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.

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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?

1 Comment

  1. Emilio
    Mar 10, 2012

    SPOILERS!! HUGE SPOILERS. Sorry0: I finshed Catching Fire a day after I went back to oochsl. The next day, I asked for the third from my teacher only to find out the she hadn’t gotten it yet. I waited a day in agony and then the next day, my teacher pops up with it as I walk into class. She wanted to read it too so she go it from B&N the night before and read the entire thing. She let me borrow it and of course I loved it. I, like many other people, didn’t like Mockingjay in the beginning. It was cold hearted and bloody and unfair and WHAT THE HECK? Peeta wasn’t in love with Katniss. But, I learned to love it. I relized how real it was. NO one can go through what Katniss has and not feel roken, betrayed, and untrusting. Not to mention she felt kind of like that before The Hunger Games. Most wars, if not all, have death and betrayal and anger and violence and unfairness. And Suzzane Collins made sure that was known. Katniss was considered mentally dissoriented for half the book and she was forced to be the face of a revoulution she didn’t even know she wanted to ba a part of. By the end of the book, you feel broken and dissapointed by all the loss that you felt with Katniss. You feel the awkward uncomfort her and Gale felt. You understood where he was coming from. Your heart went out to Peeta who was so confused and lost and trapped. But, you also can’t help but feel a sense of hope that Peeta gave too. That life can go on. You can be happy again. I love and understand this book more and more each day. And I also have more respect for an author who doesent always believe in a perfect happily ever after.

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