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Linda Cook’s “‘Catching Fire’…” a Flash in the Pan

In response to Linda Cook’s 420‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

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Brief and to the point is the best way to describe “‘Catching Fire’ sure to burn up the box office”, the latest textual offering from author Linda Cook. It gets the job done. No more, no less.

Concise rhetoric is usually a positive in this type of genre, and it does indeed serve this piece well. However, there are a few negatives introduced with this approach that are not so beneficial, namely apathy and presumption.

It’s apparent Cook is writing against the clock by the shortcuts she takes. The most obvious one is to assume how the subject material will fare in the public eye, seemingly without any forethought and certainly without any evidence to support her claim. She simply makes a blanket statement and leaves it at that. It’s as if she has a deadline to keep and aims to meet it at all cost, even at the risk of sacrificing quality.

Spouting random predictions without any rhyme or reason hardly bolsters the reader’s enjoyment, much less assists them in terms of making an informed decision. It merely suggests both laziness and lack of emotional investment. And if the author is not passionate about her work, the audience will not be passionate about reading it.

Still, the reader can garner some value from “‘Catching Fire‘…”. At minimum, the piece does convey a succinct stance in a clear and concise manner. And the negatives mentioned above, although impossible to overlook, are kept in check enough that they don’t eclipse the point being made. It also flows nicely, making this a satisfying read in the most basic sense of the word. The emotional impact might be lacking, but there is a heartbeat.

With a little more tweaking and possibly some deductive reasoning thrown in, this could be a better than average tome. As it stands, it is a relatively flat, uninspired quip from an author who seems to be in a big hurry.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation