Books Over 1,000 Pages
Perhaps it's the unspoken admiration and appreciation for the fact that these books took authors sometimes decades to complete, or maybe it's the weight of all those words in my hands, but I have a particular love for books over 1,000 pages. This love is something that, unfortunately, not many outside the reading realm quite understand. For most, the sight of a book that could do potentially serious harm if thrown or could possibly be used as a piece of exercise equipment is daunting and, frankly, unnecessary for their precious time better spent playing video games or perhaps just going outside.
For those out there who share a certain affection for those hefty books over 1,000 pages, I have created a list of ten popular novels within this category, some of which you may or may not have heard of. Technically, some parts of this list are actually a series of books with over 1,000 pages each and, yes, there are a few that are just short of that 1,000 mark, but, they are all worth taking a look at for those looking to add to that reading list or are going through withdrawals after finishing that last 1,000-page novel.
1. The Lord of the Rings
The very first book over 1,000 pages that I read was J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings. I was in sixth grade and I spent hours not only reading it but also looking up every word I didn't understand or asking the teacher about them whenever she was available. According to Amazon, it is about 1,216 pages long, which seems totally inaccurate, considering my copies of each book in the series have about that many pages each, if I remember correctly.
The Lord of the Rings is made up of three books: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. It's obviously a long story but the very basic premise is that there is a ring that must be destroyed to save Middle Earth and its inhabitants. The one entrusted to do this is the most unlikely creature in the world, a hobbit named Frodo Baggins. He and eight others are set on a quest that tears them apart as they strive to achieve what seems to be impossible.
This book has a very slow pace and Tolkien is very detail oriented so I have heard many call it boring as they put it down in disgust. Personally, this is one of my all-time favorites and I have read it more times than I can remember since those years ago in elementary school. I highly recommend it, not only if you are one who loves books over 1,000 pages, but also for the more patient readers out there who love books within this genre.
2. A Song of Ice and Fire
Yet another fantasy series, the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin is the inspiration for this list as I have finished A Dance of Dragons and long for another book over 1,000 pages to read. Martin's series, like Tolkien's, is both long and very difficult to summarize in just a mere sentence or two. Again, Amazon's page count of 3264 is a little off, considering each of my copies have about 1,200 pages each.
The best and worst part about this series is that it still isn't finished, so there is more to come and yet there is also lots of waiting before it gets here. Basically, the books are about different families within the Seven Kingdoms and the drama, death, and conflict that comes with war and greed. The HBO show is fantastic, but, believe me when I say that, of course, the books are better.
If you don't have problems keeping track of many characters and story lines at once, this may be the series for you. If you are a Tolkien fan, I have heard of Mr. Martin as being referred to as the "American Tolkien."
Clive Barker's Imajica is a book that I have yet to read but has been recommended so many times that it is on the top of my to-read list. According to Amazon, it is a little under 1,000 pages long at 896 pages, but, we already have established how trustworthy that estimate is. Perhaps it is more, maybe even less. Unfortunately, I do not have my own copy yet, although I will soon.
Based on a series of dreams, Barker frantically put together this novel, working 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week, for 14 months. Imajica is yet another novel that seems to be difficult to summarize. It is set in a futuristic world where Earth is part of five connected worlds, or Dominions, that make up Imajica. The Unbeheld, Hapexamendios, is a god-like figure that oversees these worlds. Gentle, Judith, and Pie 'oh' pah travel through the Dominions and uncover crimes and betrayals, eventually leading them to a revelation that changes reality forever.
Shōgun by James Clavell is the first novel within a series called The Asian Saga and, according to Amazon, it has a total of 1,008 pages. This is a historical fiction about the rise of Toranaga to Shogunate in 17th-century Japan, as seen through the eyes of an English sea captain, John Blackthorne.
Shōgun begins as Blackthorne is shipwrecked and taken captive by samurai locals, alongside his crew of the Erasmus. The captain and his men are then put on trial as pirates, which they lose. Their lives are saved only by the desire of these Japanese locals to keep them as a way to learn more about the Europeans. In order to keep his crew alive, Blackthorne must live within a household peacefully, while the rest of the men remain imprisoned.
Alongside this basic plot line within Clavell's novels, there is love and political intrigue surrounding Blackthorne as he becomes more accustomed to the new life he has been thrown into. This novel's early beginnings came from a simple sentence written by James Clavell's daughter, stating "in 1600, an Englishman went to Japan and became a samurai." Since its publication in 1975, it has sold millions of copies and continues to be popular amongst many readers today.
5. Infinite Jest
Amazon lists David Foster Wallace's work at 1,104 pages. Published in 1996, Infinite Jest is a semi-parodic novel about North America, revolving around a missing master copy of a film cartridge that shares the same title. The film is so amazingly amusing that its viewers lose all interest in anything else in life and eventually die because of its awesome power. The creator himself commits suicide by microwave just after producing it.
Now the U.S. Office of Unspecified Services (U.S.O.U.S.) seeks to find this master copy and destroy it before it decimates the United States. Meanwhile, Joell and Hal seek treatment for substance abuse at the Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House, where Marathe visits in pursuit of a lead on that copy of Infinite Jest, bringing these characters and plots together.
This story not only explores screwed-up families, but also the pursuit of happiness in America. It addresses a concern over the domination of entertainment in our lives and how it affects our connection with other people. Both humorous and philosophical in nature, Infinite Jest was published when Wallace was 33 years old.
6. Atlas Shrugged
With about 1,200 pages, according to Amazon, Atlas Shrugged is another lengthy novel that deserves a spot on your next reading list. First published in 1957, this classic by Ayn Rand was her fourth, last, and longest novel. With touches of romance, mystery, science fiction, and Rand's most extensive statement on Objectivism, it is considered her greatest work by many of her adoring fans.
This is another 1000 page book that explores the United States, this time as a dystopian society where its most productive citizens refuse to be exploited with increased taxes and government regulations so they close down vital industries and disappear. Led by John Galt, these characters wish to show society that without the profit motive, society will collapse, evoking the imagery of what would happen if Atlas stopped holding up the world.
Atlas Shrugged explores many philosophical themes, including "the role of man's mind in existence," as well as advocacy for reason, individualism, and capitalism. It received many negative reviews in its initial publication but it has continued to be a popular read with consistent sales over the decades.
7. War and Peace
According to Amazon, Leo Tolstoy's classic novel is about 1,296 pages long. Published in 1869, War and Peace is considered an important piece of world literature and Tolstoy's finest literary achievement, along with Anna Karenina. Tolstoy said of his work that it is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle."
War and Peace is made up of the perspectives of five Russian families on the invasion of the French into Russia. It provides detailed insight into the effects of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society with Tolstoy's extensive historical research incorporated throughout.
Tolstoy regarded Anna Karenina as a novel and hesitated to provide the same label for War and Peace. However, his style in this particular work brought a new consciousness to the novel. He was a master at weaving the story over and within events with a kind of visual detail that was new to novel-writing at the time. Although he was not the only one to use this kind of style, this work is a great example of it and proves that Tolstoy was a master.
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Another book just short of 1,000 pages is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. According to Amazon, it is a mere 832 pages that has been adapted into computer games, additional books, movies, and television series since its initial publication in 1978. Furthermore, it is a book of many nicknames, including "H2G2," "HG2G," "HHGTTG," "The Hitchhiker's Guide," "Hitchhiker's," and simply "The Guide." If that wasn't enough confusion, it has been rewritten and adapted so many times it's pretty difficult to find a clear summary.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, Ford Perfect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, and Marvin the Paranoid Android. It is a comic science fiction series that is based on a radio series of the same name and written in the form of an encyclopedia as a fictional guidebook for hitchhikers. Technically, each book is not over 1000 pages or even close to it, but, put together into one volume, they make up that 832 Amazon has them listed at, which is why it was able to sneak its way onto this list.
9. Gone With the Wind
Amazon lists Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone With the Wind, at just under 1,000 pages with 960 pages. It was written while Mitchell recovered from a car accident ten years before its publication as a way for the author to pass the time while she healed. First published in 1936, there are lasting debates on whether this novel is a historical romance or just a historical novel.
Gone With the Wind is set in Clayton County and Atlanta in Georgia during the Civil War. Mitchell's novel focuses on Scarlette O'Hara, a spoiled plantation owner's daughter, as she does whatever she can to stay out of poverty. Full of vivid descriptions of the south, character backgrounds, and love triangles, this is a classic that is just as worth reading as it is watching the infamous Hollywood film version.
At 1,168 pages, according once again to Amazon, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon is yet another book over 1,000 pages worth taking a look at. Stephenson's book was published in 1999 and follows two groups of people in two different time periods in alternating chapters throughout.
One group is in the World War II era. This group is made up of Allied code-breakers affiliated with the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park and disillusioned Axis military figures. The second group is in the late nineties and is made up of the descendants of the first group that are using cryptologic, telecom and computer technology to build an underground data haven.
For those who love a little history, complication, and technology, this may be the book for you. Stephenson is known for being a very detailed writer and this novel is also known for being an information overload. However, the reviews praise it as fascinating with characters worth reading and a storyline that will keep you hooked.
As you can see, books close to or over 1,000 pages come in all different genres and writing styles. There are many more hefty books out there that are worth reading. Feel free to list your own suggestions that aren't already here in the comments below!
© 2013 Lisa
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on March 10, 2019:
I have read several of the books on your list and they are very good reading. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon has about 7 of its books at 1000 pages or more. It is a time travel love story of Claire, from 20th century England and Jamie from 1700’s Scotland. I also like Iberia, the author escapes me at the moment, that gives the interesting story of the birth and history of the Iberian peninsula. A must read for anyone traveling to Spain. And, of course Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes Saavedra, is also a must read.
Rachel Nichols on February 21, 2017:
I'm surprised you didn't mention Victor Hugo's masterpiece Les Miserables. It's about 1400 pages.
Joey Jones on December 15, 2016:
I've read and loved several on your list. I'd recommend, along with others above, Steven King's 'The Stand' and some of James Michener's books. One noticeable absence is 'Dune' by Frank Herbert. The basic story stretched into 8 volumes (6 by Frank and the last two by his son after Frank's death, from outlines made by his father). When one tosses in the ancilliar volumes written by his son focused on back story, etc, this entire series would have to reach into the 2K page range - probably more.
While 'Dune' is classivied as sci-fi, it encompasses politics, religion, spiritual mysticism, warfare, sociology, philosophy, psychology, ecology, and much more. While it was not a page turner for me, it always drew me in and kept me going. I'd place it right beside LOTR and 'Chronicles of Narnia' for imagination, story telling, and depth of thought. If you liked any of the books of the list above, give 'Dune' a look. I think you'll enjoy it.
rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on March 19, 2015:
I love your list! I've read quite a few of these books and loved the experience. Reading a long book is like finding a forever friend. Even as the book comes to an end, I feel like the story and characters are part of my journey through life. A long, good book generally is a story with a lot of stories within. It's an enriching experience to be part of their adventures. Another one I would add to the list is The Stone and the Flute by Hans Bemmann. If you like LOTR, you will love this book! It is pure reading pleasure, one of my top favorites.
Snakesmum on August 29, 2014:
Have only read three of these books, and haven't heard of a couple of them. I admit to being an impatient person, who prefers shorter books though I will read the longer ones if they draw me in.
BarbaraCasey on August 28, 2014:
Great selections... I've read quite a few of them. James Michener has a few in the 1000 page range, too. I'm with you on longer books... if they draw me in to the story, I don't want them ever to finish.
AJ Long from Pennsylvania on August 15, 2014:
LisaKoski enjoyed reading your descriptive list. I haven't gotten to half of the books on your list. Might need to bump them up! :o)
Kara Skinner from Maine on July 31, 2014:
This is a great hub! I know about quite a few of these but there are some like "Infinite Jest" that I haven't. I'm afraid I haven't read any of them because it's hard for me to commit to thick books even though I do like to read them (The Lord of the Rings has been on my reading list for two years). A couple of my favorite 1000+ page books are "London" by Edward Rutherford and "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon.
JR from California on June 15, 2014:
Great idea for a hub! And over 1000 pages is quite a challenge itself just for one book, let alone everything on your list! Thanks for the suggestions!
Amanda from Michigan, United States on May 09, 2014:
This was a great list with a mix of books I've heard of and mean to read with books I'll have to check out because they've never crossed my radar.
The only book I've read over 1000 pages is Stephen King's The Stand Uncut.
UndercoverAgent19 on February 01, 2014:
This was a great hub to read. I'm definitely adding several of these books to my To-Read list.
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 14, 2013:
Your hub title caught my attention. What a neat idea for a hub! The only one I've read is Gone with the Wind, twice, the first time in elementary school. I don't know if I could get through a long one now. With my schedule going in all directions, I don't think my attention span would handle it. LOL. Great hub!
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on June 03, 2013:
The most peculiar thing about books over 1000 pages is that those of us that read them don't want them to end. I agree with most of your selections here, particularly War and Peace, which gave me an endearing affection for the clumsy but loveable oaf Pierre Bezukhov and the Rostov family, so much so that I felt a sense of loss at the end of the book because it was over. Cryptonomicon was an awesome read that I stumbled upon by accident at a Friends of the Library sell. I think that there are only two on this list that I have not read and loved, and seeing that you have impeccable taste I am going to look for them now.
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on May 31, 2013:
Fascinating read, Lisa. These are great suggestions. I have only read a few and have put two, Imajica and Atlas Shrugged on my 'next to read list.' Thank you for your suggestions on these and I do like a long, long book from time to time.