Publisher makes lite work of the classics

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To howls of indignation from literary purists, a leading publishing house is slimming down some of the world’s greatest novels.

Tolstoy, Dickens and Thackeray would not have agreed with the view that 40 per cent of Anna Karenina, David Copperfield and Vanity Fair are mere “padding”, but Orion Books believes that modern readers will welcome the shorter versions.

The first six Compact Editions, billed as great reads “in half the time”, will go on sale next month, with plans for 50 to 100 more to follow.

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