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Matt Prigge’s “‘The Hobbit: …” a Rewarding but Treacherous Trek

In response to Matt Prigge’s 527‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Metro 

http://www.metro.us/newyork/entertainment/movies-entertainment/2013/12/08/the-hobbit-the-desolation-of-smaug-will-give-you-stockholm-syndrome/

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“‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ will give you Stockholm Syndrome” is Matt Prigge’s attempt at compelling condemnation. Although mostly successful, he oversteps the line a little and almost sabotages his hard work in the process.

There are two missteps in this piece: one minor and redeemable, one not so much. The first is that the author lays out his thesis using a reference not all readers may be keen enough to pick up on. Fortunately, the author elaborates on this throughout the remainder of the piece, albeit indirectly at times, but sufficiently enough to keep the reader clear on the point he is trying to make. However, further on he makes a second mistake which may turn back the reader altogether—he reveals the subject’s climactic ending. Granted, it is disclosed only briefly and at such a high level, there is a chance the reader will overlook it. But it still runs the risk of spoiling the adventure for them before they ever set foot out the door.

That said, the undeterred reader will have the pleasure of witnessing the author’s clever assessment of the subject… and it shines like gold in an ancient and buried tomb. The main strength of this piece is not Prigge’s emphatic criticism of the source material, but rather the poignant, entirely merited evidence he presents. He proves extremely versed in the topic, indeed enough to step through its nuances so sure-footed, one would think he had a hand in its creation. And in doing so, he points out aspects that the reader will kick themselves for not seeing sooner.

Combine this keen perception with beautifully embellished descriptions and colorful analogies and one has a vibrant, entertaining and wholly satisfying work of literary art deserving of high praise. Once the reader buries their head into the deep passages of this work, they will likely find it difficult to pull it back out. For it is as addictively charming as an invisibility ring, with only some of its dangerous side effects.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation