Short novels

In the back of the trade paperback (Harper Perennial, red cover) edition of Go With Me, there’s an essay by Castle Freeman, Jr. about short novels, one that seemingly responds to criticism he received after the first (hardcover Steerforth press) edition was published. He defends the short novel as a literary form, one that differs from both the short story and novels. He dislikes the term “novella,” and lists some of his favorite short novels, from The Bridge Over San Luis Rey to The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

Did your book group talk about the length of Go with Me? Did some feel it was just right, enjoying the focused narrative, the brevity of the character descriptions and the limited scope of the action? Did others feel it was, as one reader put it, “the start of a great book”? Add your comment below.

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