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Big Books (Personal Favorites)

Roy Wallis
The list author says: "Most of my favorite novels have been "long" (500 pages or more), except those of Jose Saramago and Murakami's shorter works. And if they are tough going, it just means you get to spend more time with them."
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
"A plot summary does not do justice to this book, but: A young Japanese man goes looking for his missing cat (and his wife), befriends a strange young girl, ends up in a different world. Horrifying excursion into Japanese invasion of China."
Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
"Next time I read it, I will probably use one of the readers' guides. Hundreds of characters, but the main one has an interesting physiological reaction to the appearance of German V-2s, and both sides want him."
Against the Day
Against the Day
"Balloonists watch as the world, beginning with the Chicago World's Fair, and continuing to WWI, disintegrates."
V. (Perennial Classics)
V. (Perennial Classics)
"Can't explain it, not sure I understood it, you just have to read it."
Mason & Dixon: A Novel
Mason & Dixon: A Novel
"Surveyors travel to Africa on an astronomical mission, and then help establish the Mason-Dixon line."
Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
"The best of a master, set in WWII and in the near future, with excursions into cryptography, quantum pyhsics, and whatever the author feels like talking about."
1Q84 (Vintage International)
1Q84 (Vintage International)
"Just read it--it's Murikami for god's sake."
Reamde
Reamde
"I had never read a "thriller" before, and only read this because Stephenson wrote it. It involves employees and principals of a "massive multi-player online game," the Russian Mafia, and a Muslim terrorist cell. A good book for those who haven't read the author before; they are likely to move to his more cerebral efforts."
Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No. 1)
Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No. 1)
"At nearly a thousand pages, it took me awhile, and two more cycles to ago. The beginning of science (Newton is one of the main characters), and of the market system."
Anathem
Anathem
"Speculative fiction, with the author's usual excursions -- this time into philosophy, quantum physics, monasticism . . ."
JR
JR
"Hilarious satire written in the 60s, about a junior high (I think) kid who starts a business empire. Entirely in unattributed dialog, but eventually you get into the flow."
The Tin Drum
The Tin Drum
"This, with Dog Years and the slim Cat and Mouse, is a fascinating, terrifying look at WWII from the eyes of a little boy who decides to stop growing at the age of 3, has a scream that breaks windows, and goes around banging on a tin drum. Magic realism at its best."
Dog Years
Dog Years
"The apocalyptic end of the war and the trilogy."
Infinite Jest
Infinite Jest
"I feel I must warn you ahead  of time: There are several interesting plot lines, and NONE of them are resolved. My personal opinion is this is what he meant by the title."
Underworld
Underworld
"This is an Amazon screwup. The novel is by Don DeLillo, and you can find it under his name. I love most of his books, but this one is his magnum opus."
Crime and Punishment (Oxford World's Classics)
Crime and Punishment (Oxford World's Classics)
"I failed 11th grade English because I refused to read this. After college I read it on the recommendation of my best friend, and it was wonderful."
Don Quixote (Penguin Classics)
Don Quixote (Penguin Classics)
"I spent several weeks with this book one summer, and I laughed a lot. Literary critics seem to treat the title character as a sad figure, but I thought he moe heroic than deranged."
Bleak House
Bleak House
"I'm not a big Dickens fan, but this one is an exception. Maybe you have to be in law to fully appreciate the satire."
The Sot-Weed Factor (Anchor Literary Library)
The Sot-Weed Factor (Anchor Literary Library)
"Humorous tale of colonial America. A 'sotweed factor' is a tobacco salesman."
Giles Goat Boy (The Anchor Literary Library)
Giles Goat Boy (The Anchor Literary Library)
"University life in the early 60s. Satire."
The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor
The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor
"A reimagining of the tales of the Arabian Nights. A lot of interesting stuff about sailing."
The Tidewater Tales (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf)
The Tidewater Tales (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf)
"More sailing . . . and Nixon . . . and a lot of stuff."