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Moira Macdonald’s “Desperate Tale” Will Leave You Desperate for More

In response to Moira MacDonald’s 366‑word review of Gravity on Seattle Times

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Moira Macdonald’s “‘Gravity’: the desperate tale of an astronaut lost in space” begins in media res with dialogue from the titular movie. It effectively sets the tone for the rest of the review, an action-packed affair that dives right in and never comes up for air.

This is appropriate for such a heavily space-themed review, since airlessness (and, as an extension, breathlessness) is omnipresent, almost a character in and of itself. MacDonald pushes the reader right outside the airlock and doesn’t let them back in until the mission is done, forcing them to feel like a part of the proceedings instead of just a casual observer.

The result is that even though the review is only 366 words long, its immersive quality ensures readers have all they need to know about the film by the end. In fact, there is a little too much information given, as the title itself is a spoiler to any reader who is paying attention. That’s a disappointing shortcoming of what is otherwise a top-tier review.

Desperate Tale is thankfully lacking the desperation of many other reviews of its relatively low word count. It is an effective, concise thrill ride that will leave readers satisfied, even if an early spoiler does ruin the mood a bit.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation