From modern fantasy, to classical literature- it’s hard to not get daunted by a large book that is well over 600 pages. However, there are long books that are worth reading, and through this blog post I will recommend some of the long books that are worth the time investment. As always, this blog post contains affiliate links.
The Wheel of Time ~ Robert Jordan
All books are 4,410,036 words.
What can I say about The Wheel of Time that has not already been said? With the upcoming Sony & Amazon television show, Robert Jordan’s epic series features special magical powers, warfare, dreams and intrigue. Sure, it’s complex to wrap your head around (like most epic fantasy!) and not all books are consistent in quality, yet it would be a lie to say that The Wheel of Time series is not impressive or worth reading. Because of that, I recommend Robert Jordan’s series.
Infinite Jest ~ David Foster Wallace
“Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.”
It’s epic, it’s strange, it’s set in the future, it makes you think. Some books are flat out addictive, and David Foster Wallace’s work is no exception. A fine critique of how we look for pleasure in the best and most imperfect ways. Because of that, Infinite Jest is a truly unique book.
The Luminaries ~ Eleanor Catton
The page count is over 800 pages.
Set in New Zealand during the Gold Rush, “The Luminaries” flirts with the crimes that define and shape us. Brimming with darkness and mysteries, Catton writes lyrically and in a beautiful way. It is completely deserving of all the acclaim it has won. And the cover is beautiful as well.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell ~ Susanna Clarke
The word count is 308,931 words.
This book conjures images of dusky London streets, untamed magic, Jane Austen style angst, Dickens charm and spectacular rivalry. Sure, this is a big book- yet Clarke is an expert writer who has the rare ability to make every sentence drip with deeper meaning. I love this book because of the characters and the fantastic setting. Clarke’s willingness to blend history, speculation and magic is fantastic, and the way she ties it with a human rivalry is masterful. Therefore, I recommend Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
2666 ~ Roberto Bolaño
The word count is estimated to be 341,475 words.
Considered to be one of the best books of 2008, and is the last book by Roberto Bolaño, 2066 is a future classic. With it’s manifold themes of mental health, journalism, murder and the relationships we construct that break down- 2666 is a devesating novel. However, it’s crafted expertly and with great care. The scope is incredible, and sure, it’s a daunting novel- which adds to its appeal.
The Kindly Ones – Jonathan Littel
Page count: 990+
Of course, a book with the perspective of a cold-blooded assassin and SS intelligence officer was not going to go down well in Germany. However, the book was a success in France, as it met bestseller lists. If you are brave enough, this book is quite worth it.
East of Eden ~ John Steinbeck
Set in California, East of Eden is a well-known book that is worth devouring. Brimming with raw wisdom, Steinbeck cements himself as one of the best storytellers of his generation. What’s stunning about East of Eden is not the plot necessarily, but it’s sharp reflections of humanity and its unique perspective on life and death.
I particularly love this quote:
“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.”
So there you have it- seven long books to bite your teeth into. What do you think? What are your favourite long books that you’d recommend to others? Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!