Most Powerful Storytelling

Doomsday Book - Connie Willis Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne  Collins

Another category I could take in so many different directions.  In some ways a storyteller can be, to me at least, thought of as a sub-set of authors.  Those who you can imagine would be masterful at weaving the tale orally to an audience, although a book doesn't have to be written that way.  I'd put Neil Gaiman and J. R. R. Tolkien in this category.  But in books "storytelling" can also simply mean the mastery of the written word so that the story is well told in it's written form.  This means to me that I can think of many different options for this one, but many would be pretty obvious and well known.


Today I'm choosing to spotlight "The Doomsday Book", by Connie Willis.  Whose tale of a time traveling historian in the days of the Black Plague is so well told that not only do you feel for the characters but you can also tolerate what is not a very happy topic and enjoy it.  That takes talent.


Another book I've selected is "Gregor the Overlander".  While perhaps not necessary fitting the "most" portion of this category overall (although an enjoyable read I highly recommend), author Suzanne Collins manages to make a cockroach a lovable character we care about, and will cry over.  Like E. B. White's "Charlotte's Web", it is masterful storytelling indeed to bring an audience to tears over a typically pesty insect.


For that alone Collins gets kudos from me.  I'll also say that while a very different story, with a younger target audience so a direct comparison isn't truly fair or very meaningful, that I enjoyed the Gregor series far more than I did the Hunger Games series.  This is not the first time I've found myself loving an author's less known book/series much more than the one that became most popular and they are most known for.  Don't know what that says about me, but it seems to be a pattern.  I felt the same about Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters series vs. the Uglies series.