What are the best books that are difficult to read?

asked by Anonymous
137 contributors
12 solutions
  1. 21

    #1Finnegans Wake

    Finnegans Wake

    Finnegans Wake is written by an Irish author James Joyce. This book was originally published in 1939, and it is the final work of the author. This book is also considered as one of the most difficult fiction books in the English Language.


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    Danielle Johnston
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I tried to start it this past summer, but the first couple pages seem to be complete gibberish. I didn't understand a single word of it. How do you handle this and get any meaning out of it?"
  2. 18


    Considered one of the greatest 20th-century novels written in English, James Joyce's Ulysses pulls from Greek Mythology to create a modern version staring Ulysses as he journeys through 20th century Ireland. 

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    Howard Gilbert
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "You know those guys who use difficult words in conversation to seem smarter than they are? You know how you hate those guys? Well this is the same type of guy, he just started doing that same thing a long time ago and now it's just accepted as if he's mastered the English language. Don't believe the hype, James Joyce can catch these hands."
  3. 16

    #3Atlas Shrugged

    Atlas Shrugged
    Atlas Shrugged is a philosophical novel by Russian author, Ayn Rand. It tells the story of Dagny Taggart and John Galt, the "Destroyer." The Destroyer has encouraged important people to go on a strike and make a new society of their own.

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    Peter Delgado
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "I didn't know anything about these. Thank you."
  1. 15

    #4Gravity's Rainbow

    Gravity's Rainbow

    Gravity's Rainbow is a novel by Thomas Pynchon featuring a postmodern look at the impact of technology on society, particularly aviation and its role in war. It won the 1973 National Book award.


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    Vivaan Jhadav
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "A more serious book for those looking for history and entertainment in one. Very well constructed, a book of the year award, and very well written. This book though difficult, will keep you wanting to learn more and dig deeper."
  2. 12

    #5The Idiot

    The Idiot
    The Idiot is a philosophical novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1869. It tells the story of Prince Lec Nikolayevich Myshkin, who returns to Russia after spending years in a sanatorium in Switzerland.

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    Amber Walsh
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I believe this book does not fit into this category. The reviews talk of so many different parts of emotions throughout the books, but they do not talk of how difficult it is, but how easy it is to translate."
  3. 12

    #6Infinite Jest

    Infinite Jest

    Infinite Jest is a postmodern novel by David Foster Wallace. It is composed of four different narratives, all connected through a fictional film entitled Infinite Jest. The book is known for its unconventionality in style.


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    Jordan Hernandez
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "i should pic up one of them"
  4. 9

    #7House of Leaves

    House of Leaves

    House of Leaves is a book by Mark Danielewski that tells the story of Johnny Truant. He is an assistant of a tattoo artist who found a notebook of a dead man. What it contains are recorded videotaped that contain interviews. 


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    Doris Holmes
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I have no idea what I read. The book is multiple stories and perspectives about a house that's bigger than it seems. Words are all over the place, nothing is ever reliable, and you feel unsettled through out without ever really knowing why. But it's a great read. I can't recall a book manipulating my feelings like this one did."
  5. 9

    #8The Crying of Lot 49

    The Crying of Lot 49

    The Crying of Lot 49 is a postmodern literature novel written by Thomas Pynchon which was originally published in 1965. This novel is about a woman named Oedipa Maas and the unveiling of truths between two mail distribution companies.


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    Pablo Huerta
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This book is for those who are avid reader because one cannect grasp the message in the book with just a single read. You got to gave the patience to read it again and again to trully understand and appreciate the book. I personally have read this book thrice in the past three years and Everytime I read it I learn something new. I highly recommend this book and request you to re-read it."
  6. 6

    #9Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner is published in 1936. This book tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, a man who finds wealth and marries in order to have children to be his heir someday. 


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    Madison Price
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is a classic. It's difficult to get through if you aren't in an intellectual mindest, I've found. But it was challenging and really made me think. It's one of those books I recommend everyone into classical literature reads once in their lives."
  7. 4

    #10Crime and Punishment

    Crime and Punishment
    Crime and Punishment is a classic of Russian literature by Fyodor Dostoyevsky published in 1866. It tells the story of ex-student Rodion Raskolnikov who plans to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker to liberate himself from poverty.


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    José Angel Reséndiz
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Crime and Punishment is a hard hitting book. Hard to read, but a great novel."
  8. 2

    #11Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness is a novella by Joseph Conrad that tells the story of Charles Marlow and his voyage on the Congo River. The story is inspired by Conrad's own experiences traveling in the Congo River in a Belgian trading steamer. 


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    Amber Owens
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "I've never been into adventure type stories, but this one held my interest. The character tells a tale of his time in Africa in the midst of ivory trading and the terrifying things he encountered on a trip down the Congo as a river captain. Suspenseful at times, it was hard to put down."
  9. 1

    #12The Name of the Rose

    The Name of the Rose
    The Name of the Rose is a novel by Umberto Eco about a friar who investigates and collects pieces of evidence with the series of historical murder mysteries in an Italian monastery. This book has won many international awards.

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    Danielle Diaz
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I was looking for a challenging book to read and a friend suggested The Name of the Rose. It is a 14th century murder mystery. Although the book is very good, it is also exhausting to read. I would only recommend this if you are looking for a hard book to read. "


Best What are the best books that are difficult to read
1Finnegans WakeBooks 21 Paid
2UlyssesBooks 18 Paid
3Atlas ShruggedBooks 16 Paid
4Gravity's RainbowBooks 15 Paid
5The IdiotBooks 12 Paid
6Infinite JestBooks 12 Paid
7House of LeavesBooks 9 Paid
8The Crying of Lot 49Books 9 Paid
9Absalom, Absalom!Books 6 Paid
10Crime and PunishmentBooks 4 Paid

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