Monday, February 17, 2014

Worth Its Weight?

What book exceeding 600 pages was most worth the long read? Still reading this one so I cannot weigh in yet.


21 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Quite a few come to mind, most of them from the Victorian period. BLEAK HOUSE was one I liked a lot. Can't remember if DAVID COPPERFIELD was over 600 pages, but I like that one even more.

John said...

Only two contemporary books come immediately to mind:

The Quincunx by Charles Palliser

and

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (well, this one's only 562 pages in the original edition)

I can easily give the titles of quite a few 19th century novels too, but I'll spare you since I'm sure everyone will be talking about books written from the 1970s to the present.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

A couple of Harry Potter books were 600-pages plus. Since then I haven't read anything more than 300 pages.

John said...

Well, Bill surprised me with his response!

OK, I'll offer a few: The Woman in White and Armadale by Wilkie Collins; A Tale of Two Cities; Tess of the D'Ubervilles; The Brothers Karamazov... I better stop.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

John Barth's The Sot Weed Factor. Any of Neal Stephensons doorstops.Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.The Terror by Dan Simmons.The Great North Road by Peter Hamilton.

Anonymous said...

It's a no brainer for me:

SHOGUN by James Clavell.

Also THE STAND.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Oh, did you say 600 pages? I read it as 800.

I notice no votes yet for Proust, or MOBY DICK, or WAR AND PEACE.

I'd definitely put BLEAK HOUSE on my list too. Also King's 11/22/63.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP stands out for me. And GWTW as a kid.

Anonymous said...

LONESOME DOVE, definitely.

Jeff M.

Gerard said...

THE TERROR was very good. I heard that one on audio during the winter while walking to and from work. Simmons's DROOD was also pretty good on audio.

I remember A SON OF THE CIRCUS by John Irving as pretty decent.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think we can all agree on LONESOME DOVE. Been trying to get Phil to read it for years.
In general though I am not attracted to long books.

Richard said...

I agree with Jeff on SHOGUN. Also TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE by Heinlein, Richard Adams' SHARDIK, another vote for The BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, and one you don't hear much about any more, ISLANDIA by Austin Tappan Wright.

David Cranmer said...

I would be hard pressed to pick one, Patti. Mr. Crider's picks are good ones and so is Jeff's addition of THE STAND. But I really despise most books that head in that bloated direction.

Ron Scheer said...

You can skip the first 100 pages of Lonesome Dove. They are aimless and repetitive. Skip all of his novel MOVING ON, which literally weighs in at 1.7 lbs. Same reason.

Deb said...

I love the big, meaty novels of the Victorian era--Trollope, Hardy, Howells, James. Because most authors of that era wrote their novels to be serialized over one-to-two years in monthly magazines, I'm not turned off by the size. Contemporary novels often seem bloated by comparison--but if it catches my interest, I don't worry about the size. On the other hand, I couldn't make it through 100 pages of Infinite Jest.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The older I get, the shorter the books I prefer.

George said...

All those doorstoppers by Anthony Trollope and Henry James.

Todd Mason said...

I love me some fat anthologies, but I guess you'd see that as cheating, here. The longest nonfiction I recall reading in one volume is Emma Goldman's LIVING MY LIVE, at over a thousand pages in the edition I read.

Cap'n Bob said...

I'm trying to recall a work of fiction I've read that's that long and nothing comes to mind unless you count trilogies.

Kathy D. said...

I don't think I could read a book this long now. In my younger days, yes. Bu it takes forever to read a long book.

Books are long to me if they're 450 pages: Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar, The Cuckoo's Calling by J.R. Rowling/Richard Galbraith, Sycamore Row by John Grisham, the Stieg Larsson trilogy, Jo Nesbo's books.

But longer than that would take too long to read. I long for years ago when I could zip through a book in a few days and nights. Not so any more.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yesm, Kathy-Just holding this book is a chore. I have small wrists and they actually begin to ache after thirty minutes with this tome.