On Huge Books

When you’re talking about big reads, Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time certainly must be in the discussion. This 12-book cycle comes in at close to 3,000 pages, was published over the course of 25 years, and has over 10 major characters.

University of Chicago Press, which publishes the book in the U.S. has just come out with a complete e-book edition of the 12 volumes (or you can get it in 4 physical volumes). What’s more–for the month of December they will be tempting budding Powellists with a free download of the firs volume, A Question of Upbringing (the free download can be made from U of C’s website or any place where ebooks are currently (legally) downloaded).

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The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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