What Are Some Megabooks You’ve Conquered?
So I’ve run through picture books, kids books, YAF, and now it’s time to talk about those classic war horses. Moby Dick. War and Peace. The Tale of Genji. Gravity’s Rainbow. The Old Testament. Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Sure, let’s throw in Stephen King’s The Stand.
You know what I mean — those killer books, sometimes so big they have to be split into pieces to even fit in your lap.
What have you conquered? Or even more importantly, what have you liked?
For instance, I really enjoyed The Brothers Karamazov. I can’t say I necessarily understood everything Dostoevsky was after, or could keep track of all of those Russian names, but the mad passion and the intensity of feeling between the Karamazov clan was absolutely gripping.
Moby Dick is another I loved. I definitely didn’t get large pieces of it. The story seemed to disappear through much of it. The stupid slaughter of whales repulsed me. The idea of all of those guys on a ship smaller than half a football field for years was… odd to me.
And yet… it’s amazing. You can feel the endless pitching of the waves, the pounding of the sun, and the smell of salt and pitch. There’s sense of relentless drudgery broken by moments of terror at mercy of giant beasts, and the looming mania of Ahab.
So share with us, Deadsplinterati, a long book or three you’ve fought for all twelve rounds and won. Did you actually like it? Hate it? Thought it was pretty good but dragged in the middle? Why did you read it? Was it worth it?
Is there one you read once and would like to read again so you can really understand it? Or were you forced to read something in school and hated it so much you wish you could go back in time and convince the author to take up shoemaking instead? Or maybe there was a time when you had two big projects due and you decided discretion was the better part of valor, and you settled for watching the movie or reading the Cliff’s Notes?
Tell us about all of that page turning!