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Peter Bradshaw’s “Ender’s Game—Review” Is Cruel, but Fair

In response to Peter Bradshaw’s 232‑word review of Ender’s Game on Guardian [UK]

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It is healthy to read reviews from foreign countries. Appreciating how other cultures see Hollywood films offers fresh lenses and new contexts.  Peter Bradshaw’s “Ender’s Game – review” is a fine addition for those who need new analogies, comparisons, and symbols to understand a grand SF spectacle.

There’s something tasty about being given two British heroes for comparison with Ender (Lord Blakeney from the Master and Commander series, Harry Potter from some book about wizards who go to boring school). It both soothes and annoys the supposed special nature of the boy-hero story, especially since Bradshaw has not read the book (heresy in some circles, a sign of culture in others). He also makes sure to note the author’s political views have become creepy and reactionary right before he investigates the tale featuring his greatest intellectual prodigy.

But a lot of Brit lit goes a long way. More Harry Potter comparisons, and then a quiet dismissal of plot, and that’s when it appears that the review bit off more than it could chew. Since most of the words are spent in gay comparisons where Ender comes up short, British snobbery becomes the dark current of the entire piece.

It’s unfortunate, as if Bradshaw was late for the Tube, and phoned in the ending for a laff.    

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