Chunksters through the years

Some chunksters require a little remedial help. This was an attempt to map out the characters in War and Peace by the pool in 2010.


A comment recently on Twitter about War and Peace got me thinking about the longest book I have read this year. The stats page of Goodreads offers up a nifty tool that shows you the longest book you’ve read each year.  The results are kind of fun.

2018: So far this year the longest book I have read is The Philosopher’s Pupil by Iris MURDOCH at 560 pages, but I fully intend to read Anathem by Neal STEPHENSON which 937 pages.

2017: 69 read, longest was 866 pages – 4 3 2 1 by P. AUSTER
2016: 99 read, longest was 799 pages – Middlemarch by G. ELIOT
2015: 74 read, longest was 864 pages – The Prime Minister by A. TROLLOPE
2014: 60 read, longest was 850 pages – Can You Forgive Her? by A. TROLLOPE
2013: 109 read, longest was 1,474 pages – A Suitable Boy by V. SETH
2012: 62 read, longest was 536 pages – The Name of the Rose by U. ECO
2011: 88 read, longest was 1,276 pages – The Count of Monte Christo by A. DUMAS
2010: 62 read, longest was 1,358 pages – War and Peace by L. TOLSTOY
2009: 110 read, longest was 797 pages – The Portrait of a Lady by H. JAMES
2008: 58 read, longest was 880 pages – The Last Chronicle of Barset by A. TROLLOPE
2007: 69 read, longest was 738 pages – I am Charlotte Simmons by T. WOLFE
2006: 76 read, longest was 648 pages – The Three Clerks by A. TROLLOPE
2005: 57 read, longest was 659 pages – The Small House at Allington by A. TROLLOPE
2004: 51 read, longest was 629 pages – The Secret History by D. TARTT
2003: 39 read, longest was 850 pages – Can You Forgive Her? by A. TROLLOPE
2002: 31 read, longest was 859 pages – An American Tragedy by T. DREISER
2001: 34 read, longest was 495 pages – The Sea, the Sea by I. MURDOCH
2000: 33 read, longest was 654 pages – Sons and Lovers by D.H. LAWRENCE
1999: 27 read, longest was 704 pages – A Man in Full by T. WOLFE
1998: 25 read, longest was 897 pages – I Know This Much Is True by W. LAMB
1997: 31  read, longest was 960 pages – Anna Karenina by L. TOLSTOY
1996: 14 read, longest was 582 pages – Elmer Gantry by S. LEWIS
1995: 20 read, longest was 637 pages – A Prayer for Owen Meany by J. IRVING

One thing that is interesting about this list is that some big books like The Woman in White and The Three Musketeers didn’t make the cut because there were other bigger books those years.

I didn’t bother with the winners from 1993 and 1994 because they didn’t even go above 400 pages.

From the 1,000+ category I think I enjoyed The Count of Monte Christo the most.

The one I am least likely to read again (meaning, you couldn’t pay me to read it again): Sons and Lovers

The one I think I may have enjoyed the most: 4 3 2 1

6 thoughts on “Chunksters through the years

  1. dspiccolina October 1, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    I didn’t even know the stats on Goodreads existed. I’ve just checked mine out and they aren’t nearly as impressive as yours, although I own many a chunkster. You have a great list here and I have 4 3 2 1 on my bedside table so perhaps that will have to be read before the year ends! I love your blog, Thomas, although this is my first comment. I hope you’re well and enjoyed the Reader’s Retreat.


  2. Simon T October 4, 2018 / 5:43 am

    I love this! What a fun post – and what impressively long books. I don’t keep an online list of what I’ve read (it’s all handwritten) so don’t know the answer for mine, but I can guarantee that quite a few years wouldn’t cross the 500pp mark.


  3. Alanna October 5, 2018 / 11:53 am

    The longest book I’ve read this year so far is actually Anathem. Seven months later and I still don’t know what to think of it, it’s frequently kind of bizarre and confusing.


  4. abailliekaras January 8, 2019 / 6:57 am

    I don’t keep track but in recent years I’ve inadvertently read three big books that ‘I’ve been meaning to read’ – war and peace, infinite jest and The Odyssey . Am considering what I should tackle for 2019. Perhaps Iris Murdoch? Or Dumas?


    • Thomas January 10, 2019 / 11:14 pm

      Murdoch can be long but nothing to compare to W&P or Dumas. If you want a bunch of intellectuals f’ing around with each other go for Murdoch. If you want page turning thrills go for Dumas. I think I like The Three Musketeers better than The Count of Montecristo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • abailliekaras January 11, 2019 / 2:28 am

        Ha ha, love that description of Murdoch … will have to think about which one to attack!


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