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

Advertisement

can't. The

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

by

.

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 )

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.