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What is the most gripping novel you've ever read? Fantasy or otherwise?


What is the most gripping novel you've ever read? How long did it take you to read it, and why do you think it grabbed you so well?

It doesn't have to be your favorite book, or even one you liked, but one you just couldn't put down until the end.


Watership Down. Richard Adams captures what it means to be human while only using bunnies and bunny behavior. There were points when I didn't know what was going to happen next that left me on the edge of my seat because you want these characters to succeed so much. When failure means that everything you have lived for, built and believed will fade away. A very good book that I would recommend to anyone.


Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. There are many books that I have read and re-read with zeal, but that was one that gripped me, thrilled me, scared me, and entertained me in a great way. I am a sucker for her books, to be honest, and that one, reading it as a child, was special to me.

I can almost say the same of The Hobbit, as that book opened my imagination like nothing else had. It is also the book that I have re-read the most.


Myth Weaver
Clive Cussler's "Raise The Titanic" I was about 9 and it was the first "grown-up" book I bought with my pocket money... it had a cool looking ship on the cover... It was my introduction to Techno-thrillers and I loved it. I spent an entire weekend glued to it. I tried rereading it a dozen years ago and it was terrible [but still better than the so-bad-its-good film]
In Fantasy it was David Gemmel's Legend. It is still one of my favourite books. I was a very martial teen and it all made a lot of sense to me then...
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Wiro Sableng series by Bastian Tito (I only got the book recently. However, it was turned into a TV series that I watched religiously as a child). This series is basically what lit my love for my country in the first place. Then its followed by Taiko Ki and Miyamoto Mushashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (which I pick up after playing Samurai Warrior 2 for the first time and I've been glad of my choice ever since). Then Buru Tetralogy by Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Heavy stuff and perhaps one of the best work of literature ever produced by my country). Then The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld for its imaginative alternative history setting in a world where a lot of alternative history writers just use "What if the Nazi..." scenarios.

The Animorphs series is also a staple of my childhood, despite all its flaws. I loved it because it deconstructed popular conventions associated with coming of age, reluctant hero stories that I despise so much.

After that, Dreadnought by Cherie Priest. It starts slow but it quickly pick ups. I also love the steampunk technology and aesthetic presented in the book. I have it right next to me as I'm typing this.

Then John Dies at the End by Jason Pargin aka David Wong and the Lupus series by Hilman Hariwijaya. Two word: F***ing hilarious.

On the 'bloody funny' side, I have Kambing Jantan: Sebuah Catatan Pelajar Bodoh (Roughly translated to Male Goat: A Memo of Stupid Student) series by Raditya Dika (It was later adapted into two volume comic book [which is also very funny] and a movie [which is kind of 'eh...']). This book details true (and often hilarious and just downright stupid) events that happened to the author while he is studying in Adelaide. Hit particularly close to me since I'm also an Indonesian student studying in Australia.

There's also Anak Kos Dodol (roughly translate to Lunkheaded Boarding House Kid) by Dewi Reika (it also got a comic book adaptation) which also details the true and funny events that happen to the author when she left home to study in a prestigious university in Yogyakarta and must live a boarding house. Again, it hit close to home for me since I'm also living away from home to study in university.

Huh... I think I'm just too easily gripped.


Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk.

The only book I've read front to back in a single day.

It was just so strange and dark, I needed to know what happened.

Then, when I found out what happened I was like o_O


The Road by Cormac McCarthy is mine. My wife and I both read it in a weekend (separately). It's so real, you just get lost in it.

Hunger Games gripped me, but I didn't really enjoy reading it. I just needed to get it done I guess...
Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk.

The only book I've read front to back in a single day.

It was just so strange and dark, I needed to know what happened.

Then, when I found out what happened I was like o_O

Awesome book! Easily my favorite Palahnuik novel.

I would have to say that I have never been more hooked to a novel since my childhood years with The Dragonlance Chronicles.


The most gripping novel I ever read? It is tough to say since I read books quickly even when I am not enthralled to them.

I would have to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I started reading it around 10 or 11 am the Saturday it came out and did not stop reading until I finished it at about 8:30 that night. And then I read it again the next day...

As for why it gripped me so... Well, do I have to say?


Felis amatus
For some reason, books by Michael Connelly and Robert Crais (particularly Connelly's Harry Bosch books and Crais' Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novels) are almost impossible to put down. Both these guys are great at setting up chapters so that they end on a compelling note, and even though you planned to stop reading for the night you end up saying "well, crap, I better read one more chapter."


John Grisham's The Appeal I suppose. Read it in a day. Didn't like it that much, but never mind.

As far as fantasy goes, I'd say Before They Are Hanged. I got over halfway through that installment on the day I got it. Some people dump on that book, but I liked it better than both The Blade Itself and Last Argument Of Kings.


It's a race between Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini or The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. One is pure action and the other is a literature buff's dream, wrapped in mystery and the occult.


Wow, I've not heard of half these books. I'm going to add them to my booket list.

I couldn't get into that book at all. I don't even think I ever finished it.

The movie, on the other hand, is spectacular.

It's one of my favorites. The writing style is jarring though, so I can't fault anyone for disliking it.


The Davinci Code. Read it in a day because I couldn't stop turning the pages to see what happened next. It's not my favorite book by any means and now that I know what happens it's not worth re-reading. But Dan Brown definitely knows how to hook you from page one and doesn't let you go until the end.


I would have to go with The Road by Cormac McCarthy or the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I always read books extremely quickly, but I had to slow myself down because I would be so intrigued I would read it faster than my mind would comprehend it.