In honor of Pi Day: 14 trilogies
Today is March 14 (3.14), which is recognized as “Pi Day”. 🙂
You see, 3.14 (and an infinite number of digits more…I remember as much as 3.14159 offhand) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and March is the third month of the year, so in the USA, we say it is 3/14 today (which, as three fourteenths, would really be 0.2142857), even though in most of the world they put the day before the month (which makes sense: they do “little middle big”…why do we do “middle little big?”), and…never mind. 😉
I wanted to do something connected to it, and three is also a big number in literature…so I figured if I listed fourteen trilogies, that would work.
A “trilogy” of books is three novels (I’m going to stick with fiction) that go together. They often have a throughline arc…the story starts in the first one, develops in the second, and ends in the third…but it doesn’t always work quite that way.
Not surprisingly, the third one is often people’s least favorite. Endings are hard! I remember, when I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, somebody asking me what I thought of Stephen King’s
I said something like, “The first twelve hundred pages are great…”
Culture does like threes. 🙂 There are the Three Stooges, the Three Fates, the Three Musketeers, and the Three Little Pigs, to name a few…
As I’m picking these, I’m not trying to choose the “best” (always subjective), or even the best-known. I’m going to look for an interesting mix. My main criteria are that they are in the (USA) Kindle store and they don’t block text-to-speech access**. It’s possible that there are more than three books…for example, The Hobbit won’t disqualify The Lord of the Rings, which may be what comes first to many people’s minds in terms of trilogies (and what perhaps inspired quite a few other fantasy/science fiction publishers to plan on trilogies).
One more thing: is it better to get all three in one title, if you can, or get them separately? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. It is sometimes (but not always) cheaper to get an omnibus (“bundle”). However, the file is larger, and documentation can be more confusing. If you highlight something in an omnibus, it tells you it came from that omnibus…not from the individual title. My preference in listing here is going to be the omnibus, when possible…I like the convenience of that.
The Lord of the Rings: One Volume (at AmazonSmile)
by J.R.R. Tolkien
4.6 out of 5 stars, 3,075 customer reviews
Included: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King
1220 pages listed for paper edition
$10.99 at time of writing
Gee, there are more then twice as many reviews for this trilogy as for LotR…I guess you could say that, in that category, Fifty Shades has the Lord of the Rings, um, “whipped”. 😉
Undset won a Nobel Prize in literature in 1928, in part on the basis of these historical novels.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (at AmazonSmile)
by Stieg Larsson
4.6 stars, 851 reviews
Included: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
I haven’t read these…are they actually that short?
Independently published paranormal romance…well-reviewed and inexpensive.
Star Wars: Trilogy (25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition) (at AmazonSmile)
by George Lucas, Donald F. Glut, James Kahn
4.6 stars, 36 reviews
Included: Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Yes, George Lucas was the credited author on the first novelization of the first (released) Star Wars novel. 🙂
The Century Trilogy (no omnibus available)
by Ken Follett
- Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy (at AmazonSmile) | 4.0 stars, 363 reviews | 865 pages | $5.69
- Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy (at AmazonSmile) | 4.4 stars, 3,598 reviews | 1,630 pages | $14.25
- Edge of Eternity: Book Three of The Century Trilogy (at AmazonSmile) | no reviews: it can be pre-ordered now for September 16, 2014 | 1,120 pages | $12.99
Mysteries…sort of. These are a bit more surreal than you might imagine.
In what may seem rather modern to some, these 1920s novels also have two short stories (“interludes”) which bridge them.
The first book is soon to be “a major motion picture”…could possibly be one of the big movies of the year.
It’s already been a not-so-major motion picture ;), but that shouldn’t put you off the books.
In case you thought trilogies only went back a few decades…
The Oedipus Trilogy: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone (at AmazonSmile)
3 stars, 1 review (for this edition)
In case you thought trilogies only went back a few centuries…
You may have others you’d like to mention…feel free to do so by commenting on this post. By the way, before it comes up: Douglas Adams calling the Hitchhiker series a “trilogy” was sort of a joke. 😉
Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.