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Dave Calhoun’s “Nebraska” Is an Enjoyable Read but Lacks Character

In response to Dave Calhoun’s 453‑word review of Nebraska on Time Out

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David Calhoun gets the point across in the slightly-better-than average “Nebraska.” Fans of DC will be happy with his decision to stay away from boring plot summary and his ability to unleash the classic DC critique that so many enjoy. Unfortunately, the four paragraphs of the piece only tease at what Calhoun is actually capable of.

The opening paragraphs of Calhoun’s Nebraska are gentle, and the critic refrains from resorting to cliches or forced humor. Calhoun sets the tone with stylized writing and seems to be saying “Here, reader…this is for you.” Although the work is not lengthy, it’s not difficult to see that the critic has deep respect for his fan base.

What’s missing is a feeling of being connected to the review. Calhoun takes the reader to the Great Plains with remarkable prose, but none of the characters are explored with any depth, especially the lead performance. The characters come across as names rather than actual people, and who wants to roam about by themselves in Nebraska? Nobody.

Calhoun’s Nebraska closes with a warm paragraph on the cantankerous Woody, but Calhoun’s failure to properly bring the character to life is troubling.

Who is David? Well, he is a character played by Will Forte, but the critic sadly throws him in the dumpster like so many pieces of garbage.

Dave Calhoun has composed an enjoyable read with Nebraska, but the thin analysis is not suitable for the average review connoisseur.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation