~30,000 words of greatness
January 19, 2014 1:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm binding a book that should be about 30,000 words in length. What's out there in the public domain at about that length that is also a really good read?
posted by goosechasing to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's about the length of a novella. That link has a list of notable examples, some of which are in the public domain. I can't promise that all of them are right around the 30,000 word mark, but that should narrow it down greatly.
posted by Sara C. at 1:23 PM on January 19, 2014

Here's a list of word counts for classic novels, at least some of which are in the Public Domain.

This also claims the average is 64,500, and in either case I think you'll be splitting a work in half at best...unless you want an 18th of War and Peace.

If you're in Australia, the Public Domain is substantially larger, and I see you could pick Animal Farm, which is the perfect length. But it's under copyright in the US and many other English-speaking countries.

You may also be able to combine a few nicely-sized short stories to get the right size-- Sherlock Holmes shorts, for example.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:29 PM on January 19, 2014

Some obvious candidates (like Heart of Darkness) are closer to 40,000 words.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is just under 30,000; the Tenniel illustrations are public domain in the US as well.
posted by holgate at 1:31 PM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson (which I should note is listed in Sara C.'s novella link) clocks in ~26,000 words.
posted by fings at 6:56 PM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

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