Big books that are worth your time

10 January 2017

Sometimes 600 pages just isn't enough. If you’re looking for a literary challenge for the New Year, or would just like a good excuse to spend the winter months curled up with a good book, here’s some very long novels (plus a few trilogies) that we can guarantee are worth the investment. 

 
A Little Life
Hanya Yanagihara

736 pages

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Little Life is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance. Essential reading.

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Underworld
Don DeLillo

832 pages

DeLillo offers a panoramic vision of America defined by the overarching conflict of the cold war in this masterful and awe-inspiring story of a search for meaning, survival and connection in the toughest of times.

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The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton                   

848 pages

The second novel from Eleanor Catton and winner of the Man Booker Prize, The Luminaries is a gripping mystery set in the 1800s and described by The Observer as "a dazzling feat of a novel".

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The Patrick Melrose Novels
Edward St Aubyn        

880 pages

Acclaimed for their wit and humanity, this magnificent cycle of novels - in which Patrick Melrose battles to survive the savageries of his childhood and lead a self-determined life - is one of the most important literary achievements of our time

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The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt

880 pages

Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch is an odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power that combines unforgettably vivid characters with thrilling suspense.

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Middlemarch
George Eliot

904 pages

Lauded by many critics as the finest novel in English, Middlemarch provides a complex look at English provincial life at a crucial historical moment and contains an exploration of some of the most potent myths of Victorian literature.

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2666
Roberto Bolaño

912 pages

Considered a sensation on publication and hailed across the world as a masterpiece, 2666 is a terrifying and awe-inspiring classic novel that has come to define one of Latin America's greatest writers.

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The Border Trilogy
Cormac McCarthy

1056 pages

Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning, bestselling trio of novels chronicles the coming-of-age of two young men in the south west of America and stands as a fierce elegy for the American frontier. All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing and Cities of the Plain are beautiful and brutal stories filled with sorrow and humour.

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Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace

1100 pages

Touching on topics such as addiction, recovery, tennis and even Quebec separatism, Foster Wallace’s encyclopaedic bestseller is considered one of the best novels ever published.

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The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett

1104 pages

A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth is Ken Follett's classic historical masterpiece.

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Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy

1136 pages

A masterpiece of realism and illuminated by irresistible characters, Anna Karenina is among the best-loved of all novels, penetrating to the heart of the ruling class in Tsarist Russia.

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The Man Without Qualities
Robert Musil

1152 pages

Set in 1913 surrounding the seventieth jubilee of the accession of Emperor Franz Josef in Austria, The Man Without Qualities is part satire, part visionary epic and part intellectual tour de force.

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1Q84: The Complete Trilogy
Haruki Murakami

1328 pages

Weighing in at a staggering 1328 pages, Murakami’s dystopian trilogy 1Q84 features a plot built around a mystical cult and two long-lost lovers who are drawn into a distorted version of reality.

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A Suitable Boy
Vikram Seth

1504 pages

At its core, a love story: the tale of Lata - and her mother's - attempts to find her a suitable husband. At the same time, it is the story of India, newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis as a sixth of the world's population faces its first chance to map its own destiny.

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