Monday, October 8, 2018

Top Ten Longest Books I've Ever Read

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

In contrast to the shortest books we've read, this week we're talking about the longest! Exact length can be tricky — page counts vary by edition, word counts vary depending on which translation you're talking about — but these are the ten that seem to be the longest of the books I've completed. (I'm not counting The Lord of the Rings, frequently featured on "longest books" lists, because I read it as three separate books.)

1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
As with many long books, I listened to this on audio. It was interesting but unfortunately there were a lot of long philosophical passages that were a slog to get through (even listening).

2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I'm kind of amazed that I found the time to read this in middle school, now that I see how long it is. No wonder I broke my teacher's rule that the plot summary should be less than a page of our book report and wrote 2 1/2 pages of plot summary. (I wrote 5 pages of analysis to make up for it.)

3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
I liked this more than I expected, but there were definitely some parts that were just too long, and the book got repetitive in the second half. Longer isn't always better — sometimes you need a good editor to cut it down!

4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
This one, amazingly, I read in one or two sittings during some very long summer days. I kind of wonder now if I accidentally read an abridged version. (It was at a library in another state, and it was before I started using Goodreads, so I can't check.) It seemed pretty long, though!

5. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I read this on Kindle as part of a buddy read with two friends. I had to check it out from the library several times before I finished it. One friend still hasn't finished it a year later — it's not only long but can be challenging to read for long stretches!

6. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
This one I started on Kindle but I couldn't get into it until I invested in the audio version, which was worth it. There are so much layers to this story of a single cattle drive from Texas to Montana that it's no surprise McMurtry took over 900 pages to tell it.

7. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
This was one of the first books I read on Kindle, and I honestly didn't realize how long it was until I saw it in print. I didn't particularly like it, so seeing how long it was just made it feel like it had been even more of a waste of my time.

8. The Stand by Stephen King
This is another one that I turned to audio for. As I said in my review, I'm glad the audiobook is the uncut version, because if you're going to write such detailed world-building and character development, you might as well go all the way.

9. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
This one I actually read in paperback (~1470 pages), which took checking it out of the library a couple times in order to finish it. I really enjoyed it, but man was it heavy and awkward. You can keep your book smell; I would've killed for a Kindle version of this beast.

10. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
It took me about six months to get through all 60 hours of audio for this. I had tried once before on Kindle and couldn't get past the first few chapters. On audio I was able to get immersed in the story and understand how the "war" and "peace" sections alternate and eventually blend into one another.

What are the longest books you've read?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: All Things Bright and Beautiful, Bleak House, and Midwives
Five years ago I was reading: Room, The Cuckoo's Calling, and Getting Past No
Ten years ago I was reading: The Sound and the Fury

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