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Graham Killeen’s “Hobbit” Brings the Laughs to Middle Earth

In response to Graham Killeen’s 445‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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God bless Graham Killeen’s “‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ keeps Tolkien’s magic going.” There’s so much ridiculous fun flowing here, it’s the literary equivalent of a Slip ‘N Slide greased with mayonnaise.

It’s rare to find a review that is genuinely funny. Many try and most fail miserably, but Killeen’s Keeps Tolkien’s Magic Going is a real deal laugh-a-minute riot.

The prose is highly effective and built almost entirely around the humor. In terms of pure entertainment value, you will not find anything better than the punography contained herein and Killeen’s tone and timing are pitch perfect throughout.

That said, criticism and comedy don’t always make for the best bedfellows, and there are several moments here where Killeen goes for the punchline when he should be giving readers legit critique.

That’s not to say that the analysis is weak. When Killeen gets serious, there are some surprisingly erudite strokes here: The action scenes are Rube Goldbergian in their complexity and sense of wonder and the critic makes this astute observation: film as “travelogue can also be high opera, especially when they’re forged in the image of Homer, Wagner and Milton — none of whom were too concerned about pacing either.”

For a riotously hilarious piece that’ll also get your critical rocks off, look no further.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation