Do You Have Some Suggestions For A Really Great Long Novel I Can Take On A Trip With Me?

I am sniffing around for something new to read, meaning I would prefer not to take something I have read before. I will be gone for three weeks, but I read like a mad woman, and will especially have plenty of time to sit in the sun and read, as I am going to see my father in the Middle East, and his garden is walled and private and perfect for naps and books.

I would like something long, and when I say long I mean approximately 1000 pages. I am taking Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth," so I figure I will have had enough of the whole Middle Ages thing. And I've already read "Sarum," which everyone I talk to has recommended.

So, I would like suggestions which fit these criteria (yes, I know I am being quite picky):


--Interesting, a page-turner

--Not another book about the Middle Ages in England, please

--Escapist, and preferrably not historical

--I dislike romances, or thrillers with romantic elements, as well as science fiction and fantasy

--My ideal book would be a mystery or a thriller--if it's one of those, then an historical setting is fine, as long as there's blood and intrigue

--It's gotta be available in paperback--I would prefer mass market (pocket sized), but will take trade (large sized)--I just don't have room for a hardback

Any ideas at all?

Please keep in mind that I am a grown woman, not terribly sentimental, and think Clive Cussler and Nelson Demille are boooring.

If you know of any volumes where several books in a series have been combined, that would be fine, too. I have read two Mickey Spillane books, each of which contained three of the Mike Hammer novels.

Other than all those restrictions, I'd love to hear your suggestions.




Horror is great, too. I forgot to mention that. I like things that go bump in the night.

Update 2:


Thanks for the recommendation on the Stackhouse novels. I understand they are very good, but people keep telling me to wait to read them because I am watching HBO's "True Blood," and I want to be surprised as it unfolds. I will definitely read them after the series is over with!

Update 3:

**Fat Dragon and Txthuunder**

Thanks for the suggestions. Ironically, at least one of those, probably "Shogun," is going to be a book club read in my book club later this year, in the fall, so I am waiting on it. One of my friends in book club is very into novels about China, and we've already agreed that if the club reads "Shogun", we're going to read "Three Kingdoms" together so we can discuss it between ourselves. So, saving those for the fall :) Thanks for the thought you put into your suggestions. It's kind of crazy that they were already on my radar.

Update 4:

**Porcupine! and Guinness**

Between the two of you, you suggested five titles by Russians (yes, Ayn Rand was Russian), and I have read all of them--most of them more than once.

Thank you for your kind suggestions!

Update 5:


**Captain, Chris, and Dan'l:**

Thank you for suggesting such interesting titles--I've gone online and researched them, and while they won't be going with me, they are on my reading list.

**Beatle and Shades**

I love Mr. King. Everything you've suggested would be a re-read, and a recent one at that, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only fan of his out there--he's *huge* in my collection.


I love that you turned me on to a book I otherwise would not have found--that one is on my reading list, but it's highlighted, which means "Read Soon"!


Thank you for the suggestions--they all look like good reads. I was actually a bit more interested in the second part of your answer. I will be contacting you via the Y!A email system shortly, and you'll know what I mean :)


12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Have you read Bleak House by Dickens? I enjoyed that on vacation once :-)

    Unfortunately, I'm not a big mystery/ thriller fan... preferring historical fiction mostly.

    Oh, I know... Les Miserables. It was really good. Or Moby Dick. Take Moby Dick... it'll make your three weeks seem like six! (the amount of time it took me to read it ;-D)

    Srsly... I'll try to think of something that fits your criteria more... but I don't know...

    **I'm back**

    Thinking about things that go bump in the night... maybe you've already read a bunch of Steven King, but my favorites are The Stand, The Shining, and The Dead Zone. Salem's Lot is also excellent. Cujo and Pet Semetery were pretty good, and Christine so-so. (I went through a LONG Steven King phase... sorta lost track of him after "It".)

    Oh, and Ken Follet... I *really enjoyed The Pillars of the Earth. His The Key to Rebecca and Eye of the Needle are both excellent.

    One more fave author: Frederick Forsyth. The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File were really good.

    All should be available on paperback, but I doubt there are any 'combined' novels. Oh, and Follet and Forsyth's books would be considered espionage.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • If you're willing to give in on the historical element, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a great read, and you wouldn't have to bring any more books - you'd get 3 weeks out of it easily, probably only finish half of it before you came home. It's not exactly along the lines of what you appear to read on a regular basis, but it's a great novel, and has the added benefit of helping you to encounter another culture through literature. The translation I recommend is by Moss Roberts, and it's available in mass-market paperback edition (4 volumes) from Foreign Languages Press.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Try Paul Scott, _The Jewel in the Crown_. If you love that one, then go for the rest of the Raj Quartet: The Day of the Scorpion, the Towers of Silence and The Division of the Spoils.

    The setting is India, during and just after World War II, and explores the relation of the British colonial powers, civil and military, and their increasingly difficult relations with their putative subjects.

    Scott doesn't shy away from difficult territory, but his characters are painted so vividly that the story carries one along through all of it, eager to see how it comes out. I recommend these books highly.

    The Jewel in the Crown is a stand-alone. The other three books follow a different family, although the original tale is alluded to in many ways throughout.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I would like to forward the suggestion of James Clavell's Shogun. I think it is like 1200 pages in paperback. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was disappointed when it ended, as I had to leave that world. I think there is a bit of everything you are looking for in there. Not a heavy mystery element but plenty of intrigue and a touch of romance but not enough to make you think of daytime soaps.

    Then if you like that and want to read more like it, James Clavell also wrote Gaijin. Not as remarkable as Shogun but a great read. Both books I feel are on the scale of Pillars of the Earth.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Stephen King has rewrote, updated, and added material to "The Stand" which was originally around 800 pages but this new version is about 1200 pages and sounds like the perfect book for you!

    It's new title is: "The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut".

    You could also read "It" or his "The Dark Tower" series (7 books) to really keep you busy.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    EDIT:Oh crap,I didn't notice your 1000 pages criteria...In any case,if you settle for more than one,that could be one suggestion:P

    Hmmm...I'd go for a classic,although you've probably read most...I'd recommend Gogol's Dead Souls.

    It's a story about a con man and his victims.

    It's not VERY long(the paperback edition I've got is about 250 pages but the characters are kind of small).It's mysterious,dark,and very well written(like most of those 19th century novels).I think it fits most of your criteria.I found it to be very interesting,but it's not particularly 'light' to read,you have to be a bit focused-but it absorbed me.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I really like the Sookie Stackhouse novels. They are about three hundred pages long but if you take like 4 you should be set. They go really fast and the are really good. The first book is called Dead until Dark. They are a modern day vampire mystery novels. I highly recommend them.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    If you have not read these yet, you simply MUST:

    The Fountainhead

    Atlas Shrugged both by Ayn Rand

    or, even better yet...

    Crime & Punishment or

    The Brothers Karamazov both by Dostoevsky

    These books are intelligently written, intriguing, SUPERB classics. My favorite of the four is Crime & Punishment

    Have a good trip and make the reading really worth while...while you're at it!

    Source(s): personal experience
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Now edited for your consideration, here are some suggestions to help you enjoy your vacation even more while engrossed on a mind journey in a sunny & private garden;

    Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

    592 pages

    (It was a page turner for me as was the sequel - see below)


    Followed by The Prodigal Daughter also by Jeffery Archer

    400 pages

    (I was hooked - and it was for me, a reading trip)

    If you haven't already read it:

    Captains and The Kings by Taylor Caldwell

    816 pages

    (I was taken with this book. Thoughts of it still ruminate through my mind. In other words, an engrossing read which leaves an imprint.)

    Caldwell herself is an artist of captivating fiction mixed with a talent for weaving a great story:

    "As a writer Caldwell was praised for her intricately plotted and suspenseful stories, which depicted family tensions and the development of the U.S. from an agrarian society into the leading industrial state of the world. Caldwell's heroes are self-made men of pronounced ethnic background, such as the German immigrants in The Strong City (1942) and The Balance Wheel (1951). Her themes are ethnic, religious and personal intolerance (The Wide House, 1945), the failure of parental discipline (Let Love Come Last, 1949) and the conflict between the desire for power and money and the human values of love and sense of family, presented in such works as Melissa (1948), A Prologue to Love (1962) and Bright Flows the River (1978)."

    more here -

    My other suggestion is not to read only someone else's words. Bring a journal with you (well, paper and a pen) and begin the novel or the short story, or a compendium of stories and anecdotes you'd love to read, the one I suspect lives in you, awaiting your creation in written word. You already have a following here of those who enjoy tremendously, your "snippets". I know I've enjoyed reading your accounts and learning from your knowledge on a vast number of subjects and your observances of behaviour and the "human condition". I strongly suspect you've already got a great novel within you, just waiting to be told. What a journey this can be - the vacation which gives again and again...

    What say you, Bronwen? Can we all come with you and see life through your eyes?

    "These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves." -- Gilbert Highet

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Have you read Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell? It is book 1 of the Rigante series, I have read the entire series twice and love thm almost as much as David Eddings

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.