Well, anyway, I was reading this James Bond book, and right away I realized
that like most books, it had too many words. The plot was the same one that
all James Bond books have: An evil person tries to blow up the world, but
James Bond kills him and his henchmen and makes love to several attractive
women. There, that’s it: 24 words. But the guy who wrote the book took
*thousands* of words to say it.
Or consider “The Brothers Karamazov”, by the famous Russian alcoholic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It’s about these two brothers who kill their father.
Or maybe only one of them kills the father. It’s impossible to tell because
what they mostly do is talk for nearly a thousand pages. If all Russians talk
as much as the Karamazovs did, I don’t see how they found time to become a
major world power.
I’m told that Dostoyevsky wrote “The Brothers Karamazov” to raise
the question of whether there is a God. So why didn’t he just come right
out and say: “Is there a God? It sure beats the heck out of me.”
Other famous works could easily have been summarized in a few words:
* “Moby Dick” — Don’t mess around with large whales because they symbolize
nature and will kill you.
* “A Tale of Two Cities” — French people are crazy.
— Dave Barry