Long books are the bane of my life. The size of a book can instanty wither my most sincere intention to read it. All through my training in literature I have carefully sidestepped triple-decker Victorian behemoths, maintained a respectful distance from the likes of Joyce and Dostoevsky, with the result that the longest single-volume books I’ve read (page-wise) are all anthologies, poetry or short story collections, complete or selected works of certain authors and things like that. On the other hand I could write about several serieses, if you’re asking for the longest narratives occurring in the same universe and (usually) written by the same author. It’s the longest single work of fiction or non-fiction that puts me in trouble. Therefore, although this will not feature in any longest-books list in the world, I must mention The Godfather.
Once again, this selection is partially because this is a book I really want to write about. A book that I read nearly ten years ago, in middle school and much before watching the films, back when it had felt too shocking and irresistible to lose interest in before finishing. I wouldn’t have remembered it was so long ago if the book hadn’t come up in a conversation with R sometime back, for I had (rather indiscreetly) proceeded to impose it upon her at the tender age of eleven or twelve. I followed up The Godfather with Omerta which came in the same volume. I haven’t read The Sicilian, nor any of the non-Puzo sequels. I don’t think I’ve ever gone back to the novel either, not when I watched the films, not when I was heavily reminded of it while reading Men of Tomorrow in the first year of college. Maybe if I read it again I’ll find it less impressive. Maybe I will read it one of these days. But then I am perfectly content with the way it is right now inside my head.