Blogagaard Finishes Gigantic Book

I finished Tolstoy's Anna Karenina today and I think my head's going to explode. Seriously, folks, that was one long book. 817 pages. I memorized this number about halfway through the book, sort of like my numerical finish line. It was a great book in many ways, don't get me wrong, but 817 pages is a fucking lot of pages. This book came on the heels of my reading Umberto Echo's Foucault's Pendulum, which itself weighs in at 641 pages. Combined that's 1,458 pages in just two books. What drives an author to such insanity? All six of my novels, added up, are probably around 1,458 pages (if that).

Whenever I read a large, expansive book I remember two things: ancient Chinese literature, and an episode of Mr. Belvedere. Dream of the Red Chamber: Hung Lou Meng is 1,887 pages long and often comes in a three or four volume box set, yet is one long ancient Chinese novel written by Tsao Hseuh-Chin, and regards two families, one of which is rising in society and one which is slowly, oh so slowly, declining. Dream has over 400 characters in it, and I read every page of it during my senior year in high school. What the hell, I thought. Nearly two War & Peace's combined (I only got through the first 500 pages of War & Peace). It was like a never ending soap opera with exotic customs anda endless taels of silver, which was what everyone bought things with. Ten billion gallons of tea must have been consumed by the 400 characters, all of which had at least two or thee different names to remember. ATTN: DO NOT FINISH READING THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU INTEND TO READ THIS WORK!!! Okay, in the end, after all those damn pages, the whole thing turns out to be a dream! Thank you, China!

As for Mr. Belvedere, I recall an episode, glimpsed in my youth, when a knife is chucked right into his heart when he's walking down a dark hallway. Does anyone else remember this episode? Anyway, it was a two parter and in the second part we found out he's not dead, because he had a thick book under his robe, which stopped the knife! Might have been the Bible. Hell yeah!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tolstoy & Mr Belvedere...only Blogagaard could so brilliantly tie them together.

Amethyst Vineyard said...

Who stabbed him?

Michelle said...

Here is where I say, well, the Bible was good for something.

But he totally should have had Batman's armor.

Brady said...

I just enjoyed a delightful Dragonwell green tea last night while I chatted with Bob Uecker on the phone.

Blogagaard said...

Christ, Viney, I don't know. Couldn't have been the butler, I guess.

Asura said...

I made myself sick on green tea the other day. Really shouldn't be comsumed along with dark chocolate.

Dave, you've got me wanting to read Dream of the Red Chamber now. I hadn't intended to originally, so I decided it was safe to read your spoiler...now I'm wishing I hadn't. You sneaky bastard.

Blogagaard said...

Is Dragonwell Green tea good, Inspektor? I usually stick to black teas. I like my teas to taste as bitter as I feel in the morning.

Blogagaard said...

You can buy the whole unabridged edition on Amazon for something like sixty, eighty bucks. The edition I read was these beautiful volumes with silky paper and pretty illustrations. Don't worry, I think anyone reading the book assumes it's a dream all along, but I'd just forgotten around page 1,000.

Brady said...

Yeah, the Dragonwell is pretty good. If you want to try some green tea get thee self over to TeaSource in Highland and start with their standard Sencha. Like $4 for a sack that will last you a while.

Blogagaard said...

Inspektor, I was recently at the B & N you used to volunteer at. Your loss is still palpable.

Herbach said...

it is palpable inspektor. sometimes employees look at me and ask misty-eyed if you're doing okay. plus, the place doesn't smell as good.

Something dirty said...

asura, sounds like you overdosed on antioxidents!

Blogagaard said...

Asura, I'll read you the entire Dream of the Red Chamber aloud, right before you go to sleep.

Col. Kurtz said...

You are one of the bravest men I have ever known. I commend you sir. I have read many a book in my day, but never have I embraced the courage to read a work as long as that in one continuous swoop. Just the thought of it forces Bourbon to my lips.

Kelly said...

The Bible once kicked the ass of some bullies who were throwing pine cones at me.

Asura said...

Dave, now that's romance...or a damn fine replacement for Ambien.

Kelly! Did abnormally large squirrels pick on you as a kid too?!

Apparition Jones said...

I once read all the Harry Potters in two weeks. That's like 3,000 pages.

I'm also suspicious that in the final book, Harry will either find out the whole thing is a dream, or else the pocket edition of the collected works of JK Rowling will protect him from the Killing Curse by Lord Voldemort.

Amethyst Vineyard said...

You remember all these other details about that particular episode of Mr. Belvedere, but not who stabbed him? Op, that's crucial information! Come on, man!

Blogagaard said...

Sorry. I never really dug that show.

Blogagaard said...

Oh my god, I found a tael of silver under my pillow this morning!

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