Ten Tomes wrap-up

You’ve read Tolstoy, haven’t you, and Boccaccio, Mann, Xueqin, Dos Passos, Spenser, Broch, Shikibu, Hugo and Anonymous? Well I have, with the help of this cat.


Moki and I spent a quiet winter, forming a short-term family while others were away. His taste for couches matched my own, and his company helped me get through 13,000 pages without feeling antisocial. If I fed him, he’d let me read.

Ten Tomes was a great project, recommended for when you next have five weeks off. I loved books I’d doubted, hated books I’d longed to read. After each, I’d blog and tweet before hefting the next. See below for my micro-summaries of each tome with a link to my longer review. After all, along with the cat, it was you who kept me reading.

War and Peace, in which the author movingly invalidates his own contention; might have been a novella.

The Decameron, in which happily ever after is explicit, and by mutual consent.

Joseph and His Brothers, in which the Bible is made more biblical, Egypt more Egyptian – by a German.

The Arabian Nights, in which fate is ruled by the god.

The Story of the Stone, in which the personal’s not political, because it never is.

U.S.A., in which history is reiterated.

The Faerie Queene, in which might is Right.

The Sleepwalkers, in which philosophy is stranger than fiction.

The Tale of Genji, in which paper is abused.

La Légende des Siècles, in which sci-fi starts.


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