This "Fiction Rule of Thumb" by xkcd is spot on. In fact, I recently bought a Steven Erikson novel, Reaper's Gale (the seventh book of his Malazan series) and boy, does the fiction rule of thumb apply here :-)
Well, actually, not completely. My main gripe with the novel is that there are just so many small plots with so many different characters - each of which I would have liked to get to know better - that it becomes tiring to keep up with the story. Of course, this being the seventh novel in a series makes it a little unfair for me to judge the novel on that count alone (I picked it up at the airport desperate for something to read on a transatlantic flight). It did have a great atmosphere to it, and the idea of these ancient elder Gods walking around among the mortals, and being at the same time so aloof from the goings-on but also so very earthy in their actions, well that's an idea that really stirred my interest. 
I have yet to finish the novel by the way. I got so exhausted by the plethora of characters and storylines that my jetlagged mind couldn't deal with it. I'll pick it up again soon, now that I'm fit and ready to wrap my mind around it...