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In “Out of the Furnace: …”, Liam Lacey Lets Too Much Out

In response to Liam Lacey’s 717‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Globe and Mail

By ,

Author Liam Lacey presents a director’s cut version of sorts in his latest work, “Out of the Furnace: A depressingly familiar plot salvaged by fine performances”. Unfortunately, the added bulk simply reinforces why most extra material should remain on the cutting room floor.

One of the primary goals in a piece like this is not to give away too much about the subject, lest they ward people off before they have a chance to investigate it for themselves. Surprisingly, Lacey appears to throw that rule right out the window. He basically ruins the soup by spoiling the ingredients. Every act is outlined in minute detail, each plot point is stripped down to its cellular components, and information best kept confidential is disclosed with no apology. All the ins and outs of the premise are covered in so much detail, the conclusion can be discerned a mile away.

So is there any redeemable value at all with this piece? Yes and no. Should the reader simply desire a good read with no intention of following up on the topic with their own research, then this piece may provide a nice distraction. However, should the reader seek only information directly related to the quality of the subject without stripping it bare in the process, they’d best avoid this text altogether.

It’s tragic and frustrating when a decent writer writes indecently. Lacey has undeniable talent, and the narration he provides here is incredibly enticing. Alas, In his quest to provide a thorough and cohesive assessment, Liam Lacey sacrifices discretion—thereby losing his target audience in the process.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation