Because I am currently reading War and Peace (a grand 35 pages into it!), I thought I`d talk to you guys about other, (slightly-less) big books and or/series that I have read and loved! Because who doesn`t like a book that can double as a murder weapon, am I right?
These are all books that have more than 500 pages, or at least one book in the series has that same amount. Because why stop at one massive book when you can have three. Obviously. The more the merrier, I suppose.
1. The Hunchback of the Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
How big is it? This massive thing has several hundred pages, at least.The version I read had about 565 pages, though obviously every version and every translation will have a different page count.
Why should you read this book? Unlike the Disney movie adaptation, this book is dark. I`m talking really dark, Les Miserables dark. Whether you come to see how Claude Frollo goes from a fairly decent and caring man to an obsessed monster, or to see the real backstory to Esmeralda, or just to see the way the characters intertwine and are connected in ways you didn`t expect. Either way, this is a novel of epic proportions that had me hooked.
Pro tip: skip the entire chapter on Parisian architecture. This book was a means for Victor Hugo to complain about the supposed destruction of Paris and its unique architecture and boy does he use this chance. Feel free to skip it. I did, and it doesn`t hurt the story at all. Unless, of course, you feel like getting a crash course in Parisian architectural history, then go right ahead.
2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
How big is it? Again, depending on which edition you have it can be anything, really. But the main one has about 559 pages.
Why should you read this book? Because this book is epic. The way everything spirals out of control surprisingly slowly, the way nothing is what you think it is and no one is who they like to think they are. This book has also given me very strange expectations of college life (it was my favourite book in high school). I have to admit my college experience came close in terms of absolute weirdness, though thankfully no one died.
Pro tip: Take your time to read this. Savor each sentence. And revel in how utterly normal and well adjusted you likely are compared to these people.
3. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
How big is it: massive. The internet tells me this:
In the UK version there are a total of 3407 pages in all seven books. First book: 223 pages. Second book: 251 pages. Third book: 317 pages. Fourth book: 636 pages. Fifth book: 766. Sixth book: 607 pages. Seventh book: 607 pages.
I don’t know why myself, maybe it’s the font size or over all book size, but in US version there are a total of 4100 pages in all seven books. First book: 309 pages. Second book: 341 pages. Third book: 435 pages. Fourth book: 743 pages. Fifth book: 870. Sixth book: 652 pages. Seventh book: 759 pages.
I`m going to trust the internet on these numbers. But suffice to say there`s plenty of Big Books in this series!
Why should you read this series: Oh come on, do I even have to say it? From the simplistic explanation of “yay magic!” to the deeper explanation of “the battle between good and evil and all its blurry lines, all the while showcasing how your decisions decide who you are.” JK Rowling is a genius, and these books carry a ton of layers and messages to anyone who reads them, if only you care to actually look.
Pro tip: if you haven`t read these yet, go do so. Even if just to understand half the world`s constant references to these books in daily speech.
4. The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
How big is it: this is a trilogy, though the total checks in over 1000 pages. I have a bind-up version that`s very big indeed, though the separate books are, obviously, a bit smaller.
Why should you read this series: knives that cut through universes, souls manifested in animal shapes, queer angels, armoured bears, and a truly epic saga that takes biblical stories and rewrites them into a multiverse where everything is so, so different. I can`t find a single reason why you shouldn`t read it.
Pro tip: I don`t have any particular reading methods or advice for these books other than just to read them. And then reread them to let it sink in how truly epic these books are.
5. The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
How big is it: book 1 (The Knife Of Never Letting Go) is just under 500 with 479 pages, book 2 (the Ask and the Answer) is 536 pages and book 3 (Monsters of Men) is 603 pages. These are all the US editions with the page count according to Goodreads. Either way, plenty of pages to go around.
Why should you read this series: Aside from just being brilliant? This is a YA series, marketed as YA, that starts off with a 13-year-old protagonist. And as a 20-something who`s not super excited about most YA, I was hooked. I could literally not put these books down. The way things keep escalating into worse and worse situations, the way it subverses some very stereotypical situations and turns them into something brilliant and riveting. It`s just a very exciting read, ok? Ok.
Pro tip: Make sure you read this when you have a lot of time on your hands. Order some pizza. DO NOT COOK. I made this mistake, and kept burning my food because I was too engrossed. Order your food, stay in, shut your phone off (not that you`re going to hear it anyway), and just barge your way through these books. Oh, and prepare for the inevitable massive book hangover.
That`s it for my top 5 of Big Books! Let me know if you have any massive books you`d like to recommend, or if you`ve read any of these and agree/disagree. And I`ll see you guys again soon!
Take care 🙂