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Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Wednesday, September 14th 2011. | Longest

Novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century. The fictional narrative, the novel’s distinct “literary” prose, specific media requirements (the use of paper and print), a characteristic subject matter that creates both intimacy and a typical epic depth can be seen as features that developed with the Western (and modern) market of fiction. Below is list about longest novel books in the world.

10. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace: 484,001 words

Infinite Jest Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace may have been the most critically acclaimed novelist of the modern era. His novels, The Broom of the System and Infinite Jest, were both highly acclaimed by literary critics. Infinite Jest was even named one of the best 100 novels from 1923 through present day by Time Magazine. Wallace committed suicide in 2008, at the age of 46, leaving an incomplete novel behind. However, the publishing company responsible for his first two novels announced that it will release the unfinished manuscript sometime in 2010.


9. Gai-Jin – James Clavell: 487,700 words

Gai Jin Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World


In addition to being a successful novelist, James Clavell was also an immensely talented screenwriter – he was the mind behind The Great Escape and To Sir, With Love. He only began to pen novels during a writer’s strike in Hollywood, when his wife recommended that he spend his time recording his experiences as a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II. Clavell’s written memories became his first novel, King Rat. He continued to write about Japan, and other areas of Asia, in his subsequent novels, including Gai-Jin.


8. Remembrance Rock – Carl Sandburg: 532,030 words

Remembrance Rock Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Remembrance Rock

Carl Sandburg won two Pulitzer Prizes during his lifetime, one for a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and the other for a book of poetry. Remembrance Rock was Sandburg’s only novel, and it clearly meant a lot to him, personally. Upon his death in 1967, Sandburg’s ashes were placed beneath a red granite boulder named Remembrance Rock.


7. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand: 565,223 words

Atlas Shrugged Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Atlas Shrugged

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand presented her philosophy of Objectivism, which maintains that reason is the only way for man to gain knowledge. Rand was a champion of laissez-faire capitalism, likely in part due to her negative experience with communism in her homeland of Russia.


6. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth: 593,674

A Suitable Boy Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth was born in India and was educated in the United States, The United Kingdom and China. His international life is reflected in his literary works, which are set in the United States, England and India. He has also written a travel guide to China.


5. Miss MacIntosh, My Darling – Marguerite Young: 700,000 words

Miss MacIntosh My Darling Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Miss MacIntosh, My Darling

While Miss MacIntosh, My Darling met with some acclaim, Marguerite Young’s earlier work, Angel in the Forest: A Fairy Tale of Two Utopias, won multiple literary awards. It was a study of the foundation of New Harmony, Indiana, a utopian commune where Young lived for seven years.


4. Poor Fellow My Country – Xavier Herbert: 850,000 words

Poor Fellow My Country Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Poor Fellow My Country

This novel is also, unfortunately, out of print, although used copies seem to be available on amazon.com and eBay. Poor Fellow My Country is the only Australian novel to appear on this list. While Xavier Herbert was a controversial figure, both by todays and his own time’s standards, he was known for being a champion for the Australian Aboriginal people; this commitment appears in Poor Fellow My Country.


3. Clarissa – Samuel Richardson: 969,000 words

Clarissa Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World


The word count of 969,000 words is true for the first edition of Clarissa, but later editions seem to have climbed to above 1,000,000 words. However, it was not possible to find an estimate more accurate than “above 1,000,000 words” for these later editions. However, even when using the lower number of the first edition, Clarissa still easily comes in third on this list. Though Clarissa is well-known for its length, it is also noted for being an example of an epistolary narrative.


2. Sironia, Texas – Madison Cooper: 1,100,000 words

Sironia Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World


Unfortunately, this novel is out of print and rather difficult to come by. The novel’s setting, the town of Sironia, is based on the author’s hometown of Waco, Texas. The extent to which the book is autobiographical is not known, as Cooper had all of his files destroyed, though a few of the characters from his work have been identified with their likely counterparts in real life.


1. Mission Earth – L. Ron Hubbard: 1.2 million words

Mission Earth Top 10 Longest Novel Books in the World

Mission Earth

Some people might argue that Mission Earth is, in fact, a series of novels, and should be excluded from this list, but it appears that it was the author’s intent for the work to be a single novel, published in ten volumes. Despite being authored by L. Ron Hubbard, this longest novel book in fact has little to do with Scientologist beliefs, though, like the Scientologist mythology, Mission Earth’s plot is based on an alien race coming to Earth and the chaos that ensues.


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