Pillars of Eternity

I’ve been reading this book, “Pillars of the Earth,” for what feels like forever. It’s quite long, and even though the author (Follett) can sometimes digress extensively into the details of church construction, it is a damn good story.

The thing is, I feel like it’s actually three books in one. The story starts off with one set of characters, and adds more and more, jumping perspectives with ease. Then, about 300 pages in, the focus shifts to more minor characters and some of the ones I loved the most are killed off. Then the story changes locations entirely, taking me into a whole other world. (I’m trying not to give anything away, because it really is a fun read.)

At this point (and I still have several hundred pages to go), I don’t even really need to know any of the events that happened in the first half of the book. I seem to be reading a whole other story.

So I wonder, will he bring it back to the opening scene at the end? Or was there some other reason that he decided not to make this into a trilogy? It would seem, from a marketing perspective, that selling the story as a trilogy would have made both Follet and his publishers a lot of money.

Take the Hunger Games for example. Trilogy.¬†Delicious. Totally could have been one long book. I assume that the reason it’s not a trilogy is because the publisher knew I’d fork over the dough for each one, after loving the first installment so much.

As an author, it’s got me thinking. How does one know if they have a trilogy on their hands, or just one really long book? Is it an artistic choice? Or a marketing thing? Anyone out there have any perspective on this one?

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