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Peter Bradshaw’s “The Counsellor…” Inconsolable

In response to Peter Bradshaw’s 235‑word review of The Counselor on Guardian [UK]

By ,

Startlingly brief, Peter Bradshaw’s “The Counsellor—review” is a pathetically formulated assessment that says way more about the author’s lack of literary ability than his disdain for the subject material.

A good indicator of poor quality with regard to literature like this is when the amount that can be said about the negatives eclipses the size of the piece itself. There is so much wrong with this piece, it’s amazing it was published at all: from uninspired narration to inconclusive assessment, to poorly worded, overly verbose descriptors… the list goes on and on. This is quite simply a terrible read from start to finish, and completely beneath even the most amicable reader’s standards.

Among the plethora of frustrating attributes are Bradshaw’s literary analogies, which are so intellectual they will no doubt go over the average reader’s head. Granted these are infrequent, but when the do manifest, they bring the flow of the passage to a dead stop. The reader must then look up the reference in order to understand its bearing on the argument before they can continue. One could alternatively ignore these references, but to do so in such a short piece would reduce the understanding of the author’s message considerably.

All told, “The Counsellor…” is a prime example of what bad writing is all about. There is little redeemable value within, other than the final consensus, and even that may be eclipsed by the author’s abysmal execution. If Bradshow intends on persuading an audience with his rhetoric, he’d be wise to learn how to write first.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation