Watch Big Books Get Shot With a Handgun

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 4 2011 11:20 AM

Watch Big Books Get Shot With a Handgun

Can literature save your life? Jonathan Franzen's


can't. The

may be a literary Superman, but his 576-page book won't stop a speeding bullet, as proved in



File these lessons under Nerd Survival Skills: You can't protect your ticker with a Kindle in your pocket. Rick Moody's 752-page novel The Four Fingers of Death , despite its girth, will not keep gangsters at bay. (Though the shooters were attacking the paperback edition.)

Your best bet in a bad neighborhood would be Joshua Cohen's 800-page Witz , which is not only a "reminder of the serious import of the literary novel, the novel as linguistic artifact" (per TLS ) but also "the most protective book of 2010" and a paperback, to boot. But be warned: Length is no predictor of shielding capabilities. Adam Levin's The Instructions , which outruns Witz by 230 pages, got ripped to shreds. Also, it's unclear from the video exactly how far the shooters were standing, so we don't recommend using literature of any kind for tactical operations in close quarters.

(via BuzzFeed )


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