copy of infinite jest with many notes

11 Brilliant Novels That Are Longer Than 1,000 Pages

In the age of 140 characters or less, there is still something to be said for reading a novel that is truly, deeply, maddeningly long. And if you think 1,000+ pages isn’t that much, you’re probably living on another plane of existence and should not stoop to the level of mere mortals such as ourselves. Happy reading. 


  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

          Page count: 1,273


war and peace cover

Image Courtesy of Penguin Random House


Early 19th century Russia? Check. Napoleonic aggression? Check. Messy families and passionate romance? Check! If you’re ready for it, War and Peace will give you the ride of your life through the expanse of history and the overbearing weight of humanity.


  1. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

          Page count: 1,088


infinte jest cover

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


Most people would not consider the exploits of a tennis-playing dysfunctional family worthy of 1,088 pages, but most people aren’t the late great David Foster Wallace. Like other authors on this list, Wallace is quite fond of footnotes. Hey, life in the margins doesn’t have to be gloomy!


  1. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

         Page count: 1,125


dance with dragons cover

Image Courtesy of Best Dragons 2017


The fifth and latest book in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Dance With Dragons is also the longest by far. You may want to read the first four for proper context.


  1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

         Page count: 1,463


les miserables cover

Image Courtesy of Page Pulp


Ah, the glory days of 1862, when novelists weren’t constrained by little things like “plot” or “editing” when crafting their masterpieces. Much like Tolstoy, Hugo devotes space not only to the many storylines of his downtrodden characters, but to essays deconstructing the nature of heady topics like poverty and the French political system.


  1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

         Page count: 1,023


don quixote cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Widely regarded as the father of the modern novel, Cervantes does not aim for brevity in this tragicomic tale of a gallant fool’s effort to repair the world one menacing windmill at a time.


  1. The Stand by Stephen King                                                                                                        Page count: 1,153


the stand cover

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia


The collapse of human civilization may be a bummer, but reading about it doesn’t have to be. With 99% of humanity gone, the traumatized survivors must limp on in the shadow of unspeakable evil. Reading 1,153 pages suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all, doesn’t it?


  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susannah Clarke

          Page count: 1,006


jonathan strange cover

Image Courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing


While the Russian aristocrats in War and Peace sip champagne and fall in love to the tune of Napoleon’s invasion, their counterparts in Great Britain prepare to fight the French menace with actual, honest-to-God magic. Here’s hoping no one takes it too far…


  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

          Page count: 1,168


atlas shrugged cover

Image Courtesy of Goodreads


Love her or hate her, Rand made a lasting impact with this epic tale of ambition, wasted potential, and trains. Gotta love those trains.


     9. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

         Page count: 1,474


a suitable boy cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Set in newly independent India, A Suitable Boy follows a young girl and her mother as they attempt to see their very own marriage plot through amid the deep loves and tragedies of a handful of ordinary families trying to make their name in the brave new country.


  1. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

          Page count: 1,139


cryptonomicon cover

Image Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers 


Mathematician Alan Turing makes an appearance in this whirlwind tour through WWII secrets and the enticing world of code breakers. Wars, it seems, can always start, but they almost never truly end.


  1. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

Page count: 1,216


tale of genji cover

Image Courtesy of OverDrive


Considered by some to be the first novel ever written, The Tale of Genji portrays the soap opera-like existence of the Japanese aristocrats in the 11th century. Shikibu herself was a Japanese aristocrat in the 11th century, so you know it’s legit.


Featured image courtesy of Book Patrol.