There are many definitions of what makes a great work of literature, but for my money a great book must do one thing above all else: it must create a world of its own, with its own unique atmosphere and moral universe. It must invent that world and transport you into it, and make you believe in it, from first sentence to last. Paradoxically you will inhabit it intimately as an autonomous world existing independently of you, the reader. The plot and the setting, the characters and their language – all exist elsewhere, and you merely overhear, oversee, even though you are drawn into the very heart and essence of the creation. This is the godlike miracle of great writing. Homer did it, Shakespeare did it, the Brontës and Dickens did it. The new world the author creates is peculiar and true to that particular poem, play or novel, and true to no other.