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Looking For Recommendations > The most EPIC book you've ever read?

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message 1: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) LOL! Why's everybody always picking on Little Women? That's one of my all time favorite stories!

Anywho! The first book that popped into my head when I saw the thread title was "Lord of the Rings". But here are other Becky Epics because I can't choose just one:

The Stand
The Count of Monte Cristo - UNABRIDGED
Gone With the Wind
I Know This Much Is True
The Gun Seller (Ok, I just really loved this book, so... *shrug*)

message 2: by Carol (last edited Feb 21, 2010 09:02AM) (new)

Carol Les MIserables-Victor Hugo
The Count Of Monte Christo-Alexander Dumas
War and Peace-Leo Tolstoy
The Source-James Michener

This is a few right from the top of my head.

message 3: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (missfryer) | 453 comments I'm going to go with chicky-stuff....

BELOVED -- Morrison

message 4: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Feb 21, 2010 11:01AM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Mine would be -

Hawaii: A Novel by James A. Michener(Or Centennial,Alaska,The Covenant,Space
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (I've heard the best one is the Penguin Classics Unabridged translation)
Shogun by James Clavell
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Becky - Little Women is one of my all time faves, too, LOL.

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1000 comments I agree with Lyn in regards to The Pillars of the Earth. Awesome book.

message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol Tj you might want to start with Shogun. It is truly an awesome book about the Japanese culture.

message 7: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) TJ, The Count of Monte Cristo is ANYTHING but dry. I love reading classics. And Dumas is amazing. Definitely get the unabridged Penguin edition if you can, it's wonderful. I read all 1276 pages in 9 days. It was THAT good.

I can't say that I agree with Beloved, though. I detested that book. It was an effort in frustration for me to understand what was actually going on. That was probably the point, being magical realism and all, but I think that stories have much more power when people can actually understand them without an interpreter. *shrug* To each their own. :)

message 8: by Emma (new)

Emma Audsley (emmaaudsley) | 10 comments The Stand is an absolutely fantastic read!

message 9: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10109 comments Mod
Cant say enough about Count of Monte Cristo!!!

I also have to suggest:
Verne's Mysterious Island
McCarthy's The Road
Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov
Saramago's Blindness

message 10: by Jill (last edited Feb 21, 2010 08:04PM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 329 comments Imajica by Clive Barker

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez (in my whole life, I've never had the ending of a book affect me as much as this one did)

Little, Big by John Crowley (I cannot stress this enough: READ THIS BOOK! Especially if you are a fan of epics that span several generations, are exquisitely written, and delve deeply into the world of fairy tales)

message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Jill wrote: "Imajica by Clive Barker"

Really? I have this one on my shelf, given to me by a friend. I may have to move it up the list.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) The thing I hate about these threads is that I always end up adding books to my TBR. I had never heard of Little, Big, but I have now added it.

Lori - I REALLY want to read Blindness, I keep putting it at the top of my TBR, but then things happen and I don't get to it.

Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader) (listobsessed) | 317 comments Like Becky when I saw 'EPIC' I thought Lord of the Rings

The Godfather by Mario Puzo is another big one for me
Also Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters trilogy starting with Daughter of the Forest though thats perhaps slightly more female orientated

Lori and Lyn - I just borrowed Blindness from the library today!

message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (lmorris) | 91 comments I just finished the Count of Monte Cristo (unabridged) and it was fantastic! Definately not dry. I would add my vote to that one.

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments I took a look at your shelves and I think you'd like Shogun.

message 16: by Bridgit (new)

Bridgit | 475 comments I definitely agree with most of the ones from above (LOTR, GWTW, PotE). I'd add to that The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness
Atlas Shrugged
House of Leaves

message 17: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I would like to point out that it's not just COMC that isn't dry, there are a ton of classics that are amazing stories that make me forget myself in them.

Oh, I would also recommend the Complete Hitchhiker's Guide series. Douglas Adams is hilarious and brilliant. :)

message 18: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Feb 22, 2010 10:04AM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) TJ - I totally second what Becky said about many classics not being dry. Also, as Fiona said, the translation can make all the difference. I have read two different translations of a couple of classics, and sometimes a bad translation can make it dry, confusing, boring, etc. I have heard that the Penguin translation of CoMC is the best, and just got a copy to read myself.

Becky - you read it in 9 days - I am impressed. I'm hoping that it will do the same for me. The last time I read it, years ago, it took me quite a while, but I was a different reader then.

I have the first book of The Sevenwater Trilogy on my TBR. Hope to get to it soon.

TJ - hope you like Shogun. It is phenominal!

message 19: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Lyn, I highly recommend the Penguin unabridged edition. It is fantastic. :D

message 20: by Dan (new)

Dan (theancientreader) The Brothers K by David James Duncan. Don't let anyone tell you it's "about" baseball. Baseball is just the context for a great story about the growing pains of boys, families, and nations.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Becky - That's the one I just bought. In fact, I am sitting here typing with it sitting right next to me. I can't wait to start it. I have heard such great things about it, and I enjoyed the one that I read years ago (not sure which translation that was)

message 22: by Tess (new)

Tess (tessparker) Dan wrote: "The Brothers K by David James Duncan. Don't let anyone tell you it's "about" baseball. Baseball is just the context for a great story about the growing pains of boys, ..."

I agree Dan. Great story and one of my favorite books of all time. I'd also like to suggest John Barth's "The Sot Weed Factor" which I consider a work of sheer genius.

message 23: by El (new)

El Don Quixote is another great epic that I would recommend, and hope its "classic" status (and size - it's a whopper!) wouldn't turn you off from ever reading it. :)

I have not read Shogun myself, though strangely enough I almost picked it up immediately after finishing Don Quixote. I decided at the time that two very similarly sized novels back-to-back was not the best idea, and sadly I've not gone back to the idea of reading the Clavell. Maybe one day soon. This thread is inspiring me to consider it again anyway.

message 24: by El (new)

El TJ wrote: "Fiona: I noticed that with my Dante's Inferno. It was... difficult to follow, to say the least.

TJ, do you remember which translation you read of the Inferno? I'm a huge Dante fan, but do agree translations make a big difference with his work - the first time I read Dante it was the The Inferno (John Ciardi translation), and I think by far it's the best and probably the most accessible. That's the version we read in my World Classics class in high school and it seems most of the students appreciated it. I mention that because speaking "epic", The Divine Comedy certainly fits the bill - Ciardi's done translations for all three books so at some point I suggest checking that out. :)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) El - I have wanted to read Don Quixote for a while. Do you know which translation of it is supposed to be the best?

message 26: by El (new)

El Lyn M - not sure which is considered the "best", but I read the Signet Classic paperback version: Don Quixote. It worked well enough for me, but again I'm not sure if there's an even better translation. I worked at a used bookstore at the time, and we were able to borrow the merchandise. Since I had a lengthy bus ride to and from work each day, and the paperback came into the store, it was perfect for the bus commute. Other coworkers thought it was outrageous I would read such a long book (1,000+ pages) in paperback, but that's how I roll sometimes.

message 27: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings definitely comes to mind for me =) But I also thought the following books were also pretty epic in scope:

- Tolstoy's War and Peace
- Folett's The Pillars of the Earth
- Clavell's Shogun
- Rutherfurd's Russka: The Novel of Russia
- Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude

message 28: by El (new)

El TJ: The Henry Francis Cary translation is from the early 1800s according to Wikipedia, so it might be a little dry. I've not read his translation myself, so I can't say with 100% certainty, but that's my theory. The Ciardi is from 1954, so it's more geared towards modern readers. Sorry, I push Ciardi any chance I can get. Anyone else here interested in reading Dante should look into this translation as well. :) I hate for Dante to go unread.

While I'm at it, I agree with everyone else about Count of the Monte Cristo. It's full of action, so I don't remember much of the story dragging.

message 29: by Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader) (last edited Feb 22, 2010 10:57PM) (new)

Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader) (listobsessed) | 317 comments Tj - I'm really glad you enjoyed Daughter of the Forest/Son of the Shadows! Even though I said it was possibly more female orientated I don't think it has to be at all. I just wasn't sure of your tastes (probably should check out your shelves as suggested!) An amazing story is an amazing story after all :)

Fiona - There is a fourth sevenwaters novel (or the first in a new sevenwaters trilogy) called Heir to Sevenwaters. When I read it I was instantly back in that world. It had the same feel as the original trilogy even though she had written so many other series in between. Personally I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the others. There is also a sevenwaters short story being published later in the year in the anthology 'Australian Legends of Fantasy' called 'Twixt Firelight and Water'. The story apparently covers everything that happened in the trilogy and more which I can't quite imagine!

message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol Good books all. And you are so welcome. (manically laughing)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Nobody ever said we were good influences. I think the term is "enabler". OR is it just "addict" for all of us! Enjoy the books.

message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol I bought six the other day(I have no will power)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I brought seven home from the library today.

message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol chortle ,snicker, ROFL

message 35: by Liz (new)

Liz When I saw epic I first thought LotR, the entire Harry Potter series and The Chronicles of Narnia. For me a definite 100/100 book is Matilda. Although it is disturbing in some ways as a child it mostly made me laugh.

message 36: by Angelica (new)

Angelica (beeboxx) | 35 comments Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Poems count, in my mind, and that's the epitome of epic for me.

message 37: by Clare (new)

Clare Agree with a lot of these. Paradise Lost is pretty epic the angels of heaven and the rebels in Hell do throw mountains at each other. I haven't got to Paradise Regained yet have heard it's just not as good without Satan around :)

message 38: by Angelica (new)

Angelica (beeboxx) | 35 comments You heard right, lol, but it's still pretty awesome. Makes me wish I could write like that! And inspires me to be a better writer, too.

message 39: by El (new)

El I also suggest The Odyssey and The Iliad as far as "epics" go as well. Maybe not right now with your 21000+ pages to read, but keep it in the back of your mind. :)

message 40: by Clare (new)

Clare TJ, surprisingly Milton's language is pretty easy to follow, there are some old English terms thrown in there but a good glossary would help. Have fun with the Asian and French cultures until then :)

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