Examples, perhaps. Chapter One: Sasha And Why She Steals Things. Chapter Two: Sasha’s Boss, Some Years Prior – His Complicated Relationship With His Son. Chapter Three: The Groupie of a Band Which Sasha’s Boss Will Later Discover, But Long Before That Discoveration When Said Groupie and the Band Are Just Faffing Around Being Teens And Falling In Love With Each Other (And Older Men). Chapter Four: Two of That Older Man’s Six Children, On a Safari.
And so on. Each story is just related enough to the others, with enough crossover of character, that it matters. It’s like a carnival, and you simultaneously want to see All The Things and to stop and spend your whole day just here, with this one thing. I would have taken any of these chapters as a novel and been delighted.
But about two thirds of the way through it launches in a different direction (there are graphs and implied PowerPoint and it is neat) but when it trails back to the constellation of stories I’ve lost my interest. I mean, it keeps on doing what it was doing, and all of the threads find each other, the cut of which jib I usually like. I went for a walk at exactly the two-thirds mark, so we will blame that, and base my final opinion on the chummy heart-breakingness of the Pre-Walk Era.
Eight caterpillars, say.