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14 daunting books every man must read

Is Moby-Dick gathering dust on your shelf? Andrew Hankinson reveals why it’s finally time to conquer it, and 13 other daunting reads

Everyone has them; those thick tomes with tiny type that have edged open windows, propped up wobbly tables and weighed down loose paper. You’ve done everything with them — except read them. They invoke fear. It’s their size, their daunting literary baggage, their impenetrable language — and the very real prospect that if we were to attempt them, we’d spend approximately 4.5 days re-reading passages and another 12 hours looking up obsolete words in the dictionary before suffering a crushing sense of defeat when we finally commit it back to the bookshelf.

But this is a call to arms. Five ShortList members of staff are going to attempt to conquer the most testing novels written — follow how we fare here. So it’s time to unearth that hefty work of intellectual brilliance, blow off the dust and show those titans of literature who’s boss.

(Main image: Alan Murray @ GeorgeGraceRepresents.com)



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