Not That Long Ago, In A Novel Not Quite That Far Away

“What’s the LONGEST book you’ve ever read?”
(Note: I’m putting one caveat on this question. You aren’t allowed to say the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, or other religious/spiritual text.)

     Well I thought, and I thought, and I thought. It seems to me that the books that felt the longest weren’t! How surprising is that. (Note that is a statement, not a question.)

     I could have sworn Tess of d’Urbervilles was the longest book IN the world, but nope, Tess was only 149,682 words. Anna Karenina took quite possibly my whole life, (In January – Marchish) and she only came in at 349,168. Watership Down? Like under 200k! Good gracious!

     It was clear my perceptions were off. Also, when I first thought about this question I was looking at page counts but I soon realised that was stupid then I started looking at word counts. I found this awesome link on some crazy forum – HERE it is; take a gander. There’s a lot of books listed there with their word counts!

     Upon doing this oh so important, (read: procrastination from life), research I quickly realise that I am smack dab in the middle, (actually the first 30%), of one of the top ten longest books in English; A Suitable Boy – 591,554. Yay. And also, I have two behemoths standing in front of me, looking for all the world like Goliath: Gone With The Wind – 418,053; and War and Peace – 587,287.

     Now to actually answer the question. All of this research showed me that the longest book I have ever read was a whopping 513,000 – Les Misérables. You want to know something weird? I flew through it. I read that sucker so fast, I read it again right away. Huh.



[and can i just say? i hate the new linky police. stupid people who didn’t follow the rules and ruined it for everyone who already was. because of them i have to do this due to my actual real hidden link not being good enough for one reason or another today. great.]



  1. Uomo di Speranza (@UomodiSperanza)

    Les Miserables is another one I must read. It’s sitting on my bookshelf now, squished against the synthetic oak…I just may bring the thing to camp next summer. Wow, now that I think about it, that’s a great idea!

    So I will now thank you for two things: Being that fellow classics lover AND listening to my internal dialogue.

  2. Che

    Les Misarables was very long and i’d forgotten about Tess of d’Ubervilles. I have actually been wanting to tackle War and Peace but the sheer size is intimidating.
    I’m your newest follower.

  3. Karen

    hee hee, I loved your answer. Many a book I have read have felt longer than they actually are. Oddly I can’t think of any. The pain must have erased them from my memory.

    I have Suitable Boy in my tbr pile. It’s such a pretty edition though that I’m scared I will break the spine. Seriously been considering getting another paperback edition just so I can read it (I’m very sad I know).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s