I started this novel over five years ago, but suspended it to write something more in line with acceptable first novel lengths. It originally came in around 163,000 words, and I have only trimmed it back to 158,000 words. My second novel, which is still being reviewed, is 92,000 words, and my third one will probably come in around 60-70,000 words.
I tried removing characters and entire sub-plots, but the whole thing fell apart, and after three failed attempts to drastically reduce it's size, I put it on the shelf and started the second book.
I really like this book. It has a complex story line of intertwined sub-plots (which is why it was so hard to shorten). It starts out as an intrigue story and ends up being a science fiction.
This was a real mile stone for me.