Is it any good? Most readers have asked and been asked this question. But is there such a thing as a good book, or good writing? That is the question here, examined through a comparative analysis of the poetics of a group of 20th century writers: Jack Kerouac, David Foster Wallace, Stephen King and Ayn Rand. It appears that these writers, who had seemingly little in common except for the fact that they wrote fiction in America, mainly after World War 2, agree on some important aspects considering good writing. Most importantly, they agreed that in order to write well, a writer must love to read and write. Furthermore, he must take into account what Jean-Paul Sartre called the pact of generosity, an understanding between the reader and writer that let them rely on one another in the creative process. This relationship enables co-authoring to happen, so that the ideas start in the writer s mind and end in the reader s. Thus, they all agree, good writing has to be demanding on both parts to ensure that the reader might leave the piece of writing heavier than he or she came to it.