Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good books and great books

What makes a novel good? What makes one great?  Are the two related? Does a book have to be good to be great?

In my view, a good novel is well-written, it uses vocabulary well, it has interesting characters and it has a good plot. It's not simply a re-hash of another novel nor is it jejune, hackneyed, simplistic, or any of a host of other negative adjectives that you or I could come up with.

A great novel, on the other hand, tells us something about what it means to be human. We feel differently about ourselves and our fellow humans when we are done. We have gone somewhere interesting and learned something vital while there.

Great novels don't have to be "high literature".  They can come from any genre.  I think they have to have the fundamental qualities of good novels, but they don't have to exemplify them to a high degree.

What's your opinion?  Discuss it in the comments (and give examples if you like).

No comments:

Post a Comment