I love some of these writing prompts and questions I see around that gets people talking about fiction. The question I pondered recently is this: what’s the biggest book that you ever read in a very short amount of time, and how quick was that? Or at least, that’s the question I answered.
I recommended Battlefield Earth by L.Ron Hubbard. He was a weird dude and cult leader, for sure, but this 1100 page tome hooked me and I spanned it cover to cover in 3 days.
True, the film adaptation was one of the worst books-to-film ever, but the filmmakers grossly deviated from the book… basically they kept the names and the setting the same and changed everything else, opting to make a very formulaic Hollywood movie within those things and trade special effects for the story-line, hoping no one would notice. We did.
The book does get a little long about two thirds of the way through, but there’s some very good payoff after it and the way that it bogs down is reflective of the main character getting mired down in the burdens of leadership and his own inabilities, so it could certainly be intentional (I know I’ve used this before–although sparingly–if a writer doesn’t get the audience to connect with the story, first, it’s an encouragement to drop the book.)
Definitely pick this one up as a classic. And don’t fear; nobody will think you’ve converted to Scientology–it’s not that kind of book (but if you’re that worried, a short piece of duct tape over Hubbard’s name will solve the problem. Everybody knows that Thetans can’t see through duct tape–it’s like Superman and lead.)