Esp. to people who don't read music, don't thethe #8 and #17 preludes look insane?
Yes they do and even to me the first time.
One that drives me crazy to play is #19 in E-flat.
While it is lovely to listen to, I hated learning this. For me, it was the absolutely most difficult prelude of them all as you have to jump all the time with both hands. Also, you very easily mix up the bars with each other. After trying various method, I saw only one solution to learn it and it was to just feed your hands with it daily. Small dozes at the time (about 4 bars) slowly, until you have played the entire piece 10 times. Then just repeat this procedure every day for like 2-3 months and you have probably fed your muscle memory enough to play it in your sleep. Unfortunately, it felt like I shut off the brain when I played it and when I finally created a decent recording of it, I never played it again.