Movies  •  Critics  •  About
Existimatum  >  Movies  >  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire  >  Reviews  >  Orange County Register

Michael Sragow’s “‘Catching Fire’…” So Good, It’s Bad

In response to Michael Sragow’s 994‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Orange County Register

By ,

Michael Sragow’s latest literary feast, ‘Catching Fire’ sparks new life for Hunger Games franchise,” breathes a life of its own. But in the process, it drains life from its subject.

It is clear from the start that Sragow knows his stuff. The existentially vibrant and dynamic world he creates is illustrated so convincingly, it’s as if he’s lived there his whole life. From the main structure to the supporting characteristics: nothing escapes his keen eye. And it is all so accessibly inviting, it’s nearly impossible to resist.  

Tragically, while the author’s learned expertise is a valuable asset, it also proves to be a huge detriment. The detailed synopsis Sragow provides is so comprehensive, it all but eliminates any room for the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks. And as the author’s gifted and infinitely charming narratorial ability will no doubt seduce them instantly, and keep them under his spell throughout, they likely will not even realize until it is too late that they know too much. Hence, the motivation to investigate the subject on their own is all but snuffed out.

Sragow indeed delivers an engaging, thoroughly satisfying piece of literature here. Pity that the level of thoroughness ultimately neutralizes part of its intended purpose, which is to convey opinion while still allowing the audience to judge for themselves.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation