Monday, September 5, 2011

24. Clarissa

Samuel Richardson

Yeah, I just read the longest real novel in the English language, what of it?

So the version I read was a nine volume set averaging on 390 pages a volume.  I felt like I had always been reading that book and would be for the rest of my life.  That is what I hate about really long novels.  I probably won't remember much of the story in twenty years, but I will remember the length.  It becomes an endurance test and then you never read it again.  Also, you get sick of it rather easily.  And I am proving my point right now by only talking about the enormity of it!

This book is like a really long version of Pamela but better.  While Pamela ends happily and the creepier parts are sugar-coated, Clarissa is much darker and tragic.  Clarissa Harlowe is, of course, beautiful, smart, and loving.  She is an object to pretty much everyone.  No one (besides her best friend) seems to care about her feelings or happiness.  All they care about is her looks and fortune.  Clarissa is not okay with this, and dreams of living a single life, which makes her very modern for her time.  Unlike Pamela, her family doesn't care at all about her and continually tries to make her marry Solmes.  She then is tricked into moving in with supervillian Lovelace to escape from marital doom.  Lovelace is like Mr. B 2.0.  He is smarter, darker, and meaner.  He reminded me of the Terminator.  He just couldn't be stopped.  Hint for what happens: unlike in Pamela, fainting doesn't save Clarissa.

This book is absolutely exhausting.  So is it worth it?  I would say, yes.  You should probably space it out and read something else during it if you are going to attempt this.  It is a great feeling to say you finished the longest book EVER!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The third edition of this book had over a million words.

There was a 1991 television adaptation of BBC.  I have had enough of these stories for a lifetime though.

I really enjoyed the character Anna Howe.  She was kind of like Elizabeth Bennet.  She was really witty and always said what she was thinking.

Very excited to see all my new followers:).


  1. I loved this post! You are officially where I go to decide what to read next
    :-) Do you feel powerful??

  2. Yeah, it is great to say I have now read the longest book ever. For me it took a friggin half year to do it.
    Anna Howe was also my favorite character. Did you ever stop to think what would have happened if Lavelace had taken Anne Howe instead of Clarissa? It would have been a different story, but I think also more amusing.