Saturday, July 03, 2010

Word count in novels

A blog post by "Blue" lists the word counts of a few dozen novels, including a bunch of classics and some PEN/Faulkner winners.  Blue doesn't exactly identify a source for the info; in the Comments, Blue says they're taken partly from teacher materials and partly from Amazon that used to provide word counts but does not do so anymore.

Median word count in the "classic" novels listed is 99,341; average is 136,604.  War and Peace (version unspecified) is 587,287 and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is only about 25,000 short of that.  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay has 216,020.

Anyone have a source for word counts?  I tried the Library of Congress, but I don't see this info there.

Update 1/14/11: Here is a source for word counts. In fact, that's probably the source used by "Blue" above. H/t to Lars Knudsen who commented on Blue's post.

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