An open book
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Are modern novels too long?

The novelist Ian McEwan has recently commented that modern novels are too long.

If so, who is to blame; writers or editors?

The Today programme heard from an editor, Simon Spanton, and an author, Peter F Hamilton.

Simon Spanton explained: "Obviously I'm there to edit and that means editing down... but it's the author's name that ends up on the front of the book."

In defence of longer novels, Peter Hamilton explained: "One of the reasons for the length is that they're immersive. I want to surround you with the world I've created and to do that you need plenty of time and space."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday 6 September.

  • 06 Sep 2014