10 Notorious Literary Slogs That Are Worth the Effort

There has been much discussion over the years as to whether Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is The Great American Novel, simply A Great American Novel, or is just a lengthy collection of complaints about whales (not that many people admit to thinking the latter). But if you’ve been meaning to read it for years and have never quite gotten up the nerve (or the time), an awesome marathon reading begins tonight at WORD in Greenpoint, which also happens to be one of our very favorite bookstores. To celebrate the event, we’ve put together a list of notorious literary slogs — long, difficult, and/or complicated enough to scare even the strongest reader — that are definitely worth the effort. Read our list after the jump, and add on your own favorites in the comments!

Moby-Dick, Herman Melville

Melville’s classic is many people’s literary white whale – but come on, you have to read the book that spawned the metaphor you use to describe it. Sure, it’s long, and there are large passages packed with mind-numbing information about the nitty-gritty of whaling techniques, but it’s also quite funny, something we no one told us before we took the plunge. It’s an adventure story, it’s a horror story, it’s a strange romance — and it’s time. If you can’t make it to the event tonight, no excuses: there’s always Moby-Dick Big Read.