Adrian! Adrian! Sorry… Clarissa! Clarissa!

I am about to start work on Clarissa, by Samuel Richardson. It is much larger than normal books, in height and width as well as depth, making the 1499 pages (why the hell couldn’t they have made it 1500 for my OCD’s sake?) not including notes, of tiny mouse-suitable print even worse. It came wrapped in cardboard that was printed with ‘Do not bend’, which I presume was there for any postal workers who are also World’s Strongest Man contenders. ‘Lift with you legs’ is what it should have said. It is the third longest novel, at just under a million words in length.

I like to read more than one book at a time, so this will be something I chew away at, a few pages a day, unless it suddenly gets very good. I am reading it as it is on the list of 100 Greatest Novels, and not because I want to. I presume this is some kind of literary completion masochism.

Cue Rocky-style training montage – puts on kettle – opens packet of biscuits – cleans glasses on corner of shirt – pencil sharpened for note taking – deep breath – opens book.

I am going inside, and ‘may be some time.’

Posed next to a normal-sized book for comparison.

Posed next to a normal-sized book for comparison.