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Wordy mammoth?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Little Ricky, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The most recent 'big' book I really got into was Moby Dick, which is broken down into many very short chapters, so it was a breeze to read on vacation. I really like the drawn out descriptive style used in it - a whole chapter might be dedicated strictly to the description of a spearhead or a sunset. The sentences aren't all really tightly structured sentences either. Some are really short snippets, others run on for pages, just like the chapters. Anyway, the whole book has a poetic, lyrical style to the prose.

    I'm going to dive into Grapes of Wrath over the long holiday weekend.

    Anyway, back to the post title...what are some of the better epic novels out there that are must-reads? Roots? (been there, done that) War and Peace? (couldn't get passed page two in high school, maybe worth revisiting now that I'm older).

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Teleblooz

    Teleblooz Tele-Afflicted

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    Dune.
     
  3. brianbanjos

    brianbanjos TDPRI Member

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    Moby Dick is one of those books that makes you groan in High School or even college. As an adult I think one can appreciate it more (it's no longer represents a mountain of homework and actually, significant portions are very funny..). Therefore War and Peace may now be more interesting to you. No humor in those pages but a great historic epic.
     
  4. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gravity's Rainbow -- Pynchon.
    You wanted epic. You got it.
     
  5. Teleblooz

    Teleblooz Tele-Afflicted

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    I read Moby Dick as a kid and remember enjoying it hugely. I picked it up again in my 30s and could barely get through it. I remember thinking that the actual story, if it were stripped of all the descriptive felgrecarb, wouldn't be fifty pages long.
     
  6. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    +1

    And Pynchon's V is even better, IMO. (No, it's not in any way connected to the TV show.)
     
  7. Jester01

    Jester01 Tele-Meister

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    I second the Dune recommendation... If your into Sci fi...
     
  8. tgfmike

    tgfmike Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Count Of Monte Cristo
     
  9. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    The Gulag Archipelago.
    Solzhenitsyn got me through 10th grade. I read everything he wrote that year and most of Turgenev.
     
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I made it half way through Infinite Jest. I'll try again next summer.
     
  11. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    "however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make; nevertheless, by the continual repetition of these very impressions, man has lost that sense of the full awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it."

    IMHO, it doesn't get any better than that, I don't know what to tell you.:neutral:
     
  12. Dflo

    Dflo Tele-Meister

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    Atlas Shruged, (Don't get political on me) Just an interesting book if you can get through the first chapter.
     
  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    That doesn't imply the reader will get through Galt's speech.

    EDIT: I also don't get how people can read these sort of "novels". Remove the polemics, and it's just poorly written. The characters are made of cardboard; the ones representing Rand's viewpoint have have chiseled features and get the girl; the ones we are meant to despise have names like "Mouch" and have their mouths described in unflattering terms.
     
  14. tomkatf

    tomkatf Tele-Afflicted

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    Stalingrad by Theodor Plievier
     
  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    My junior english teacher asked me what I thought of that book (a bunch of kids were reading it and when asked if I had, I said that I had.)

    I squinched my face and said, "Ayn Rand must have gigantic breasts."

    I got 3 swats from the teacher, but he laughed the entire time he whipped me... it was totally worth it.

    Much of the rest of the class did not understand the comment, but to paraphrase Frost "that has made all the difference."
     
  16. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is always worth another read.
     
  17. hollowman

    hollowman Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    War and Peace. its a behemoth... don't think i could do it again

    for non fiction I am getting ready to dive into David Glantz's Stalingrad trilogy. I don't have the volumes yet (xmas present!), but will probably be over 1500 pages of intense WWII Eastern Front study. this will not be for the faint of heart!
     
  18. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hemingway - "A Farewell To Arms" and/or "For Whom The Bell Tolls"

    i find Dickens a bit tedious, but you might want to tackle "A Tale Of Two Cities"
     
  19. Coach305

    Coach305 Tele-Holic

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    I teach English, so this one is right up my alley! ;)

    In addition to many of the excellent recommendations thus far, I would add (in no particular order)...
    • Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
    • The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
    • The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
    • The Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    • The Gaea Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon), John Varley
    I would also recommend the following, although they aren't "epics"...
    • Farewell, My Lovely, Raymond Chandler
    • Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
    • Breathing Lessons, Anne Tyler
    • A Catskill Eagle, Robert B. Parker (Melville fans will get the reference in this one's title)
    • The Ox-Bow Incident, Walter Van Tilburg Clark
     
  20. shandraster

    shandraster Tele-Meister

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    +1 on Gravity's Rainbow. I started that several months ago, and haven't gone back to it because it's a lot to wrap your head around, lol.

    Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
    Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
    Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
     
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