Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books

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For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday

October 9: Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

In most cases, these are based on the edition that I read/own.

51v43macoil-_ac_us218_1. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (1534 pages)- I read this one in college. I enjoyed the class where I read this, and I don’t remember it being quite this long, but we read a different edition, so it’s possible it was slightly adapted.

 

 

 

51autt1ny5l-_ac_us218_2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1488 pages)- In my high school French class we read an adaptation of this (like, a major adaptation. The book we read had about 120 pages. It was really more of a synopsis written in French!) and I read the whole brick (er… book) in college. I definitely think it’s a beautiful book but I could have done with less exploration of the sewer system in 19th century Paris.

 

51j4urrkj3l-_ac_us218_3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1296 pages)- This was another college read. My professor called Tolstoy a “great writer who could have used a great editor.” I think that sums up my stance on it!

 

 

 

51qrndx-oxl-_ac_us218_4. Shogun by James Clavell (1152 pages) I read this in high school and really enjoyed it. It was an interesting depiction of a European encountering an entirely different kind of life in feudal Japan. From what I understand now, this had some issues with historical accuracy, but it was still enjoyable.

 

 

51aradik9al-_ac_us218_5. Sarum by Edward Rutherford (1059 pages) I remember reading this book as a teenager. I liked parts of it and disliked other parts. I know it was about Stonehenge (and England in general) and it told different stories set there over different time periods. But I couldn’t tell you anything about any of those stories.

 

 

519tffz6szl-_ac_us218_6. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke  (1024 pages) I definitely wanted to like this book more than I did. I loved the idea of a fictional “study” of magic in 19th century England. I liked the story of the rivalry between two magicians. But ultimately, this felt like a chore to read.

 

 

419c5syx7xl-_ac_us218_7. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (1008 pages) The Outlander series is made up of long books, but the fifth is definitely the longest. Or maybe it felt longer because it wasn’t as fast moving as some of the other books in the series. A lot of character development happens here, but it’s primarily a transitional book. It serves to bring the characters relationships to where they need to be for book six.

 

51polcsfrl-_ac_us218_8. Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (986 pages) I remember a few scenes from this book vividly but a lot of it I remember as a sort of montage. I read it in college, I think. Amber was a compelling character and the book definitely left me wondering what would become of her in the future.

 

 

51vxh2jgv8l-_ac_us218_9. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (960 pages) I think of Scarlett O’Hara as sort of Amber’s (see above) literary sister. Both are determined, glamorous, selfish, and scandalous. Both books also tell long stories that ultimately leave the reader in a place where we’re still wondering what will happen next to the characters. I suppose it’s a feat to write a book that’s nearly 1000 pages long, and leave readers wanting more!

 

51an8oy5w4l-_ac_us218_10. Hawaii by James Michener (937 pages) This book tells the story of several families over the course of Hawaii’s history. I remember some of the later portions but the earlier ones don’t come to mind at all. It’s been a long time since I read this though.

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books

  1. “A great writer who could have used a great editor.” In my opinion, many, MANY of the books on everyone’s TTT lists this week fall into that category! I tried reading Jonathan Strange when it first came out — I got the hardcover book from the library, but wasn’t interested enough in the first few chapters to lug the brick around or hurt my arms holding it to read it, so it got DNFed and returned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I’m glad I finished it, just because it’s often referenced and I have an idea of what people are talking about. I also appreciated what the author was trying to accomplish but that definitely didn’t make it an easy/enjoyable read.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this comment ‘I suppose it’s a feat to write a book that’s nearly 1000 pages long, and leave readers wanting more!’ I’m not sure I wanted more from GWTW (movie only) so much as satisfaction after such a long investment 🙂 I’ve only read up to Outlander no.4, would you recommend continuing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe that’s closer to what I also wanted from both Gone With the Wind and Forever Amber, but I would have been OK reading more if I’d come to a satisfactory conclusion.

      I’d recommend continuing but don’t expect #5 to be as fast moving as some of the others in the series. Read it with the intention of seeing the characters grow and their relationships develop. It’s absolutely necessary to read to understand the rest of the series but it’s not as fast moving. But we do learn some important facts about how time travel works.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hehe I totally agree that les mis could have done without the lengthy explanation of the history of the Parisian sewer!!! (otherwise it’s mostly great 😉 ) hahhaa I feel that Tolstoy could have used an editor for his discussions of farming in anna karenina (I did really like the discussions of historical theory in war and peace, but I get that an editor probably would have told him to cut that out too 😉 ) I found Jonathan strange and mr norrell a total chore too. I still really need to read gone with the wind and shogun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been curious about Johnathon Strange and Mr. Norell, but I have a feeling I’d find it a chore as well. Maybe I’ll just check out the miniseries instead! I only heard about Forever Amber a year or so ago, but it sounds like one I would’ve totally loved in my late teens. I do hope to tackle War and Peace and Les Miserables in the next few years. I’m impressed you read both in college!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In a way it was good that I read them in college because I think it I hadn’t been responsible for the material in that way, I might have put them both down at some point. Plus having class discussions about the material was helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

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