Gimme your favorite novels that crack 500 pages or more.
Oooh, doorstoppers are one of my favorite things! This is so great — thanks for inspiring me to think about these, Jeremy!
'Plain Bad Heroines' by Emily M. Danforth - All the Gothic fun!
'The Historian' by Elizabeth Kostova - Researchers and archivists as action heroes on a big adventure in Europe.
'Jane Eyre' and 'Villette' by Charlotte Brontë
'The Book Thief' by Marcus Zusak - Heartbreak has never been so sweet.
'The Overstory' by Richard Powers - Multi-generational saga set in a special forest.
And my #1 reason for jumping on here to reply: 'Cryptonomicon' by Neal Stephenson, weighing in at 1152 (fantastic) pages. This thing is epic, and I loved it so much. It weaves two timelines — one in WWII, the other in 1990s Silicon Valley — to tell a story of adventure, intrigue, the Enigma code, technology, and the search for lost gold. There are intrigue and double-crosses; bracing battle scenes; the tenderness and frustration of life-long friends; computer science and cryptography and mathematics; jungle adventure; tenderly and humorously wrought romance; and a whiz-bang ending. It's a treat to spend so much time with these characters.
Of course it has to be the classic Lord of the Rings. While I enjoyed the films, the images in my head were much better, and they missed out most of the 'quiet' moments, that gave the story balance. I am in awe of how J.R.R Tolkien conjured up that world.
Just about 500 pages: "Pachinko", Min Jin Lee.
Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke.
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Stephen King, The Stand
I am sure there are others, yet the first one that came to mind is “Cloud Cuckoo Land”. Comes in somewhere between 650-700 pages if I remember correctly. A novel about an Ancient Greek manuscript, present day Oregon, and a child in a spaceship. A wondrous read.
Also, “East of Eden” at around 600 pages. Our current book reading group read.
Two books I could read several times and find the same joy and new meanings each time.
East of Eden is one of my all-time favorites, and currently reading (and adoring) Lonesome Dove, which might soon join those ranks. 11/22/63 was also great (if a little too long).
One of my favorite traditions is to start each year with a doorstopper. I start reading it just before New Year's Eve and it takes me into the new year.
Favorites have been:
The Priory of the Orange Tree
All the Light We Cannot See
Book Thief (well, fewer words per page, really)
East of Eden
To read a long book is to live another life.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is my choice, though I would never use this tome as a doorstop. This story never leaves you. It’s a gritty tale of the challenges living in a cruel, inequitable caste system in 1975 in India. While you are abhorrent over the living conditions of the untouchables and the street people, you are drawn into the plight and even the pleasures of the characters’ fateful lives.
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell! both around 600 pages.
Many books come to mind, but I do have a soft spot for David Copperfield.
War and Peace.
Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
It by Stephen King
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
(Yet, I will now make a point of never reading another epic fantasy series until it has finished being written, because I find it really rude of him to not get his last book out there. In that respect, I'm glad I never started Martin's series. These are brilliant fantasies and I hope Rothfuss doesn't leave us hanging forever.)
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson & his Mars Trilogy
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Yes, LOTR by Tolkien would be in there too, and every so often I just have to re-read King's The Dark Tower series. It's a definite fave. Dune, as well.
I guess I should stop there. Don't want my comment to be a doorstopper.
I adore big books because I can totally immerse myself in them. They seem to stay with me and leave an impact on me for much longer than shorter novels. I always start one the week after Christmas as a part of my holiday traditions, but any time of year is great for doorstoppers!
War and Peace, Tolstoy
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
Barkskins, Annie Proulx
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
The Secret History and The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
1Q84, Haruki Murakami
Shadow Country, Peter Matthiessen
Tale of the Genji, Murasaki Shikibu
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
The Count of Monte Cristo, Gone with the Wind, David Copperfield, Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, East of Eden, Middlemarch! All of these are so memorable & every page fed my senses.
"Dune" tops my list (as it always does). I also thoroughly enjoyed "Shogun" by James Clavell, which clocks in at 1100+ pages. I think most of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" books also top 500 pages.
This year I read Roberto Bolaño's "2666" (over 900 pages but could've been ~500); Bret Easton Ellis' "The Shards" (594) and Fintan O'Toole's "We Don't Know Ourselves" (570). and I'm currently working through Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" (586).
I picked up a couple doorstoppers from Little Free Libraries and book sales around town that I plan to read either this year or next:
"Underworld" by Don DeLillo
"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
"Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace