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June 08, 2014

Tackling The Tomes

Text by Nittal Chandarana

These five books, which could double up as dumbbells, are actually masterful reads

If not for light reading, these ginormous novels accomplish the compelling purpose of serving as excellent paperweights. You know, those classics that take up a considerable amount of space on your shelf and in your conscience. That tiny voice in your head that says, ‘This book is on my bucket list. If I don’t enjoy it, at least it will quicken my death.’ But here’s why you must at least TRY to give these an honest shot.

1. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

At a mind-boggling 1349 pages, this is our favourite Indian author’s magnum opus. Lata, the quintessential Indian girl must be found a suitor. The problem is – there are three. Which one does she pick to spend the rest of her life with? Just another random decision in any girl’s life, isn’t it? A refreshing take on Indian culture, traditions and stereotypes, this book makes for a great read. It helps that the author’s witty. And the LATA poem made us swoon. Read it quick, for, A Suitable Girl is on its way!

2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

You may be familiar with the movie but really the book came first. Scarlett O’ Hara is immature, gorgeous, spoilt, misunderstood and wise all at once. And then there’s Rhett Butler. The first man every girl fell in love with (this was before Clark Gable immortalised Butler on screen). A passionate romance against the backdrop of the American Civil War, Gone with the Wind, at a whopper 1024 pages, is the perfect romantic saga.

3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Of course it got negative reviews when it first released in 1957, but knowing that, don’t you want to read it even more? It talks about a dystopian American society, a lady wearing the pants at a prime railroad company, invention of a ‘new and improved (god forbid!)’ metal and a mystery man who’s the epitome of ‘everything right with the world’. It’s easy to deduce why society shunned it. With a page count of 1069, we admit, even we flipped through Galt’s never-ending speech and skipped to the climax but then, who is John Galt?

4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

We all studied this one in school, but we had the abridged version (Yes, we know the feeling of being cheated). We enjoyed Dantè’s legendary escape from prison and his scheme of revenge. It had everything – murder, romance, escape, imprisonment – the makings of a fantastic novel. Psst. Credit to his ghostwriter, Auguste Maquet, for the plot. It’s only 1276 pages long. Tee hee.

5. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

It was first published in Japan as a set of three novels but in the English language, as one fabulous bestseller. A bizarre incident in Aomame’s life leads to an even more bizarre alternate reality. Does she ever make it out of here? You’ll have to read close to a 1000 pages to find out.

What better way to herald the monsoon? You can thank us later!

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