Abridged Too Far

When long books shouldn’t be shortened.

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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

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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