September 14, 2015 at 2:55 am #202909
What’s the longest novel (single volume) you’ve read or tried to read. Apparently famous, David Foster Wallace published an unfinished volume titled The Infinite Jest. It was published unfinished at 1088 pages with 388 end notes, some of which had end notes. It’s a dystopia volume. The poor guy couldn’t hack it (life) and hanged himself. Much is written about his genius.
Anybody read this book.
The longest I’ve tackled (unsuccessfully) was Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. I enjoyed it until he started quoting Indian politicians. I can’t even stand the Western variety of the breed, so I had to close. Still, I remember that I enjoyed the part I did read.
So what’s the longest single volume you’ve ever tackled?September 14, 2015 at 6:00 am #243231jameskearlParticipant
I own Infinite Jest but haven’t read it yet. Actually, it is a finished novel and the footnotes (and their footnotes) are intended by the author. The Pale King is his unfinished novel.
I read War and Peace about 25 years ago, which is apparently longer than Infinite Jest. Stephen King’s The Stand and It also comes to mind, as does Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes. Do we count The Lord of the Rings which is a single work published in multiple volumes?
In the last few years, I read several long novels, including 2666 by Roberto Bolano, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Underworld by Don Delillo, and Anathem by Neal Stephenson.September 15, 2015 at 6:18 am #243232astropolisParticipant
I think Heinlein’s “Time enough for love” must be up there somewhere.September 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm #243233GilroyParticipant
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books, in paperback form, sometimes clocked in at the 900 page mark or more. I managed to wade through five of them before I gave up…September 16, 2015 at 1:10 am #243271Magic SeekerParticipant
ROFL! That’s about how long I lasted, too. :silly:
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The Infinite Jest is selling well. I think I saw the number 155,000 and still selling well. There seems to be a lot written about the author. Some reviewers claiming it’s not a finished novel because it doesn’t have an ending. I’ve been seeking an excerpt, but can only find audio. I don’t like audio.September 16, 2015 at 4:09 am #243260astropolis wrote:I think Heinlein’s “Time enough for love” must be up there somewhere.
How many pages is it and did you read it all?September 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm #243234WriterNotVikingParticipant
The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson (highly recommended to any Epic Fantasy reader!) consists of ten books, all between 200k and 300k words. My paperback edition of Toll the Hounds is over 1,200 pages, and I think that might be the longest of the bunch.September 16, 2015 at 10:19 pm #243290astropolisParticipant
Time Enough for Love is just under 600 pages and I’ve read it right through about four times.September 18, 2015 at 8:03 am #243272ChaosParticipantGilroy wrote:Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books, in paperback form, sometimes clocked in at the 900 page mark or more. I managed to wade through five of them before I gave up…
Those are all divided into two, three, even four volumes each for the German paperback edition.September 18, 2015 at 6:29 pm #243321GilroyParticipant
Doesn’t offer as satisfying a thunk when thrown against a wall, though.September 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm #243328ChaosParticipantGilroy wrote:Doesn’t offer as satisfying a thunk when thrown against a wall, though.
A far more sustainable thunk experience… you know, *thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk*September 19, 2015 at 2:59 am #243235bwochinskiParticipant
Just finished Wise Man’s Fear at something like 1100+ pages, word count is apparently 395,000. I’d have read another 500 pages too.September 19, 2015 at 4:53 am #243331bwochinski wrote:Just finished Wise Man’s Fear at something like 1100+ pages, word count is apparently 395,000. I’d have read another 500 pages too.
Was it worth the effort — story-wise.September 19, 2015 at 7:30 am #243332bwochinskiParticipant
I would definitely say so, both books in the series have been really compelling for me. Now that I’m just waiting for the last book, reading up on all the clues and speculation about the overarching mystery is really fun too.
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