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James Verniere’s “Grim ‘Furnace’…” Blows Smoke Up the Audience’s Furnace

In response to James Verniere’s 452‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Boston Herald

By ,

It’s hard to discern whether James Verniere is genuinely trying to assess his subject or just show off his literary prowess in his newest offering, “Grim ‘Furnace’ blows hot and cold”. Perhaps a little of both.

The premise is accounted for well enough, and the substance of this tome is sufficient to comprise the story being told. But too often, it comes off as detached and indifferent, as if the author’s task is so burdensome, he just wants to complete it as quickly as possible. His only sense of solace seems to be trite comments he sprinkles generously throughout the piece. Most of these are unnecessary jabs that seem to only exist in order to showcase the author’s knack for dry cynicism.

They also suggests Veniere’s inability to come up with any sort of compelling argument. Hence, he is just stalling in this over-bloated, parenthesis-heavy text in order to fill up space. Incidentally, although there is an abundance of this grammatical annotation throughout the text, they seem to serve no purpose beyond designating a space for the author to voice his personal politics. This implies, not too inconspicuously, that the author is biased and is using these asides to justify his favoritism.

The author has accomplished an awesome feat with “Grim ‘Furnace‘…”, and that’s not a good thing. For usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But in this case, there’s no fire or content. It’s just one giant smoke screen.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation