Stories about people, events, which might not happen to you but which draw you in, like the spiders web aruond the living fly.
The writers manage to engage your attention. It may be that the writing style is so definitive, so distinctive, that you cannot help but get mesmerised. The reader becomes a compulsive page turner. In some cases the readers leave the book half read. However, here, it becomes difficult. REading becomes a necessity, like a slow addiction. A need to be fulfilled. A need that may not be quite enjoyed, but a need nevertheless.
Sometimes the story may become gripping in its own way. That being, nothing really happening in it. A book being a faithful mirror of non-activity. The compulsion then is to read the end, and to know how the end makes sense - by reading the rest of the book.
In some even rarer occurences, the story becomes interesting. You really dont go for the authors style or inactivity of the book, but you become interested in the story. However, the story is something you rather not know. It is an assault on yoru senses. Something totally radically new, presented in a way which makes it difficult for you to accept it. And yet, makes you glued to it. You want to read it to know what happens next. What such a situation is like, and at the same time await the last page eagerly.
Finishing such books is a relief of sorts. A task accomplished. A curiosity fulfilled. A book that usually does not leave you with a view of 'good' or 'bad'. It is rather, an 'interesting' book, or an interesting writer.
Irresistible books, I am sure most adventurous book readers have read them. One of my firsts was The Great Gatsby. Irresistible. A mirror.
And then there came many. God of Small Things and Jhumpa Lahiri being some of the prominent ones.
However, the first time I came to share the experience was with a book my ex-flatmate V had got - by an Indian author, it was dark, mysterious, vengeful and depressing. Something all three of us (M, V and me) wanted to read, yet not read. Yet i cannot remember the name of it now. Something about 'Dusk'...ah! 'Last Song of Dusk'.
Even as I read 'The Sopranos' by Alan warner, I get drawn back into the same cycle.
One thing is definetely true about them all. They are well-acclaimed books, underlining their compulsive readability.