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Top Ten Tuesday #14: Books Most Intimidating

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jul 02 2013 · 713 views

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July 2: Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

  • Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. Mostly just because of its size. I absolutely love the story, and really want to read this book, but it is a little daunting. 
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. Basically the same as above. And, really, also The Three Musketeers
  • Jack Ryan series, by Tom Clancy. Simply because they're so many, and mostly large books. They're fast reads, though, so not all that intimidating.
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. So many people love it and praise it, and as such I feel like I'll be required to love it when I read it. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it does turn out great, but I'm not a huge fan of reading things and feeling like I'll have to love it. 
  • Many books by Charles Dickens. The writing style, the often large pagecount, etc. 
  • The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King. While they're not all that long, it's still a big series with several long books. 
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. 
  • 87th Precinct series, by Ed Mcbain. This is simply because there's so many of them. 
  • Various other Classics, such as Gone With the Wind, War and Peace, and many more that I'm blanking on right now. This also includes things like the 12-volume History of Middle-earth, which would be amazing to read some time, but is a little daunting. 
  • Various Non-Fiction Books. Simply because I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction, so any huge non-fiction book is slightly daunting to me (with exceptions). 

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I got maybe two chapters into The Count before deciding it was dull. I'm told the story takes a while to develop but it's worth it, so I might try again after I'm through with Verne's Mysterious Island.

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What about Atlas Shrugged, for length, very polarizing philosophy, and the longest monologue in the English language?

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Think these are intimidating? Try Finnegan's Wake - impenetrable even with a handy-dandy online guide to multi-lingual puns.

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@ Sinclair ~ Yeah, I've heard the same. I'm hoping I'll be able to read it at a time when the beginning doesn't bother me too much so I can get to the more interesting parts. =P


@ Ballom ~ Yes, definitely! That would fall under the "many more (classics) that I'm blanking on." =P Definitely plan to read that some day. 


@ Sumiki ~ Eh, these are books I actually want to read. =P 

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Ohmigod, I love the Count of Monte Cristo. It's so amazing to see Dantes spinning out his threads and pulling his victims in. Then bam, karma takes them out. :D

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Mysterious Minifig
Jul 09 2013 06:19 PM
@#1 I've read it and it definitely worth it. It may take a long time, (I think I spent 2 months reading most days somewhere between 30 min to 2 hours)

@#2 I've also read this and I didn't think it was that intimidating. I sat down and plowed through it pretty quickly a couple of weeks at most. It's a really good book and I would read it again. I was also pretty young when I read it too.

@#5 Lots of stuff to say about this. I think it's just a matter of picking the right one to start with. I read Great Expectations a couple of years ago and that was an amazing book. I also read Oliver Twist this summer and that was pretty good. On the other hand, I also tried to read Bleak House and I wasn't able to finish it.

@#9 All I can say is that I think War & Peace is overrated. I finished it last winter and it was okay, but it wasn't exceptional. I don't think I'd ever want to read it again, unlike the rest of the books I've mentioned.

Also as a sidenote, if and when you read some of these, get the full version, don't settle for an abridged version. You have to watch out with the Count of Monte Christo, because I've heard there are a lot of abridged versions available that aren't labeled as such. Les Miserables is probably okay abridged, but it would better if you skipped parts on your own rather then not having them available at all. I remember there being about a 50 page side track on the Battle of Waterloo and another unnecessary discussion about the Paris sewers.

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Jul 09 2013 10:28 PM

I feel you on intimidating non-fiction. Such reasons are why I haven't touched my Erik Larson books yet.



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@ Naina ~ Hahaha, of course. That does sounds awesome, though. =P


@ Mysterious Minifig ~ Thanks for all those comments! I definitely do plan on reading the full versions if/when I get around to reading those. 


@ Ben ~ Haha, yeah. I still need to read Stephen King's On Writing sometime...

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I read Les Miserables and it skyrocketed to the top of my favorite books list, but then I found out it was an abridged version.  It was still an excellent story of course, but I am disappointed that I didn't read the full version when I had the chance.  Although it seems I dodged a bullet by avoiding some of Hugo's longer side rants.  I also recommend Ender's game, which I finished less than a week ago.  I wouldn't call it an amazing read, but it's well worth it IMO.  It's also a very easy page-turner, but I understand the writing isn't your problem with it.  If you end up liking Ender's Game, then I would highly suggest Pathfinder by the same author. 

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