As I draw close to the end of Shogun with 430 pages of the 1210 to go I’ve been pondering the joy of the epic length novel. While books of every length have found a place on my list of favorites, from the brief but entertaining The Little Prince and Jonathan Livingston Seagull, to Diana Gabaldon’s multi volume Outlander Saga, the journey with an epic length novel ranks as one of my favorite reading experiences.
It takes a talented author to be able to hold a reader’s attention though 1000 pages of narrative; to create characters and scenarios that keep a reader flipping yet another page and coming back sometimes for weeks to find out what is going to happen next.
My attraction to the epic novel started when I surreptitiously read one of my mother’s “bodice rippers.” It was The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I won’t deny that at fifteen I was intrigued by the unbridled and very descriptive sex. Continue reading