Would you read a 1000 page novel?

Through the Immaculate Heart,

So I’m writing a book and have so many ideas and themes that I think that even if my book were to be a thousand pages long (without of course 50 long speeches such as found in that of Atlas Shrugged) it would still need another one to finish it.

It must not be a book series or a single book spread into three volumes like the Lord of the Rings. Literary novels can be counted as 1000 page novels but people wouldn’t usually read a novel as hard as Ulysses or In search of lost time.

Stephen King has made alot of very long novels but they tend to be rather immoral. His It has put many people off because of the krass language and themes. There is even a scene which is so obscene I am not going to mention it here, but it involves child pornography.

I read War and Peace when I was younger, but I wouldn’t have the patience for it, any more. It took me a week to read it, but I was living by myself at the time, and I didn’t have a TV set or a radio - and I was only working part time.

If your novel is intended for casual readers, you should focus on one main plot, with maybe two very short sub-plots, like the alphabet mysteries. :slight_smile:

“The Lord of the Rings” is quite a long book, but it’s very popular. In fact, it was originally broken down into three books by the publisher who feared no one would read such a long tome. You might consider doing something like that. Write a trilogy instead of one book, if your story will fit that format.

If a book is fascinating to me (can’t put it down), I want it to go on and on…I am not a page counter. I don’t care if it takes me a month (and it has!) to read a particular book if I’m enraptured of the story.
I read Gone With The Wind for the 1st time when I was 18 and never wanted it to end. Every successive time I read it I hoped that magically, somehow, it would end differently. Silly me! :o

Hi philipmarie.
It is interesting that you mention Ulysses. I read it when I was a teenager. Most of it went over my head. But I became something of a Joyce fan. I studied his work and life and thought his achievements the best thing since sliced bread.
Today, all that has changed. I see a far bigger picture. There is nothing ennobling in his work. It is mere self-indulgent quasi-romantic wordwash. I do not read novelists work. They have no sense of responsibility.
God Bless,

Yes- if it takes 1,000 pages to tell the story/convey the ideas, moves along and doesn’t get bogged down.

I didn’t have a problem with ‘Atlas Shrugged’ having long speechs, I had a problem with each the of the speeches being repetitive, i.e. not saying anything new in the last 50 pages that hadn’t been said in the first 4.

Roger Zelazny was once asked to contribute a story to a periodical. I don’t remember the exact word count, but his story was ~25,000 words long. The editors of the magazine asked him to cut it to ~12,000 words. As Zelazny put it, “Cutting out every other word made it sound funny. So I didn’t.”

I don’t think I ever read a 1000 page novel-but recently I tackled an over 1000 page history book.

It was William Schirer’s ‘Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’. (I’m a history buff, I can’t help it) I found it at the local ‘well-known bookstore’ and spent a few weeks reading pages at a time. Then I read the end of it at one of the local libraries.

Now that’s a long book!

Yes, I have and will in the future-but they have to be good novels.

I read Shogun, back when it was turned into a television mini-series. And I might have read Les Miserables, if I hadn’t heard the entire book read over the course of several months on our local public radio station. :o

Sure I would, if it was good. I read Gone with the Wind for the FIRST time when I was in
7th grade.

I would read something like David Copperfield. Over 800 pages I believe.

If it were on something that I found entertaining I would. But if it was just a textbook or something like that, probably not.

I love reading long, involved (interesting!) stories. The only thing is, books that large don’t fit well in my hands. Something happens around the 600 page mark- for paperbacks, either the print’s too small or the binding is floppy, and I usually have clumsy moments with large hardbacks. But a cliff-hanger between volumes is fine with me! Why wouldn’t you want to split it up?

In the Wheel of Time series, there are multiple books over 1000 pages. I’ve read it twice and am re reading it now for the new books. What I don’t like, and it doesn’t matter how long the book is, are long chapters. A lot of times, I like to read just to kill some time before I do something else, but a lot of the books I like to read seem to have an awful lot of 40+ page chapters.

Michener’s historical fiction novel are around that long. I read Texas over the course of several months (mostly on airplanes while traveling). Broken down, it was actually a series of short stories that kind of built on each other. That made it easy to go in and out of the novel. A story in which the plot builds coupled with different story lines weaving in and out would be hard to follow in this manner. Of course, if it’s a “real page turner”, the real book worms out there would love it to never end!

I don’t think I would. At 1,000 pages, I think I’d rather see it split into 2 or 3 books. Speaking as a working editor, wordiness is a common problem for a beginning writer. We once received a 600 page manuscript with a letter from the author asking us to publish it. We could not.


I love hearing everyones opinion as they are helping me decide on how to write my book.

My book definitely isn’t going to be a text book (are you mad?:eek:) and to the poster who said that Joyce’s work was pure self-indulgent drivel, you are right. We don’t mean to be uncharitable but Joyce could be a really proud man, writing so that the people may look upon him and say:“Now thats one smart, intelligent man! And he’s got an awesome eyepatch too!”

I am actually considering putting my book into a series, although I fear that maybe my plot is too thin for three books or two big for two 700 page books (I mean, not EVERY story has to be a trilogy, does it?:D), Oh, if you want there is a thread on my novel: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7514394#post7514394

I think breaking it down into more digestible parts is a good idea. I too have a story that continues into a second book. I too am still debating whether or not it needs to be a trilogy. C. S. Lewis once said that he wrote 7 Narnia stories and 3 space stories because 3 and 7 are divine numbers. I’m pretty sure he was making light of it and didn’t really think he had to write that number of stories. After all, he never wrote another Great Divorce based story or Til We Have Faces type story. I would love to have read his version of Medusa. Anyway, there is no hard and fast rule, so just write it as it feel right to you.

Are you aware there is an online support/critique group for Catholic writers? It’s the Catholic Writers Guild. You may want to check it out. :slight_smile:

I would definitely read a book that is over 1,000 pages if the story captivated me. (Fiction or non-fiction)

As a few others have said, the first long novel I read was Gone With The Wind. My dad bought it for me when we were in a bookstore and he told me to pick a book and he would buy it for me. I was 12 years old. I love to read, so my criteria then was to find the thickest book I could find. :smiley: I handed him GWTW and he raised an eyebrow, but bought it. I have re-read it probably over 20 times since then.

I have read many books that are lengthy. Someone mentioned the issue with the type being small or the binding failing on a large book. That can be avoided if you buy an e-reader!!! (I love my Nook.):wink:

So, if you feel the story needs to be contained in one book - I say go for it. There is a market for such books. But if the book can easily stand alone in 2 or 3 separate books, it may be more feasible for you, the publisher and the readers. It probably would also get you a larger audience/following if you plan to write more books in the future.

Good luck! If you need a proof-reader or critique - I am available! :smiley:

Yes, I would read a 1000 page novel, as long as it is interesting, deep and well-written. When it’s a good book, I’m always sad once the story ends. So… the longer the better. :thumbsup:

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