Books can be about anything – elephants, antimacassars, milk cartons – but generally they are not. Books tend to cluster around certain subjects, old favorites cropping up time and time again, like regulars at a bar. But unlike barflies, who all seem to have learned the same hard luck story by rote, writers (good writers) can take the same base material and make it into something entirely original.
Contrast three writers on the same subject and what you end up with is not just interesting—what you end up with is inspiration.
For example: three books about roads. On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and The Famished Road by Ben Okri
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