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Top 10 Books to Use as Bludgeoning Weapons in a Pinch

We’ve all been there: sometimes you’re peacefully reading your newest novel, only to see a cockroach scuttle by in front of your cozy armchair. Or you’ve got something that needs some light percussive recalibration to fix. Or your cousin has insulted your reading taste at Thanksgiving dinner, and all you have is the book you brought to the gathering to avoid talking to anyone. We’ve all had to use our books as bludgeoning weapons before, so here’s a list of SF/F doorstoppers that you can pitch in a pinch.

By Yvonne Ye


#1: Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Weighing in at a hefty 1232 pages, this latest installment in the Stormlight Archive will be sure to beat up your feelings while bludgeoning your enemies. Follow the Knights Radiant to war as tactical subterfuge, political maneuvering, and scientific innovation collide to change the very shape of Roshar’s future. For conducting guerilla warfare and internal sabotage in an occupied tower, the hardcover will be sure to deal maximum damage. For a stealth invasion of said tower, we suggest utilizing the paperback for its dexterity and flexibility. Find the paperback in stores near you on October 26th!

#2: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Book three of the Stormlight Archive actually outweighs book 4, coming in at an impressive 1248 pages. Add some psychic damage to your bludgeoning attack by shouting “YOU CANNOT HAVE MY PAIN” at your foes in time-honored Kholin tradition while hurling this brick.

#3: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Fervent collectors of Stormlight hardcover editions noticed that Words of Radiance, despite only having 1088 pages, is actually quite a bit chunkier than Oathbringer. This is because the paper weight dropped from a 45# stock to a 35# stock between printings (we could go on about book production and paper weight, but we’ll spare you for now). At any rate, this book lives up to its working title, The Book of Endless Pages, and comes pre-equipped with the best one-liner in the series (so far): “Honor is dead, but I’ll see what I can do.”

#4: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini 

You thought we were going to go all the way with Stormlight titles, didn’t you? We thought about it, but decided to branch out to Christopher Paolini’s debut adult novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. This galaxy-spanning odyssey of first contact and apocalypse earns its hefty page-count with its complexity and scope, and yes, if you were wondering, it outweighs each of the Eragon books at 880 pages. Bonus: you can also get it in paperback to realize your dual-wielding potential!

#5: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

The longest book in the Wheel of Time series, we think this book could also be a strong contender for any therapeutic smashin’ you might need (goodness knows Rand could use some therapeutic smashin’ throughout this book). But if you’re new to the Wheel of Time series, we recommend starting with the first book, The Eye of the World. We know that media tie-in covers can be somewhat divisive, but with the new edition of The Eye of the World coming in at 784 pages, it is an undisputed tome and thus highly suitable for a spot of bludgeoning when necessary.

#6: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Come see the book that Lev Grossman called “rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying” — much like how you will both look and feel if you come to a book fight prepared with Jenn Lyons. With all five of the Chorus of Dragons series on hand, you’ll be well-stocked for either hurling or bludgeoning, or just curling up in a corner and reading all 2,784 pages (cumulative!) while the melee rages about you.

#7: Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu

Clocking in at only 608 pages, this series-ender makes up for its lower page count with its absolutely badass title. We recommend this book for the aura of awe it will generate in your foes, along with its special Area-of-Effect abilities of inducing existential dread in your opponents and cautious hope in your allies.

#8: Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

At a respectable 512 pages, Harrow is well-suited to fighters of smaller statures, delicate wrists, and a deeply murderous streak. Seriously, look me in the eyes and tell me that you wouldn’t bring a necromancer to a fight.

#9: Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

“But wait,” you say. “This is a novella, with only a measly 128 pages!” you scoff. “How can this be a good bludgeoning weapon?” you laugh.

Just as there is a time and a place for every door-stopping saga, one must never underestimate the lethal capabilities of a well-crafted novella, and Cassandra Khaw’s latest is an exquisite weapon for the task. Lyrical, unflinching, dreadful, and vicious, Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a haunted-house novella perfectly-matched for those who are both courageous and deadly. A few well-placed bonks with this novella at high speed might just win your fight, and that book jacket alone may be enough to terrify most opponents into submission.

#10: Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson

We’re not done with Sanderson yet! With Dawnshard’s upcoming release for the first time in hardcover, it felt right to finish this list where we began — with the Stormlight Archive. At a petite 4.25” x 6.7” (and a healthy… 304 pages), Dawnshard may be small but it packs a punch. Its size makes it the perfect handbag bludgeoning weapon, featuring finely-tapered print-over-board corners and some truly earth-shattering Cosmere reveals. And come on — wouldn’t you want the Lopen by your side in a fight?

Disclaimer: Tor does not actually encourage you to use your books as bludgeoning weapons. Please consider deploying your house slipper instead, as we cannot issue replacements should your copy become tragically stained by cockroach innards.

30 thoughts on “Top 10 Books to Use as Bludgeoning Weapons in a Pinch

  1. Thanks for the smiles and a couple of outright laughs.

    (I’ve written 31 books, but none of them was long enough to be of much use as bludgeons. It’s much more civilized to bore your opponents into insensibility with cautious prose.)

    Joe Haldeman

    1. I fail to be bored reading your words,, sir! I take great umbrage to your post!
      Oh, you’re referring to OTHER writers! Well, then…😉

  2. My recent “Vampire Versus Vatican” weighs in at 717 pages. She, the Vampire, is a half-alien superheroine whose mandate is to protect the human race, even from itself, even from her. In “Extinction Book 3 Elysium,” 758 pages, she fails in her mission, finally, but then … These were big enough to whack a night-burglar over the head with. gilbertreid.com

  3. No love for Tad Williams’ “To Green Angel Tower”? My copy self-destructed in a flurry of pages when I tucked it into my backpack in school, years ago.

    1. You could take the paperback volumes 1 and 2 with a chain or rope between them to be a great bolo or nunchaku.

  4. He doesn’t publish with Tor, but Neal Stephanson’s books almost always run 900+ pages and weigh in at a hefty 2.5 pounds!

    1. I was surprised not to see Cryptonomicon or the Baroque Cycle in the post. Yvonne – highly recommend for reading, as well as bug-squishing.

  5. Well, it wasn’t published by Tor, but Stephen King’s “The Stand” weighs in at a hefty 1,152 pages.

  6. The Luminaries (Eleanor Carton) is 848 pages long and has the additional heft of having won the Booker. Not genre fantasy, but it certainly has fantastical elements.

  7. Top tip: print out all 8 volumes of The Wandering Inn, stack them up, and you’ve got a shield proof against the most demented Oathbringer-wielding foes!

  8. My hardcover copy of Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” was the only book I’ve ever stopped reading in hardcover and went to find an ebook because it was physically uncomfortable to read. Good book, but I could definitely bludgeon someone with it successfully.

  9. I’m Reading Peter F. Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star / Judas Uchained. They’re really one novel each around 800 pages, so… Makes me grateful for the eReader!

  10. Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time #5) is in my library, but I’m only halfway through #3, so it will come up in due course. However, all are on my e-reader – how does that work as a bludgeon?

  11. Don’t forget The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. I took it camping with me once (true story) and survived a grizzly bear attack thanks to the book (possibly not a true story).

  12. What, no mention of Tad Williams Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower? The last of which was so large it had to be broken in two for the paperback edition!

  13. 30+ years later, I still have a facial scar from having used a first edition copy of Dune as a bludgeon. Sometimes, the classics are best.

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