defining ‘a good story’

I just found another way to define what is a good story: a story that makes you cry even though you’ve read it 10+ times already.

Another one: a story that will not allow you to put down your book, no matter if you have all hell break out around you and should be doing a gazillion other things rather than read – even though you’ve already read the book more than once and know exactly what’s going to happen.

And another one: a story that makes the world around you seem less real than the one on the page (yes, even though you’ve read it more than once before).

All these things happen to me whenever I pick up any of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books. Any. No matter how often I’ve read them (and I’ve read them VERY often).

I wish I could tell a story like that. I wish more other people could, as well.

Do you have any stories that fit into these definitions for you? Or do you have any definitions of your own?


About wordsurfer

writer, ex-teacher, human rights believer & fighter, traveller, adventure-seeker, freedom lover, global citizen. big on daydreams, less so on reality.

Posted on May 19, 2012, in day-to-day and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I rarely read a book more than once but reading to kill a mocking bird makes me feel like living in a different dimension.

    • You don’t re-read books that you like? I do it ALL THE TIME! And I *love* To Kill a Mockingbird, but I can’t easily re-read it, because it’s too intense. 🙂

      • I almost don’t. Just like when I eat a very very delicious food, I will try to avoid eating it for the second time so I will always remember my impression when trying it for the first time. I’m afraid the second time will not be as good as the first and ruin the whole memory :p. So with books, hehehe

        • I understand your reason, but the beauty with a good story is that it will take you back to the same place again and again, and it will live on in your head and you’ll develop emotions towards the characters, and you’ll live in that world in your head. And when you take it up again, it will put you right back there. At least, that’s how it works for me. The only times where I had that experience of being disappointed because the story was not as good as I remembered was with a couple of books that I adored as a teenager and then read again as an adult and they just didn’t give me the same feelings again. But I guess that’s part of growing up! 🙂

  2. Yes of course. There is one Colombian writer already dead (Died at 27) that hopefully you could read in spanish, his name is Andrés Caicedo and is from Cali as I, the book name is “Que viva la música” (Music lives). It is really amazing how he describes my hometown life in the 1970’s and all the freak around the Salsa movement growing on…..

  3. Sarah Booth

    I loved the Tortall books too!

    • I never knew that! YEAY for Tortall! Have you read the Beka Cooper ones yet? I have the third one sitting there, but I sort of want to prolong the anticipation, so I’m re-reading the first and second one a couple of times. 🙂

  4. Madame Penelope

    Oh this is so true… I’ve recently re-read all of her Tortall books (except the Bekas – I don’t have the third yet) and I was surprised to find how enrapturing they still are after all this time. They can make me laugh and cry and shiver all at the same time, and that’s a rare and wonderful feeling.

    • Oh, so happy to meet another Tortall fan! They seem to be timeless for me as well. All the people and animals and immortals are so alive in my head, and reading the books is like going to visit old friends.
      The difficult question: who’s your favourite (Alanna, Dhana, Kel, Aly, Beka…?)

      • Madame Penelope

        Oh dear… I’ve never been able to answer that well… hm… When I’m not reading any of the books, my favorite quartet to remember is the Immortals, I think… but then, when I’m reading any one series, those specific characters jump to the front of my mind as my favorites. So, if I had to choose, probably Dhana (or Daine as we say in the US 🙂 ).

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