What makes a GREAT book?

What makes a GREAT book?

I was asked this recently.

My answer: When the world and characters of that book invade my dreams.

I know that there are a lot of answers to this question, like…

Great characters that I can relate to.


One that makes me cry.


A plot that surprises or shocks.

All good answers, and a great book would probably need all of these things, but when I’m reading a book, and those characters come to life in my dreams, I know I’m reading a great book.

The book (books, rather, all 15 of them) that this is most true for me is The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan [& Brandon Sanderson]). I love these books. I first read ‘The Eye of the World’ when I was about 14, and quickly went on to read the remaining books available, which at the time only took me to book 8, I think. As each subsequent books was released, I’d re-read all the proceeding books in preparation. That wasn’t just because I love the books – it was something of a necessity, as these are very complex books with more plot threads than I would have thought it possible to keep a track of. I love the plot, I love the range of characters, the rich and complex world they exist in. But most of all, I love that when I read these books, these very long books that consume the mind, my dreams also take place in the world that Robert Jordan created. While I sleep, I become the characters and face the same terrible challenges and choices that these characters have to deal with. I love it, and these are the first books that come to mind when I am questioned about truly GREAT books.


So, to you, ‘What makes a GREAT book?’

I’d love to hear your answers.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Great answer, and I completely agree. I personally can confirm that a book is truly “great” when I can’t stop thinking about – even days, months, and sometimes, years, after I’ve read it. I also don’t agree with those people who claim that a great book is one that can make you cry; I’ve read lots of great books that haven’t made me cry, and lots of not-so-great ones that have. Maybe that’s just me, though!

    Liked by 1 person

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