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Five Novellas to Read While Waiting at the Airport

By February 5, 2017Reading Habits

Airports, they’re strange places you either spend a fortune on things you don’t want that cost three times as much as if you simply waited until you reached your destination, or you twiddle your thumbs and desperately try to avoid making eye contact with that strange person sitting across from you who is desperately trying to get you to notice them. 

So what should you do to while away the hours until you are finally on the plane and winging your way across the skies to your destination? Well how about reading a good book. Here we have five novellas to pass the time while you wait at the airport.

The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith

This quick 70 page read is the story of Fatou, a young “housekeeper” from the Ivory Coast as seen through the eyes of an entire village and told on their behalf by just one. Fatou is fascinated by the Cambodian Embassy she passes everyday and the sights and sounds of the seemingly incessant badmington games that happen on the other side of the Embassy’s high walls. There is a brilliant twist in this book that will have you turning the pages faster and faster as you race the final gate call.

The Embassy of Cambodia US
The Embassy of Cambodia UK

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The Royal Game – Stefan Zweig

Published posthumously The Royal Game is about a mysterious man on a cruise liner who, surprisingly, beats the world champion in a game of chess. It turns out that he learned to play the game on his own, while he was imprisoned by the Nazis. Despite his proficiency it soon becomes clear that he has not escaped his experiences unscathed and has been traumatised by his incarceration.

The Royal Game US
The Royal Game UK

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Billy Budd – Herman Melville

Fancy something a little less daunting than Moby Dick but want to know what all the fuss is about then Billy Budd is the novella for you. A seaman on the HMS Bellipotent, a ship from the Royal Navy Budd is accused of conspiracy to mutiny by Master-at-Arms John Claggart Budd who suffers from a speech impediment accidentally kills Claggart.

Billy Budd US
Billy Budd UK

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The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

A traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, wakes up transformed into a giant insect and because of this he cannot go to work. The cause of his transformation is never revealed and the novella is often thought to be a reflection of society’s reaction to those who are different.

The Metamorphosis US
The Metamorphosis UK

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid

A fascinating novel  that begins with our protagonist greeting the reader at a cafe table.
‘Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America . . . ‘
Joining him for tea we learn of his reasons for seeking us out and are invited to learn about him, his travels and his trials.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist US
The Reluctant Fundamentalist UK

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Here’s hoping that these books make the time fly as you wait for your flight to be called.

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