In the old days, a chapter was a kind of milestone  or guidepost, if you will, in the novel. It sort of led you from one major point to another, often depicting sequential events in time or points of view of different characters in the story. They were fairly long and usually of varying length. Recently, I came across a very different treatment of what I imagined chapters would be in James Patterson’s “Cross Country

The novel is bout 400 pages, 406 in the edition I read. It is a typical Patterson thriller featuring detective Dr. Alex Cross- only this time he is not in his familiar Washington DC but in parts of Africa. What caught my attention was that it has as many as 158 chapters, many of them not being more than 3 pages in length. This was a first for me. I guess you need to be a James Patterson to write like this.

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