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In “‘Nebraska’ Review: …”, Chris Hewett Plays Reluctant Hero

In response to Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)’s 418‑word review of Nebraska on St. Paul Pioneer Press

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Author Chris Hewett showcases obvious talent, but holds back in “‘Nebraska’ review: Rueful comedy a sure-footed character study that seldom falters”.

Mr. Hewett compels the audience forward with his words, much like the theme of the subject he writes about. There is never a dull moment, never a reason to tarry or question his motive. One’s faith remains firm as they gladly allow the author to guide them on this journey.

But as reassuring as his narrative is, there is one glaring weakness: the author’s confidence in his own ability. Hewitt seems reluctant to embellish on pivotal aspects of the premise, preferring instead to let the situation speak for itself. It suggests he believes his input would only detract from the imagery being conveyed. And while the subject does carry a certain life of its own, and the dramatic momentum is such that it could very well tell itself, it still requires the author’s own touch. Otherwise, it is pointless for him to be there at all. Furthermore, Hewitt has a unique ability to enhance his descriptors in a way that rarely detracts from the point. It is indeed one of his greatest talents, and one his audience is no doubt eager to see when they peruse his work. Why deny them that indulgence out of some misplaced need to stay out of the way?

All told, the author completes his task admirably, and provides a decent synopsis in the process. However, one cannot help but imagine how much better it could be if he would only loosen his inhibitions a bit more. A writer’s job is never easy, particularly in this genre. One must ever be mindful that their passions and personal politics don’t bleed too much into their work, lest it become biased. However, it is equally important to provide enough blood to give it a life of its own. Otherwise, it is just a parasite, relying on the life of its host to survive.    

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