When it comes to novels; good writing = a good story. I read about half of The River Why, by David James Duncan, which was highly recommended by a friend. The writing is creative, the metaphors are intriguing, and the descriptions colorful. Yet my interest waned because the story did not grab me, I plan to finish the book, and may change my review, but half way in it is dragging.
Most literary types were critical of Harry Potter, a kids book that they said was not well written, yet I read them all, most more than once. Why, because they are good stories.
Sometimes you get both like in
- Poison, by Kathryn Harrison
- Anything by Richard Russo
- A Case of Curiosities, by Kurzweil
- The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Mason – this is one of the best
At social gatherings the topic often drifts to books and good writing, many proclaim judgement on the writing, good or bad, assuming that all present are cognizant of what they mean by good writing, usually I don’t have a clue what is meant. And often the books I have enjoyed most are deemed barely worth reading because they are “not well written.” All I know is that I enjoyed the story.
Most of my reading is for work or study, I read novels for pleasure, to escape. A good Louis L’Amour western fills the need quite often. They are good stories therefore they are well written.