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Ty Burr’s “‘Catching Fire’…” More Than Just a Flash in the Pan

In response to Ty Burr’s 127‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Boston Globe

By ,

Ty Burr delivers a devastating blow that floors his opponent, then abruptly leaves the ring before the count is finished. That’s the most fitting way to describe “‘Catching Fire’ a sequel that soars, skewers at same time”, which manages to tackle its subject before it even knows what hit it.

“Short and sweet” has rarely been better demonstrated than the author does here. He assesses the expectation surrounding his topic and delivers a concise, yet comprehensive synopsis to meet it. The attack is as jarring as it is undeniable, and makes quick work of the target. And in a surprising twist, he even interjects an acknowledgement of his own preconceptions and bias—a brave move that will undoubtedly garner respect and admiration from the audience. Suffice it to say, it does nothing to take away from the effectiveness of the attack.

However, two glaring weaknesses eclipse the positives, the first being Burr’s own pretentiousness. Despite admitting a tendency to judging a book by it’s cover (so-to-speak), he does just that by assuming far too much regarding the supportive arguments. This tends to damage the validity of his case.

Second, the text’s brevity leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction, and suggests the author is trying to complete his task hastily so he can attend to more pressing needs… like polishing his literary achievement trophies.

He also tends to be overly descriptive, spewing enough colorful adjectives to make Dennis Miller do a double-take. The intent of all of this may be to enlighten the audience as quickly and succinctly as possible, so that they can return to more pressing needs they may have. But the extra-alliterative terminology undermines this, due to the time it takes to look up the words.

Despite its flaws, “‘Catching Fire’ a sequel that soars, skewers at same time” is a solid piece of literature that should not be overlooked.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation