Reading very, very long books

I’ll admit it. I’ve been a bit lazy about blogging lately. But the main reason I haven’t published a full book review is because I’ve been trying to get through Stephen King’s The Stand for about a month now. It’s my first time reading Stephen King, and while the subject matter and tone isn’t right up my alley, The Stand is engrossingly detailed and meticulously thought out in its depiction of destruction. With the various epidemics that have happened worldwide since The Stand’s publication in 1978, the novel still feels relevant despite its dated and sometimes unrelatable references.

But it’s still so long. I’ve often wanted to give up on books simply because of their length, but there are many books (including The Stand) that I simply couldn’t give up on. Here’s some long (very long) books that I think are worth the time:

  1. Crime and Punishment: A challenge to read, because of its length, sometimes abstract subject matter, and huge cast of characters with long names. But it definitely altered my perspective on a major issue, which any great novel should do.
  2. The Count of Monte CristoA classic tale of revenge that actively shows the consequences of an all-consuming revenge.
  3. The Portrait of a Lady: While not quite as long as the other works on this list, I would still consider it a hefty book. Isabel Archer’s attempts to survive as an independent young woman in the Old World is still relevant to modern audiences.
  4. 1Q84: 1Q84 is so long that it’s often split into three volumes. I read it as one huge tome, which I lugged around to and from work for a month. I also remember staying up to read it on Christmas night, after presents had been opened and a plentiful dinner consumed. 1Q84 introduced me to the strange and fragile world of Murakami.
  5. A Song of Ice and Fire: People often say that this series overrated, and as someone who generally doesn’t delve into high fantasy, I’m not sure if I have the most expert opinion. I don’t watch the show, but I found that even after hundreds of pages, I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next to Jon, Arya, and Dany.

What long books do you think are worth the read? Have you ever given up on a book because of its length?

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