Classics Club: September Meme

The Classics Club September Meme question asks:
Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book. What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?

Confession: for years, I've been torn between wanting to read Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy and being far too intimidated by the size of the book.  It's something like 1500 pages long.  I even remember when it was first published; I was in college and saw it at the beautiful Morrison Library, where I used to go as often as I could (really, wouldn't you?).  But it was too long to read while I took heavy literature classes, and anyway I always sort of figured it was too much for me.  Recently I've seen it mentioned here and there, and Amy's post at Book Musings finally pushed me over the edge and put A Suitable Boy on my official Classics Club reading list.  Amy says:

This is a 1300-odd page novel with dozens of characters and a scope that is both grand and intimate, and yet it's so compulsively readable that I was interested in every character and every story line...

In addition to marriages, births, and deaths, subplots deal with land reform, caste discrimination, shoe manufacture, Hindu-Muslim relations, post-partition politics, university faculty politics, and more....Although even the political story lines were interesting, the great pleasure for me was the depictions of Indian family life...

Amy's description of family life and lots of India finally hooked me.  I don't know when I'll get to read it, but I'm definitely going to. 20 years is probably quite long enough to be nervous about a book, so maybe next year!


  1. Oh, this sounds interesting. I just learned about this book the other day...believe it or not. :)

  2. It's worth it. This book is now like a member of my family :-)

  3. Interesting. I read your article, did a little googling and wondered why I hadnt heard of it before. 1300 pages IS a lot! But I might keep an eye out for it at a library. :)

  4. I bought a secondhand copy of this one a while back and it's on my Classics Club list but haven't tackled it yet.
    Amy's review does inspire me towards making the effort to read it.

  5. Hey, thanks for highlighting my Suitable Boy post, Jean! That's awesome. And I'll say it again--this book is an easy, pleasurable read. I had planned to take it slow and spend a year reading it, but I finished in three months, because I was enjoying it so much. It's not an intimidating book at all, truly! :)

  6. Yay, lots of encouragement! Thanks everybody, and thank you Amy for the inspiration...and the assurance that it's an easy read. :)

  7. Good choice! Every time I see this at the bookstore, I get the urge to buy it and read it. But, like you, I am always stopped by the sheer size of it. Normally, I'm okay with long books - I have read plenty of gigantic books and I own plenty of others; but this one is so big, I can't even bring myself to buy it!

    Maybe someday... in retirement...


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