Greatness in Books

March 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

What makes a book great? Is it something that can be measured?

I’m not sure it can.

There’s no doubt that technique helps. If you follow the techniques laid down in writing, you will be more successful in communicating with the reader. Since most books set out to communicate something, technique is a good thing if it helps with that. But does technical brilliance alone define the greatness of a book? Does technical brilliance come into it at all?

I guess it depends who’s doing the judging. Naturally, people who understand those techniques and try to utilise them will notice if another writer deviates from them. But does that mean the book is a ‘bad’ book? When we all view books so differently, is it possible to say which books are ‘bad’ which are ‘good’?

What do you think?