To you, what qualifies a book as good or bad? Are some books objectively better than others, or is it purely a matter of opinion?
This is quite a difficult question, I feel. Judging from my blog content, I must at times come across as quite snobby because I prefer classics over a lot of contemporary fiction. A lot of classics, I feel, are called such because they speak to people no matter what century they're from and therefore they are considered good. Having survived for so long must mean something. But that doesn't mean all classics are "good" in my opinion. I have a severe dislike for any of Charles Dickens' books because I don't like his writing style or the way he treats his characters.
A "problem" I do have with a lot of contemporary fiction is that I feel a lot of them lack innovation and follow trends without trying to add something new to them. First is was vampires, now it's dystopian, it will be something else next. But, since starting my degree, I have started to realize that this is simply something that has always happened. The classics we have now are simply the best of the bunch from back in the day. I'm imagining that in a hundred years most of the current fantasy genre novels will have been forgotten whereas Game of Thrones might survive.
But for now, I think it largely depends on opinion. I do feel like there are certain things that make a book good, such as proper use of language, inventiveness, good character development etc., but the issue with these criteria is that they also depend on opinion. I think not a single character in the Twilight saga goes through any kind of proper development, but other people do. So, long answer short: I do think it definitely depends on opinion, but groups of people definitely agree on certain categories and then declare a book good.
Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice respectively and today I'm using The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon because my holiday reading has officially started.
'Dear Irene,Sometimes I think I am doomed never to forget the mirage of that summer we spent together in Blue Bay.'I love the beginnings of Zafon's novels because they always manage to sound nostalgic and mysterious at the same time!
'At first glance it looked like a wad of paper tied together, but then she noticed Hoffmann's unmistakable wax seal. Letters.'Why would he burn letters? Who is Hoffmann and who is she? So many questions!
So, what do you think makes a book good?