. Hell, it is a daunting prospect – his finest work, Crime and Punishment, is very heavy going. This relatively bite-sized book questions our obsession with destruction and chaos, and is a good place to start before committing to the big boy stuff.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 5

    The Turn Of The Screw

    Author: Henry James

    Pages: 78

    You’d need serious cojones to read this masterful gothic ghost chiller with the lights off. Serious cojones.  

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 6

    Heart Of Darkness

    Author: Joseph Conrad

    Pages: 80

    A book perhaps best summed up by its most famous line, “The horror! The horror!” You’ve seen Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocolypse Now, right? Yep, all that madness was inspired by this. That should give you a good idea about how totally messed up and dark this work of literary art gets.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 7

    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

    Pages: 64

    Perhaps the most classic tale of good versus evil, and a look into internal battles every man must deal with in life. The idea for this world-famous “shilling shocker” came to Stevenson in a dream, from which he woke in a blind fury and instantly began to write that morning. 

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 8

    The Call Of The Wild

    Author: Jack London

    Pages: 72

    A hero to Hemingway and Kerouac, London led a crime-filled youth before knuckling down to write more than 50 books before his drug- and drink-assisted death aged just 40. This, his adventurous tale of a sled dog that’s stolen away from domestic life and hurled into a world of cruelty, is as much about canines as it is about the conflicts in humanity.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 9

    Death In Venice

    Author: Thomas Mann

    Pages: 58 

    Proof that the Devil really does make work for idle thumbs. An aging author’s escape from writer’s block leads him to Venice, and a world of fateful obsession, uncontrollable infatuation, painful lust, forbidden sex and doom.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 10

    The Old Man and the Sea

    Author: Ernest Hemingway

    Pages: 99

    It’s about an old man. And the sea. And the difficulties in admitting that we cannot control the uncontrollable.

    Buy it here

  • The best books under 100 pages every man should read 11

    The Dead

    Author: James Joyce

    Pages: 70

    TS Eliot believed this, the final story from Joyce’s Dubliners collection that centres around an epiphany about life and death, to be one of the greatest short stories ever written. Yeah, take his word for it. He knew a thing or two about books, he did.

    Buy it here

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Author

Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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