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“Review: …” by Tony Hicks Burns With a Light All Its Own

In response to Tony Hicks’s 511‑word review of Out of the Furnace on San Jose Mercury News

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Let “Review: ‘Out of the Furnace’ a big missed opportunity” be a shining example of what excellent critical narrative should aspire to be. Tony Hicks’ latest effort is engaging, captivating, and most of all fun—all while conveying a perfectly sound argument.

The author sets up his plan of attack in short order, tipping the audience off early to this tale’s ultimate conclusion. One would think  this might ruin the piece, but in this case it only serves to build expectation. And fortunately, it lives up to the hype. The author delivers an intriguing diatribe chock full of drama, plot twists and character development, and ties it all together in a beautifully wrapped package just in time for the holidays. The eager reader who tears open this gift… and it truly is a gift  … will find a well-crafted literary masterpiece that comprehensively assesses its premise while never forgetting to entertain along the way.

The only negative effect, although most likely an unintentional one, is that the allure of this piece is so good it actually undermines its purpose. In an attempt to condemn the subject material, Hicks creates an argument so engaging, it barely seems like an argument at all. In fact, it actually breathes new life into the subject material and makes it much more attractive than it actually is. The audience may be swayed by this and wish to investigate the source for themselves, which in effect, is not what the author sets out to accomplish.

Still, the quality of “Review: …” cannot be denied. Hicks should be commended on creating such a brilliant and utterly engaging tome. It stands alone above the work of his peers, who would do well to take notes.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation