If you’re the kind of reader who loves to get lost in expansive worlds and intricate storylines, then you’re in for a treat. Today, we’re going to explore the 7 longest book series ever written, perfect for those who can’t get enough of a good thing.
You know the feeling: you finish a book and wish it never ended. Well, with these series, you’ll have plenty of material to keep you occupied. From mysteries to science fiction, these collections span various genres and have something for everyone. So, let’s get started and discuss the longest book series you can sink your teeth into!
Below is the list of 7 most longest book series ever:
1: The Shadow
Author: Walter B. Gibson & Maxwell Grant
Number of books: 331
First Book Released: 1931
The Shadow is a literary icon, born from the creative minds of Walter B. Gibson and Maxwell Grant. Originally conceived as a mysterious narrator for a radio program, the character quickly gained popularity. It became so popular that it was developed into a full-fledged literary figure in 1931.
The series has been incredibly versatile, branching out into various forms of media including comic books, video games, and films. The character of The Shadow, also known as Kent Allard, is a WWI pilot who turns into a vigilante. He fights for justice with his unique set of skills, including the hypnotic power to cloud men’s minds.
What sets The Shadow apart from other characters is its pioneering role in the superhero genre. Many consider him to be the first modern-day superhero, complete with alternate identities, recurring villains, and a team of sidekicks.
Unlike many of today’s superheroes, The Shadow doesn’t shy away from using weapons. He is often seen employing ultra-violence to serve justice. The series began as a way to boost sales for Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine but quickly became a phenomenon of its own, leading to a whopping 331 books in the series. If you’re a fan of vigilante justice and complex characters, The Shadow is a must-read.
Author: Carolyn Keene
Number of books: 175
First Book Released: 1930
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories is a classic series that has captivated readers for nearly a century. Created by Edward Stratemeyer and penned by various authors under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, the series follows the adventures of Nancy Drew, a young detective who solves mysteries in her fictional hometown of River Heights.
Over the years, the character has evolved to reflect changes in American culture, from a 16-year-old sleuth in the early books to an 18-year-old professional in later series like The Nancy Drew Files. The franchise has even adapted to modern times with Nancy Drew: Girl Detective, where our heroine drives a hybrid car and uses a cell phone.
Nancy Drew’s character is often assisted by her cousins Bess Marvin and George Fayne, as well as her boyfriend Ned Nickerson. The series has been adapted into various forms of media, including films, TV shows, and video games. It has sold over 80 million copies worldwide.
Whether you’re a fan of the classic mysteries or the modern adaptations, Nancy Drew offers a treasure trove of stories that continue to engage readers of all ages.
Released in 2014, “Ugly Love” is a bold exploration of the complexities of casual relationships. Hoover presents readers with a nuanced perspective on love and heartbreak. She has focused on the characters of Tate Collins and Miles Archer, who find themselves tangled in an emotionally charged, no-strings-attached relationship.
The book was received enthusiastically by fans and critics alike. Many even applauded Hoover’s candid depiction of complex emotions and relationships. The heartrending narrative and relatable characters resonated with readers, with many praising the raw, emotional depth of the story.
Adding to the buzz, a movie based on “Ugly Love” was announced, with fans eagerly awaiting the adaptation. This development speaks to the story’s wide-ranging appeal and its ability to resonate deeply with audiences.
Author: Ann M. Martin
Number of books: 158
First Book Released: 1986
The Baby-Sitters Club, often abbreviated as BSC, is a beloved series that delves into the lives of a group of friends in the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Created by Ann M. Martin and published by Scholastic, the series revolves around a local babysitting service run by the original four members: Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, and Stacey McGill.
The series tackles a wide range of issues, from illness and moving to divorce, all told in a first-person narrative. Initially planned as a four-book series, its immense popularity led to an expansion that eventually included 158 books, some of which were written by ghostwriters.
The Baby-Sitters Club didn’t just stop at books; it also ventured into other media. A 13-episode TV series aired in 1990, and more recently, a new adaptation was released on Netflix in 2020, although it was canceled in 2022.
The series has had a lasting impact, selling 176 million copies and becoming a staple in young adult literature. Whether you’re revisiting the series for nostalgia or discovering it for the first time, The Baby-Sitters Club offers a heartwarming look into the challenges and triumphs of adolescence.
Author: Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir
Number of books: 166
First Book Released: 1971
The Destroyer is an action-packed series that introduces us to Remo Williams, a Newark cop who is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and subsequently sentenced to death. However, his life takes a dramatic turn when his death is faked by a secret government organization called CURE.
Created by President Kennedy, CURE operates outside the law to protect the nation. Remo is trained by Chiun, a master of the deadly martial art of Sinanju, to become an assassin targeting criminals who are beyond the reach of conventional justice. The series, originally penned by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, delves into the world of espionage, martial arts, and political intrigue, offering readers a thrilling experience.
The Destroyer has not only captivated readers but has also made its way into other forms of media. A film adaptation titled “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins” was released in 1985. As of December 2022, a TV series adaptation is in the works too.
The series has even attracted the attention of Hollywood figures like director Shane Black, who is a fan and has expressed interest in working on the script. With its blend of action, humor, and complex characters, The Destroyer is a series that has stood the test of time. It offers a compelling narrative that continues to attract new generations of readers.
Author: James Axler
Number of books: 126
First Book Released: 1986
Deathlands is a post-apocalyptic series that plunges readers into a world devastated by nuclear warfare between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was initially penned by Christopher Lowder under the pseudonym Jack Adrian. Later it was completed by Laurence James as James Axler. The series begins with the cataclysmic events of January 20, 2001.
The story unfolds in a grim landscape known as the Deathlands. It’s where survivors face not only the harsh conditions of a nuclear winter but also genetic contagions and other horrors. The series delves into the struggle for survival, the collapse of civilization, and the emergence of new social orders in a world forever altered.
The Deathlands series is unique in its structure, offering both episodic stories and serialized narratives. Some books can be read independently, while others build upon previous installments. The series has also been adapted into a low-budget telefilm. The telefil was titles “Deathlands: Homeward Bound,” which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2003.
Furthermore, an official sequel series called Outlanders was created, providing a more detailed backstory to the apocalyptic world. With its compelling characters and intricate plotlines, Deathlands offers a dark yet captivating exploration of humanity’s resilience in the face of utter devastation.
7: Perry Rhodan
Author: Various (Originally developed by K. H. Scheer and Walter Ernsting)
Number of books: 108 books as per Goodreads but there are over 5,000 volumes
First Book Released: 1961
Perry Rhodan is a German space opera franchise that has captivated readers for decades. Launched in 1961, the series has been penned by a rotating team of authors. It has sold an astonishing two billion copies worldwide, making it the most successful science fiction book series ever.
The series is structured in arcs, referred to as “cycles,” each containing 25 to 100 issues. These cycles form part of a larger narrative known as a “grand-cycle,” offering readers an expansive universe to explore. Remarkably, the series was initially planned to consist of only 30 to 50 novellas but has since grown to over 5,000 volumes due to popular demand.
Perry Rhodan has not only been a phenomenon in the literary world but has also expanded into other media forms. The media forms include comic books, audio dramas, and video games. A reboot of the series, Perry Rhodan NEO, was launched in 2011. It took almost 10 years then for its first English translation to be published in 2021.
While some may argue that the series shouldn’t be included in longest-book-series lists due to its magazine format, the sheer volume and word count of the stories make it a contender for the title. With its intricate plotlines, diverse characters, and expansive universe, Perry Rhodan offers an unparalleled journey through the realms of science fiction.
There you have it, the 7 Most Longest Book Series Ever, each a titan in its own right. Whether you’re a fan of mystery, science fiction, young adult drama, or action-packed thrillers, there’s something on this list for everyone. These series have not only stood the test of time but have also expanded into various forms of media. They have captured the hearts of multiple generations.
So, if you’re looking for a literary journey that could very well last a lifetime, you now know where to start. Happy reading!
Frequently Asked Questions:
The Perry Rhodan series holds the title for the longest book series ever, with over 5,000 volumes and counting (considering all original volumes).
The “In Search of Lost Time” series by Marcel Proust took over 14 years to write, making it one of the longest series in terms of writing time.
The longest single-volume book is “Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus,” a French novel that is about 13,095 pages long.
“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy is often cited as one of the longest books to read, with over 1,200 pages.
The longest book written in English is “Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady” by Samuel Richardson, with over a million words.