10 Toughest Reads in Literature

This list might be enough to make your head hurt
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2010 4:20 PM CDT
Good luck mucking your way through this one.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – Great books can bring great joy—and, in a few cases, great big headaches. Listverse compiles the 10 toughest reads in literature:

  • Finnegans Wake, James Joyce: If you thought Joyce would ride his way onto this list compliments of Ulysses, think again. Written partially in a made-up language of mindbendingly convoluted puns, this novel is often considered unreadable.

  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner: Some readers have found themselves filled with fury after trying to tackle the near-punctuation-less, paragraph-long, stream-of-conscious sentences.
  • Naked Lunch, William Burroughs: Is it any surprise that a book whose pages were written while the author was high on heroin, then cut into pieces, randomly reassembled, and published is a tough read?
  • Moby Dick, Herman Melville: This 600-plus-page book goes on and on—and on—about whaling techniques while remaining light on plot.
Click here for the complete list, which includes a high school reading list standard at No. 5.

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