The longest books are the best books.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and this weeks theme is longest books I’ve ever read which is great for me because I get to fangirl over some of my faves. Let’s not waste time and get straight to it!
1. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Totalling a stupendous 1,479 pages, this bad boy was such an incredible story. The characters are so diverse, and the story is much more character-driven than plot-driven, but if you enjoy well-developed and layered characters like me and are interested in learning more about Indian culture then this is the perfect book for you. I completely forgot that I had a huge crush on a certain budding entrepreneur from this novel. This is a perfect fall read best accompanied with a mug of chocolat chaud.
2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
This is one of my favourite books and the whopping 1,463 words was completely worth it. I was a bit surprised that it didn’t take place during the French Revolution, nonetheless the aftermath and restless spirit of French citizens continues to be seen in 1832. If you enjoy politics, are a humanitarian and interested in learning more about French history then this is the perfect read for you. I need to reread this again one day. Don’t be fooled by the slow start, the book doesn’t truly begin until another 100 pages, but the slow start is necessary to understand who Jean Valjean is and becomes. Jean Valjean is another character who should have bagged a place on my bookish boyfriends list.
3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
With a total of 1,276 pages, this is another of my favourite books. Now, I have to admit that this book isn’t for everyone, but this was perfect for me because I absolutely love adventure books and Dumas is such a brilliant and captivating storyteller, he tells stories the way you are supposed to tell stories. This book made me laugh and helped me pick up some survival and problem-solving skills along the way too.
4. A Storm of Swords, A Dance with Dragons, A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
1,177, 1,125 and 1,061 pages respectively. Sorry, George, I had to, otherwise I wouldn’t have much space left for other books to add to the list. Y’all know how much I love Game of Thrones and I love the Song of Ice and Fire series too. I will admit sometimes the writing can be hard to get into especially a Feast for Crows because it is much more filler material, but the series is scattered with prophecies and foreshadows many events e.g. the Red Wedding, Littlefinger’s death, and, er, stuff with Cersei which hasn’t happened yet, which makes those of us who have read the books chuckle a little because we already knew it was going to happen. If you enjoy reading between the lines, decoding prophecies, epic fantasies with dragons and fascinating, messed up, broken, complex and multi-layered characters then this series is for you. And, if not, watch the show and let’s discuss!
5. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1,037 pages and yet… I never wanted it to end, I would have happily read another 1,000 pages if I got to continue this journey with such a heroine – who, in this case, is really like no other protagonist – like Scarlett O’Hara who to this day will always be the most intriguing heroine I’ve ever read about. Scarlett is shrewd, likes to party, fun, resourceful, creative, tenacious, unlikeable and her morals are ambiguous which makes her quite unpredictable. I just need more Scarlett in my life. You know I love this book when it’s my most read book, I’ve read this more times than any Harry Potter book. I love this and cannot wait to read it again. I recommend this book to everyone!
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
964 pages and I betcha at least half of that amount is taken up by Levin’s rambling thoughts. My goodness, Levin, you were such an overly philosophical bore. I could have enjoyed this book a lot more if it was specifically just about Anna who deserved more pages. Anna is like an emotionally tortured and highly complex version of Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. But if you like in-depth philosophy, Russian backdrops and broken characters this is for you.
7. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty
945 pages of definitely not my cup of tea. This was my first shot at Western and it was my last I believe. I don’t have much to say about it other than I didn’t like it, although, the novel did teach me some interesting things e.g. a friendship/relationship is a two-way street, there has to be effort from both sides if it is to work and, yes, sometimes you have to do 75%, but that shouldn’t be always. If you are interested in Westerns, this one might be for you.
8. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
912 pages of a not-as-good version of Scarlett O’Hara. Becky Sharp is what you would call an upstart, and I admired her resourcefulness even if she was largely unsuccessful by the end. Interestingly, Gone with the Wind was written long after Vanity Fair and the novel mentions Vanity Fair which begs me to wonder if Scarlett is based on Becky Sharp. I would still recommend this to those who love spunky heroines and classics!
9. Middlemarch by George Eliot
904 pages of all things great about Britain like tea… because there’s quite a bit of gossiping and my Gemini heart was so here for it. Nothing much to say other than I really enjoyed this book. This book was fun, fun, fun. If you want a British classic with many, many, many characters and a Downton Abbey feel, then this is for you.
10. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
882 pages and God knows how much money Charles Dickens made being paid by the word because it is clear that he really took advantage of it. This book was mega boring excepting a female character who is David’s best friend and is far more sensible than every character in this book combined. I don’t remember much else other than he marries a woman who is both quite silly and is called silly, but if she’s so silly, isn’t David silly for marrying her? So much silliness and not the good, fun kind like in Middlemarch. I cannot in good conscience bring myself to recommend this to anyone.
That concludes the list! This has just reminded me how much I love classics and how I need to read far more.
What is the longest book you’ve ever read? What are your thoughts on long books? Do you prefer them over shorter ones? Let me know in the comments!
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