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chrispy1
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Book you are proudest to have finished...

Postby chrispy1 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:24 pm UTC

Doesn't have to be best/worst/longest | fiction/non-fiction book. Just the book you're proudest of yourself for having read cover-to-cover.

Mine would be Vikram Seth's monster book called A Suitable Boy. Trade-paper back sized book, and it's 1,474 pages. Extremely detailed, very vivid imagery, story was OK. It's about a group of families in India and their experiences as the various sons/daughters get into/out of relationships.

Learned about a whole whack of Indian foods though, which was cool...and I tried most of them within a month (I love galub jamuns...sort of honey balls, but not quite...totally amazing)
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Postby TigerX » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:48 pm UTC

The Resurrection of the Son of God (740 pages) and New Testament and the People of God (~540 pages) both by N.T. Wright from his Christian Origins series. Both are academic texts which deal with first century social settings. The second book in the series is actually a little bit compelling to read, so that seems less of an accomplishment.

Fiction-wise... I've read a couple of Umberto Eco's novels and the entire Dune series.

Not much of a reader though.

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Postby Bakemaster » Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:16 pm UTC

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Being over a century old, and not my preferred genre of book, it was a bit of a task to get through, but worth it.

As far as long books, the unabridged version of The Stand is up there, but I wouldn't say it was hard to read, just took a while.
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Postby kcr » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:55 pm UTC

The unabridged Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (who else?)
It took me a while, longer than it does for me to read most things, but I absolutely loved it. Definitely worth reading.

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Postby iMito » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:12 pm UTC

I have two books:

100 Years of Solitude and (sorry guys) The Fellowship of the Ring. Both were soooo boring. It took me 5 years to get through The Fellowship of the Ring only cause I'd get bored and put it down to pick up later.

[The Hobbit was amazing though <3]
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Postby Dr. Venture » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:14 pm UTC

I just finished Gravity's Rainbow, 760 pages of some of the most complex writing I've come across, 400 characters to keep track of, etc.

Was it worth it? Yes, but I'll stick to shorter books for a while.
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Postby Darcey » Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:21 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:As far as long books, the unabridged version of The Stand is up there, but I wouldn't say it was hard to read, just took a while.


That's the one I was going to say; there were bits of it that I quite understood why they'd been left out in the first version, [SPOILERS] and I didn't especially approve of it turning from fascinating post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction to epic fantasy, but the result was still very interesting. [/SPOILERS]

House of Leaves took me a very long time, even though it was really good, and also I read it really slowly because I wanted it to last longer, but I'm still kind of proud of myself for finishing it.

I'll be very proud of myself if I ever manage to finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, as I recently reclaimed it from my brother's floor in mostly-readable condition, I will have a chance to attempt them again, now that I'm older and a student of great-but-often-very-dense literature.

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Postby dan » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:04 pm UTC

Mine would be Vikram Seth's monster book called A Suitable Boy. Trade-paper back sized book, and it's 1,474 pages. Extremely detailed, very vivid imagery, story was OK. It's about a group of families in India and their experiences as the various sons/daughters get into/out of relationships.


I was going to say A Suitable Boy before I opened this thread. I didn't find it too hard to read, and the story is quite involving, but it's certainly long. I'd definitely recommend it.

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Postby GhostWolfe » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:28 pm UTC

For me, it would be every single Tolkien book I managed to finish as I find his writing style immensely boring. It was always a real struggle for me to concentrate and actually read the book, rather than just skim a few lines out of each page before turning over.
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Postby chrispy1 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:51 pm UTC

dan wrote:
Mine would be Vikram Seth's monster book called A Suitable Boy. Trade-paper back sized book, and it's 1,474 pages. Extremely detailed, very vivid imagery, story was OK. It's about a group of families in India and their experiences as the various sons/daughters get into/out of relationships.


I was going to say A Suitable Boy before I opened this thread. I didn't find it too hard to read, and the story is quite involving, but it's certainly long. I'd definitely recommend it.


Oh no, it wasn't a hard read per se, my challenge was I *have* to read every word. Reading every word in a book that size, when the level of description such is his, then you get blown away. An Equal Music was really, really good, and much thinner! LOL
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Postby Pathway » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:51 pm UTC

Tolkien did write in a very high style--it's not for everyone. I personally finished them all in a day or two each, but I liked them so that probably made it a lot easier.

My personal favorite book of all time was also one of the hardest to read: Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. Wallace is brilliantly insightful--he picks up on and transmits far more than most writers.

Also, at the time I read it, Lord Jim was pretty tough to get through. The chronology was awkward for my little 10-year-old brain. I think I put it down and came back to it in 10th grade.
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Postby Darcey » Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:11 am UTC

Oh, and another thing I'm proud to have gotten through was The Sound and the Fury. I loved the style but one of the reasons I loved it was for the difficulty. I like challenging reads, and that definitely fulfilled my desire.

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Postby GhostWolfe » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:23 am UTC

Pathway wrote:Tolkien did write in a very high style--it's not for everyone.

It wasn't his "high style" that bothered me, it's that I'm a skimmer by nature and when you spend three pages describing the same tree*, I find that I've skipped on ahead without reading a word.

*slight exaggeration
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Postby Sulla158 » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:50 am UTC

I'd have to say the Idiot by Dostoevski. It was good but long, and dull in some parts.

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Postby Ren » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:16 am UTC

"Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is the book I am most proud of having read. James Joyce and I do not get along.

I was pretty happy when I finished Pascal's "Pensees" too.
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Postby thefiddler » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:05 am UTC

Ren wrote:"Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is the book I am most proud of having read. James Joyce and I do not get along.

>.> I'm not particularly proud of finishing this. Probably because it was a required reading this last year and because I enjoyed it immensely.

Oh, well, the fourth grade me was very proud to have read Little Women in two days. :)

I'm not sure. I don't really keep track of books that I'm proud of reading. Maybe Dante Aligheri's The Divine Comedy, but that was ages ago.

Or... well... Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Very long, very boring, yet still appealing to the part of me that loves medieval, Arthurian legends. :)

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Postby xooll » Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:12 am UTC

iMito wrote: It took me 5 years to get through The Fellowship of the Ring only cause I'd get bored and put it down to pick up later.

I thought I was the only one! I did ultimately end up reading the whole series, and it does pick up by about midway through The Two Towers, but it really shouldn't take him a whole book to get warmed up.
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Postby __Kit » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:32 am UTC

Well this one was A Hromic was CRAP, but whenever I start something I have to finish it.

And seeing as I couldn't find out what happens on the net (unlike Naruto) I had to finish.
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Postby Pathway » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:10 am UTC

thefiddler wrote:Or... well... Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Very long, very boring, yet still appealing to the part of me that loves medieval, Arthurian legends. :)


Have you read The Once and Future King, by T.H. White? It doesn't really belong in this thread, but if you're looking for Arthurian legend, White is fascinating.
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Postby SpitValve » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:25 am UTC

3 Musketeers, 20 years after and Count of Monte Cristo, all originally by Alexandre Dumas. All very good stories, but I find it pretty difficult to grind through the writing style of anything old.

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Postby thefiddler » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:19 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:3 Musketeers, 20 years after and Count of Monte Cristo, all originally by Alexandre Dumas. All very good stories, but I find it pretty difficult to grind through the writing style of anything old.

Dumas is my favourite author. >.>

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Postby Phenriz » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:54 pm UTC

with fiddler on Aligheri's: Divine Comedy

also:

Milton's Paradise Lost
Hesse's Glass Bead Game
Descartes's Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy
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Postby sebbeklang » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

shakespeares othello. not because i didn't like reading it or because it was difficult or anything, but because i don't read a lot of classic work.
the process by kafka is up there too.

among the books i didn't finish, but wish i had, are a farewell to arms and the count of monte cristo. i guess i was just too young and impatient for books of that caliber :D

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:31 pm UTC

kcr wrote:The unabridged Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (who else?)
It took me a while, longer than it does for me to read most things, but I absolutely loved it. Definitely worth reading.

I read that shortly after seeing Les Miserables on stage.... at the age of five. Ow, my brain.... good, though!

Also, The Complete Unabridged Sherlock Holmes Omnibus. This book had the thinnest paper and the tiniest writing I've ever seen, and weighed about ten pounds.

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Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:42 pm UTC

I think the only major accomplishment with books I can think of would have to be Stephen King's It, which I finished within a month at the age of 15.
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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:59 pm UTC

Hm. I don't think there's any book that I'm proud that I toughed it out through; generally, if it's a slow or bad book, I'm not going to finish it. I trust my taste.

From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun would probably have to be the closest thing to what you want, though, as it's rather long, and while quite awesome, very, very slow.
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Postby Bondolon » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:00 pm UTC

Moby Dick. The book is excellent, brilliant, genius, a marvel of thought. It's also difficult as hell to get through, and it's slower than any other book I've ever read.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:03 pm UTC

Bondolon wrote:Moby Dick. The book is excellent, brilliant, genius, a marvel of thought. It's also difficult as hell to get through, and it's slower than any other book I've ever read.

"Hmmm, I'm going to spend four pages describing a gull." You have to realize, back then opium was an acceptable form of social interaction, they were so stoned they could devote 18 hours to getting through a chapter.

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Postby zombie_monkey » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:12 pm UTC

I think I managed to read all of Neveryóna, or at least 75%. You can't tell for sure because it makes you read it in no particular order. You might have read a part of a chapter 5 times and another not at all, and they seem to follow a roughly normal distribution. And Dhalgren was not as hard to read as people make it out.

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Postby Castaway » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:17 am UTC

I once read 100 pages of the grapes of wrath in an afternoon and felt like killing myself. I hated that book more than anything ever. I was going to fuck up my english grade if I didn't read it though.
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Postby zomgmouse » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:13 am UTC

I have to say either The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, or Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë.

The Turn of the Screw is so badly written, and the sentences last for about a page. I'd ressurrect Henry James, just so I could kill him.
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:27 am UTC

histories - herodotus. not only do you get to look intellectually superior by reading classics, its a damn good read too.
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Postby refreshingapathy » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:42 pm UTC

The Canterbury Tales was the nastiest thing I ever read. Because it was a very, very rough translation (if that at all). Didn't have a problem with War and Peace like most people.

And although it's not insanely long, I am proud to say I understood A Clockwork Orange pretty quickly.

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Postby Narsil » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:10 pm UTC

Alexadre Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo. Unabridged. Nearly 1000 pages. I thought I was going to die, but it was actually my favorite book ever.

Also, I once read Elie Wiesel's Night in one day. That was not a good day.

Oh, and the whole Lord of the Rings saga, because now I can be "that guy", the pompous ass that read the books before the movies came out and made them cool and says "the books were a lot better".

Fight Club too. I read it in like two hours, but I felt like a total badass the whole time.
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Postby Belial » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:12 pm UTC

Fight club is the only occasion where I felt like the movie was better.....
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Postby Narsil » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:14 pm UTC

The ending in the movie is better. I wasn't sure what the hell was going on in the book.

And the big spoiler (yes, THAT one) is a lot more dramatic in the movie.
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Postby thefiddler » Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:15 pm UTC

Oh, even Palahniuk liked the ending of the movie better than the book. It's probably one of my favourite books, ever. Palahniuk and Dumas are my two favourite authors. What a strange combination. ^_^

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Postby Arabella » Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:17 pm UTC

Chrispy1 wrote: An Equal Music was really, really good, and much thinner!


I read an Equal Music last summer. At the beginning I loved it. I love books that describe music well (Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty is a good example of that) but as it went on I found the story got less and less believable and he was stupidly obsessed over the woman in an annoying way not a longing way. There's plenty of desparation and unrequited love in books but this is the only time it's really really irritated me and I just wanted him to leave her alone. ( I cannot remember names... Julia?). Then I discovered that Vikram Seth is gay which may have something to do with it.. I don;t know, that could be called jumping to conclusions. Trivia: Also when he wrote it he went and sat in a real string quartets rehearsals and coincidentally it was a quartet my stepbrother was in at some point... interesting.

SilverWolfe wrote:It wasn't his "high style" that bothered me, it's that I'm a skimmer by nature and when you spend three pages describing the same tree*, I find that I've skipped on ahead without reading a word.

*slight exaggeration


Haha. I found that too. I started the fellowship of the ring after seeing the film. And when I was half way through and nothing from the film had happened yet I gave up.

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Also, The Complete Unabridged Sherlock Holmes Omnibus. This book had the thinnest paper and the tiniest writing I've ever seen, and weighed about ten pounds.


I read that. Twice... Ages ago. I love them. I suppose I'm pretty proud of that.


Otherwise I was going to mention Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell which I started unwillingly for school but I got really into it. Brilliant.

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Postby BiancaBlack » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:00 am UTC

"Crime and Punishment" *shudders*

In my opinion it's about 600 (out of 750) pages too long. The so called "cliff hangers" at the end of each chapter (If that was enough to make you want to read the next chapter, you were never gonna be too hard to convince, were you?), the annoyingly perfect Sonia (Probably the least believeable fictional character I've ever had the misfortune of coming across*), the completely anticlimactic ending (I mean, what the heck was that all about?!)...

Uhm, sorry about the rant, dunno where that came from.

*A friend had a theory that Sonia, being so perfect, probably had never even passed gas (it would have been completely OOC), and that the book would therefore end with her exploding (which would no doubt have made it much more memorable)

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Postby thefiddler » Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:01 pm UTC

BiancaBlack wrote:"Crime and Punishment"

Dostoevsky? How can you not like Dostoevsky? O.O


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