Friday, April 14, 2017

L is for “Longest Book”

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.

What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? For me, it’s probably some horrible textbook that I no longer own and have blocked from my memory. But, I do remember the longest book I’ve ever read willingly. It’s Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. My copy is 1,168 pages. I read it way back in the olden days of 2011, and it took me three months to finish.




Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand


This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most? What is the world's motor—and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story. Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life—from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy—to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction—to the philosopher who becomes a pirate—to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph—to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad—to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels. This is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder—and rebirth—of man's spirit.


Did I like the book? Um . . . yes and no. The reason I read it is because of its cultural significance. It’s on many “books that changed the world” lists. I liked the dystopian elements of the story. The characters both intrigued and annoyed me. I was pulled in by their strong personalities, but I hated the tedious speeches they gave. Some parts of their philosophy made me cringe.

The thing I liked best about Atlas Shrugged was the sense of accomplishment I had when I read the last page. Like many people, I often have problems finishing what I start. When a project gets boring, I abandon it. Reading Atlas Shrugged was occasionally dull or intellectually challenging. There were times when I seriously considered giving up. But, I was curious about this book. It has influenced American society, and I wanted to know why. Finishing it was a small way of proving to myself that I do have the stamina to complete projects. If I have questions about the world, I can find the answers. Even if the answers mean reading a 1,168-page book.






What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? How did you feel about it?







31 comments:

  1. I enjoyed "Fountainhead" but also disliked the philosophy behind it. Then I tried Atlas and just couldn't get into it. I am not sure what the longest book I've read. Probably a Russian novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some giant Russian novels on my to-read list. I’ve been avoiding them for years because of their size.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged. The longest book I read wasn’t because of word or page count, it was because I just didn’t seem to be able to get through the end. Anyway, it was Moby Dick and it was years ago. I used to call it my nemesis! I did finally get to the end and the book and both the book and I looked like we had been through the war by that point, and I was horribly angry with the ending.

    L for Lightsaber
    Shari

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve heard that Moby Dick is a tough book to get through.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. I don't remember Atlas Shrugged being that long. Maybe I was wrapped up in it! It's definitely dystopian in a way I avoid these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s how I feel with most Stephen King books. They’re long, but I’m so wrapped up in them that they don’t feel long.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. I like reading long books. I just checked my Goodreads account and I've read 10 books that have 1000+ pages. Sometimes if they get overwhelming I will read them in chunks between other books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to read Atlas Shrugged in chunks. That’s one of the reasons it took me so long. Some days, I just couldn’t deal with it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. I would guess the longest book I have ever read is either "Gone With the Wind" or "The Stand" (the long version). Both of which I really enjoyed so the length wasn't a negative.
    TraceyAtHome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to read Gone With The Wind someday. I read The Stand in high school. My copy had such tiny font that it kept the page count down. I’m pretty sure it was over 1000 pages, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  6. Like others before me on your comment thread, I have also read the Fountainhead. But I found it's characters disturbing and really REALLY hated the scene where the protagonist rapes a woman brutally and violently because on some level she wants him to. It messed with my head and gave me nightmares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yuck. I didn’t know there was a rape scene in Fountainhead. Thanks for the heads up.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  7. Middlesex, which I read for a book club, is listed on Goodreads as 529 pages. So I guess that would be the longest I've read. Considering I almost always stay under 400 pages. Rated it in the 3 - 3 1/2 range.

    Have you started writing your own novel yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I ever do publish a book, it won’t be 1000 pages. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. I don't really read long books so I had to look. The longest was the 5th Harry Potter, then Winter. The next was The Goldfinch which made me proud to finish because it was dense and probably more intellectual than what I normally read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was happy when I finished The Goldfinch, too. That book is a brick.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. Hmm, for fun the longest thing I've read is Susan Howatch's family saga The Wheel of Fortune, that's just shy of a thousand pages. For one of my college lit classes, I had to read Tom Jones by Henry Fielding--the edition I had was around 900 pages. We were supposed to have read it over the summer, but I got to school that year and had to finish this tome in about four days. Definitely some skimming was required.
    http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com/2017/04/l-love.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a Brit Lit class that would give us a week to read these giant classics. I probably spent more time reading summaries and analyses online than actually reading the books. I can’t read a huge book in a week, especially when I have to read for other classes.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  10. In recent memory, the longest book I read was The Winter Boy by Sally Weiner Grotta at just over 500 pages. I enjoyed it when I finished the book as I could appreciate the overall story which was very tedious at times. I'm a slow reader and as book blogger my review pile is toppling over, I usually shy away from the longer reads. Though today I bought East of Eden by John Steinbeck which is around 600 pages so maybe that will become my longest read. Girl Who Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And then I remembered I read the Harry Potter books and I know at least one was over 700 pages so that would be the longest book, yet they didn't seem to take long to read through.

      Delete
    2. I just finished rereading Goblet of Fire. My copy is over 700 pages, but it didn’t take me long to get through.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  11. It looks like War & Peace and The Stand are the two longest books I've read. I've never read any Rand, because I always hear her described in such awful terms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rand has some strong opinions. Some of them are a bit cringe-worthy.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  12. OOOH! I've only heard of (but not attempted to read) The Fountainhead by the author but WOW. I've NEVER read a book that has more than 1,000 pages

    Aditi @ http://athousandwordsamillionbooks.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve read a few 1000+ pagers, but I usually avoid them. Books don’t need to be that long.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  13. A few of Stephen King are right up there...IT was 1116 pages, The Stand was 1421. Loved both of them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really liked IT and The Stand, too. My copies have very tiny font, so they’re not as long as yours.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  14. WOW that is a lot of pages. Too many, really. I think the largest book I ever read was David Copperfield (974 pages, says Goodreads). I feel like I have shared this story with you before, actually. I was 10 and my dad made me read it one summer. I have NO idea why, he's just weird.

    The longest book I read by CHOICE was probably City of Heavenly Fire, but if I am being honest... I didn't need to read that either. Basically long books are just not my jam, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't read Atlas Shrugged and haven't really been tempted to as of yet. I would guess that the longest book I have read would be one of the Outlander books but I am not really positive. It is a bit overwhelming to start reading such a long book.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is one seriously long book... I think the longest book I've read is the Bible, if we are allowed to count that. If not, I have no idea because I don't monitor pages much. Maybe A Game of Thrones or The Goldfinch. I do want to read War and Peace at some point though!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think the longest book I've ever read was from The Wheel of Time Series---some of those are over 1000 pages long. Someday I'm going to read Les Mis ... Someday.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete

I do a happy dance every time I get a comment. (You should be grateful that you’re not around to witness this dance. It’s truly horrifying.) Leave a link to your blog so I can visit you.