The thing I liked most about Platonov's stories was that he writes well and does not need to resort to gimmicks. That's the kind of "spare" writing I love. One of those gimmicks I like the least is having too many bad things happen to the people in the book. And that's my complaint with a lot of modern fiction. I just finished rereading Karen Hesse's children's book Out of the Dust. She is an excellent writer and I didn't think she needed to have the circumstances surrounding the fire (although that set of trials was certainly a lot more realistic than other books I've read, including children's books).
That's my same complaint with The Secret Life of Bees. I very much enjoyed the story, but I thought all the things that happened to the main character were simply too much. This happens over and over in so many books. A really good writer can take things from every day life and create an excellent and engaging story without resorting to a variety of awful circumstances. From the number of times these awful circumstances crop up in fiction, you'd think everyone was dealing with these issues all the time. They use those awful things to propel the story and keep you interested. Tension and conflict isn't bad- we all have to deal with it in our lives. But it shouldn't be what makes a story, or our lives, interesting.
In short, good writers keep you reading in spite of these annoying plots. But they need some help from the gimmicks. But excellent writers keep you reading because they don’t use these gimmicks at all.