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Donald Clark’s “Film Review: …” Commits Literary Suicide

In response to Donald Clarke’s 617‑word review of Ender’s Game on Irish Times

By ,

What an unholy mess author Donald Clark’s “Film Review: Ender’s Game” turns out to be. Rarely has an author done so much to undermine his own work.

The first of many mistakes occurs in the opening passage. While setting the tone, the author somehow feels it important to address the subject’s creator and his personal politics. By Clark’s own admission, this has no bearing on the subject itself, therefore needs no mentioning at all. So why do so? It serves no purpose, other than to possibly discourage the audience from investigating the subject for themselves—which is not in the author’s best interest either.

As he is relaying a consensus on whether the premise is worth exploring, it behooves him to retain the reader’s attention throughout. By disclosing something so sensitive and controversial so early on, he risks preventing readers who oppose that view from reading further. They will instantly condemn the product based on the merits of its creator, and therefore have no need for the author’s take.

And should they persist, the author makes it a point to bring this topic up again at various intervals.

Another massive weakness of this piece is ambiguity. It is never made explicitly clear what the author’s ultimate verdict is. He simply meanders through, discussing particular aspects he feels are worth noting and seems more interested in relaying intent than results. The former is inconsequential in a work such as this, unless it is used to give gravity to the latter. As this is not the case, it should be done away with completely.

Alas, this bloated diatribe is little more than an over-sized blurb of embellishment and self-sabotage that the audience should avoid at all cost. Irrelevant babbling has no place in literature, let alone this genre.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation