Well I really dont get what makes it to that special poetic place for you. It seems rather arbritrary and subjective based on these comments. However, I have noticed that most you list, place plot and storytelling above all else in my opinion. Also, it seems you are like the poster boy for the modern American literature academic: with your love of Frankenstein (a godawful and overanalyzed book to me--opinion of course) Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and the fact you are reading a book on technique study. I dont see how one can learn anything as a writer by reading about the craft of writing. One should read other authors works, and should--if they are any good--to be able to create their own style. I dont know of any great or middlingly good author, who has read works on style and technique etc. But I am autodidactic, with a hatred of institutionalized thinking; so... I suppose I am the poster boy for the modern literary dilettante. Haha. But this thread has got me thinking, and I've realized every single author and book I love, is both poetic, yet savagely satirical at the same time. I guess its a personality thing.