As a general rule, I LOVE a big, fat, 1000+ page, way too long for it’s own good, book!!! Just to give you an idea, here are a few of my favorite ‘way too long’ books: Alex Haley’s Roots, 688 pgs., Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, unabridged, 1463 pgs., Margaret George’s The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A novel, 957 pgs., Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, 817 pgs., Miguel De Cervantes’ Don Quixote, 940 pgs, and Tolstoy’s War and Peace is sitting on my shelf waiting for me to tackle it’s 1309 pgs.!!! Ok, full disclosure, some of these were a struggle to get through and there were times when I was seriously over them and I still had several hundred pages to go, but the sense of accomplishment when I finish one of these monstrosities is fantastic!!
I love becoming part of a different world for awhile, making friends with the characters and being part of their story which is difficult to accomplish in shorter books. George can tell you I love watching the ENTIRE Lord of the Rings series of movies from the first of the three Hobbit movies all the way through to the Return of the King (I have also read all of the books, BTW) because I become immersed in Tolkien’s world and feel the pain, sorrow, and triumph of the characters themselves. I also love being in the middle of a book/story much more than I like starting or finishing one…weird huh?
All of that being said, I have to agree with Hannah that sometimes books/stories are longer than they need to be and the overall reading experience is diminished because of it and this is precisely what happened with Steven Price’s By Gaslight. Hannah read this book earlier this year and noted that it seemed too long (and since she doesn’t particularly care for long books it was a pretty major bummer for her) and while I happen to love long novels I have to agree with Hannah’s assessment that this book suffered from being too long. Price does a nice job of weaving the backstory and the main story together but there came a point when I started to not really care about the backstory any longer. I felt like I knew enough to fully grasp the main story line and I wanted to know how it was going to turn out and not be bothered with more details from the past. If this book had ended 150 pgs. sooner it would have been fantastic! As it is, I found the story intriguing and the characters interesting and sufficiently complicated without being ridiculous.
I will most certainly continue to adore books that are much too long and this may be my downfall in the Book War (Hannah with all of her graphic novels and poetry books) but such is the nature of the battle.
Read on my friends!