October 30, 2005


Anybody read any really good, door-stop-size novels lately? The kind of big and readable book appropriate for a trip.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2005 9:35 AM

Any of Joel Rosenberg's books, particularly "The Ezekiel Option".

Posted by: Jana at October 30, 2005 10:09 AM

Check out Neal Stephenson, if you haven't already. All of his novels after "The Diamond Age" are in the door-stopper category.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 30, 2005 10:14 AM

John DeVecchio, The 13th Valley

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 30, 2005 10:21 AM


I got a good paperback version of Cryptonomicron yesterday (1152 pages in print I can actually see), figured I'd give him another try. Thanks.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 10:21 AM

I'm currently reading Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. Written about 100 years ago, it is the "true" story of the ronin samurai considered Japan's greatest swordsman. Set in the early 17th century it begins on the battlefield of Sekigahara in the years just following "Shogun", but it uses the real names of the historical figures. The hardcover is almost 1000 densely packed pages. I'm almost a third of the way through and it's been fantastic so far. It combines history, myth and action. I would consider it Japan's With Fire and Sword.

Posted by: Patrick H at October 30, 2005 10:26 AM


Geez, I read that twenty years ago and liked it, but I'd never be able to figure out which box in which family member's house it's in. :)

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 10:26 AM


It is great, but I don't think it even comes in a portable paperback version.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 10:36 AM


SEcond the Neal Stephenson plug, I also enjoyed "The Historian" by someone whose name I can't spell much more than I thought I would.

Posted by: Dan at October 30, 2005 10:52 AM

The Deed of Pakesnarrion - three books in one

Prince - more of a collection of short stories but it hangs together reasonably well.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 30, 2005 10:55 AM


Still over $20 in hardcover though.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 10:59 AM


Paksenarrion was good, are any of her others?

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 11:00 AM

The 13th Valley, are we talking VietNam and the mysteries surrounding returning vets, tunnel rats, opacity, etc.? If so, thank you for reminding me. I found it very exciting in the 70s and might read it again.

Posted by: ed at October 30, 2005 11:23 AM

I'm currently about 400 pages into the third volume of Steven Erikson's "Malazan Book of the Fallen", Memories of Ice. It's 1193 pages in paperback, which I think qualifies as a doorstop. On the other hand, it probably won't make any sense unless you've already read the first two.

Posted by: Kyle Haight at October 30, 2005 12:04 PM


From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Battle dominates the gripping third installment of Canadian Erikson's projected 10-volume series (Gardens of the Moon, etc.), set in the land of Malazan and featuring a host of gods, grunt soldiers, wizards and undead.

After Wheel of Time I'm never starting a multi volume series again until the author's done.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 12:26 PM

In the realm of SF, Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star; the second installment is due out in a few months. Also, his six-book Reality Dysfunction/The Naked God series is quite good (though a major commitment to undertake).

I also recommend Charlie Stross, in particular Singularity Sky and its sequel, Iron Sunrise; they've available together in a single volume entitled Timelike Diplomacy.

From an alternate history perspective, Ian R. MacLeod's The Light Ages and its sequel, House of Storms are quite good.

Posted by: Roland Dobbins at October 30, 2005 1:33 PM

Palliser's Quincunx is quite good. It's Dickensian and about two inches thick.

Posted by: Pepys at October 30, 2005 1:34 PM

Anything by S. Bellow.

Posted by: ghostcat at October 30, 2005 2:20 PM

Instead of carrying around heavy tomes, why arenít books available on line and why hasn't somebody figured out how to sell a small lightweight hand held gizmo that displays two pages simulating a real book. It must have soft sides, be comfortable to hold in your hands or prop on your lap. It must also be attractive and have amenities like a back light, font sizing, annotationable, etc. Another thing that would be nice is an electronic device the emulates a picture frame and comes in various decorator sizes and shapes where we can download pictures.

Somebody could make their fortune with low tech items like these.

Thereíre a lot of us out here in geezerland who would snap these up if they were within a reasonable price range, say under $200. Almost everyone I know has a computer now and if they donít, they use webmail, so weíre ripe for the next step into the 21st century.

Posted by: tefta at October 30, 2005 2:23 PM

Patrick: I have Musashi and had never got around to reading it, but you've inspired me to start.

Posted by: elly at October 30, 2005 3:58 PM

Reality Dysfunction is pretty good, but incredibly disappointing in the end, when what could have been a great conservative space opera degenerates into touchy-feely lefty gobbledygook. OJ would probably love it.

Amen on Jordan, although I'm still persevering.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2005 4:44 PM

Roger Zelazny, the Amber series.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 30, 2005 5:03 PM


The display is the stumbling block.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 6:09 PM


I can't find my paperback of it but loved it severasl years ago. Have you read his The Unburied?

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 6:10 PM

You can display in MSWord as I do. Setup two columns. It's not very good and my notebook isn't the best for comfortable reading, but I'm no tech genius. The packaging should be easy.

I'm telling you, there's a fortune waiting to be made. Enlarging the font is unimaginably important to tired old eyes and they're millions more of us coming along for the foreseeable future.


Posted by: tefta at October 30, 2005 6:56 PM

After Wheel of Time I'm never starting a multi volume series again until the author's done.

Preach it, brother.

David--are his latest any good? Not that I'm going to start again until Jordan is dead or otherwise incapable of writing anything more, but I'm curious if it's worth it to start up again at all.

Posted by: Timothy at October 30, 2005 7:48 PM

Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy, available in a one-volume paperback (or at least it used to be).

Posted by: ted welter at October 30, 2005 7:51 PM

They're getting better again. Things are actually happening and we can see the end coming. In theory, the next book (the twelfth) is the last, but I'm just finishing my second run through the eleventh book and he's left himself lots to do.

Probably the best fantasy series at the moment is George RR Martin's Fire and Ice series, but he's in the middle of it and it keeps getting longer and longer.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2005 8:07 PM

Stephenson is junk to me, but he sure does have fans.

I recently read the first 2 Kristin Lavransdatter books, but surely you read those long ago.

It's not a novel, but I'm currently working on Rising '44 by Davies, and it is good stuff so far.

Posted by: b at October 30, 2005 10:05 PM
appropriate for a trip

OJ, please reassure the faithful that you're not contemplating a violation of the Time Zone Rule, ok??? I mean, it is suspicious why you need such a big book....

Posted by: Kirk Parker at October 31, 2005 12:20 AM

I'll second Neal Stephenson. I loved Cryptonomicon, thought my guess is that OJ might be more likely to enjoy his recent set of historical novels: Quicksilver, the Confusion, and The System of the World. Very long, at times slow, but fascinating and often laugh-out-loud funny.

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 31, 2005 1:31 AM


Perish the thought.

Posted by: oj at October 31, 2005 6:55 AM

Oh, and of course Patrick O'Brian always repays rereading.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 31, 2005 10:13 AM

What David said.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 31, 2005 11:56 AM

(a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553573403/qid=1130777705/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-8452651-5884960?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. Epic low-fantasy setting. Fantastic series.

Posted by: BC Monkey at October 31, 2005 11:56 AM