I really love those unabridged classics that are about 8,000 pages long. You know the ones I’m talking about? Those that you need a crane to lift and get cramps in your arms if you try to hold them for too long. Those that cut off the circulation in your legs if you put them in your lap. The ones that will absolutely collapse a card table. The ones that, if you dropped them on the sidewalk, they’d crack it. The ones that you read your head off on, killing yourself to get one more chapter in, and after you’ve read 800 pages, you realize that you’re only a quarter of the way through. Yeah. Those. You know the ones I’m talking about. I’m talking about novels that have scenes like this:
“Ah, Valentine!” said Maximilian, “give me but one finger through this opening in the grating that I may have the happiness of kissing it. . .
“Shall you be happy if I do what you wish?”
Valentine mounted the bank, and passed not only her finger but her whole hand through the opening. Maximilian uttered a cry of delight, and, springing forward, seized the hand extended towards him, and imprinted on it a fervent and impassioned kiss. The little hand was then immediately withdrawn, and the young man saw Valentine hurrying towards the house, as though she were almost terrified of her own sensations.
[be. still. my. heart. Really. You don’t find stuff like this in just any ole novel, do you? And I only had to read 796 pages to get to this. whoa now.]
I think I’m going to make a list of my favorite incredibly, indescribably, gigantic and monstrously huge novels. And I’m gonna do it as soon as I finish the one I’m reading now . . . so, I’ll get back to you in a couple of years.