Top 7 Long Novels Worth the Read
Thu, October 21, 2021

Top 7 Long Novels Worth the Read


All of us have amazing stories to tell, most of us just don’t know how to tell them effectively. For those who have made a career out of telling stories, it’s something that brings pleasure to the rest of us, whether it’s a short story or a novel. Sometimes, in a truly inspired moment, authors will churn out a long novel whose word count is in the hundred-thousand and beyond range, which makes you want to ask, “Will people read them?” Here are some of the top long novels and why it’s a good thing to dig into them. 



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Women and Men 

According to Smashing Lists, a listicle website tackling just about everything, “Women and Men” written by Joseph McElroy is a worthy read if you really want to challenge your understanding of what a novel is. Truthfully, reading the book will be a little more like trying to understand different forms of literature. 

Smashing Lists says that the story can be really confusing because it is presented in a non-chronological order and going off “in seemingly a million different directions with obtuse moments, like missing character names or very long sentences.” 



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Don Quixote

This underrated classic by Miguel De Cervantes is another good read if you’re in for a little laughter in your life. It’s one of the tamer, more digestible long novels, at least in comparison to McElroy’s. According to Vulture, a website offering daily coverage of TV, movies, music, books, theater, and other art, this masterpiece of a satirical novel centers around a “romance-besotted mad knight errant and his sane sidekick.”

The construction of the comedy is sharp and not at all inclined to pull its punches. This much is obvious in even just a few pages in the story that also represent the traditional romantic novels of the day. 



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The Tale of Genji

“The Tale of Genji” is a thousand-page book that is so old and relevant to the Japanese culture not only because of its revolutionary female writer but also because it’s insightful in the way Japanese court life worked. According to Publisher’s Weekly, an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, the charm of “The Tale of Genji” is its epic-like feel. 

The magazine says: “‘Genji’ feels written in a way that the bard-sung epics of early Europe just don’t. We sense the author is making discoveries about her characters through the process of inventing them and letting the work take shape accordingly.” 



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This George Eliot masterpiece, recommended by both Publisher’s Weekly and Vulture, is the perfect book to read when you want a much more fluid and welcome storytelling. This is because the story unravels not only around the characters but also takes the time to dig into and “capture whole communities” and follow narratives of characters across decades. 

At 1,872 pages, this behemoth of a book is also a must-read for anyone who wants to learn and hone their craft in world-building. 



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The Stand

Described as an apocalyptic moral fable, horror master Stephen King’s “The Stand” is told over the course of 1,990 pages. It explores the dynamics of good and evil in “complicated but simply drawn” ways. And since it is a King masterpiece, its story also unfolds like a “typical horror fiction.” 



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House of Leaves

Mark Danielewski takes the long novel genre up a notch, with “House of Leaves” spanning about 2,000 pages. In the same way “The Tale of Genji” fosters an interest explored over the span of many pages, Publisher’s Weekly notes that “House of Leaves” wins when it comes to dragging readers in for an engrossing read. 

It has been called many things, but ultimately, it’s a delightful read enough that Publisher’s Weekly describes it as a “typographical labyrinth that you read with your body as much as your brain.”



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Artamene Ou Le Grand Cyrus

Finally, the mother of all long novels: Madeleine de Scudéry’s “Artamene ou le Grand Cyrus, or simply “The Tale of Cyrus the Great.” Clocking in at 2,100,000 words, the novel is said to only appear as long as it is because of “wordy conversations between characters and repeated abductions of the heroine.” Between 1649 to 1653, the story was divided into 10 volumes and had been big because of the amount of recognizable famous figures included in the story. 

It remains to be the longest novel in the world.