What the best popular novels-- think the books of Michael Crichton-- have in common with postmodern novels is that the focus, the viewpoint, is on and from the intellect. It's what makes them, in both cases, artistically unsatisfying. Which makes them ultimately dead.
Not that some emotion on occasion isn't stirred. The writing of David Foster Wallace, for instance, seems to generate a certain empathy from a narrow circle of readers. It's the kind of emotion felt for the android in the movie "Blade Runner."
Literature will become great only when it stirs again great emotion-- when it reaches deep, as great art reaches deep, into our very souls. That should be the goal.