Top critical review
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Full of errors and misjudgments
on 4 March 2014
The introduction gives a fair overview of the exam in which this text feature and the glossary of technical terms is useful.
Part of the fun of reading this book was marking the number of times I disagreed with the interpretations made. The highpoint was the section commenting on the description of Joe and Clarissa's flat in Maida Vale where the author has his narrator say 'something resembling the Queen Mary ran aground'. To Broadfoot this is further evidence that the narrator is unreliable, because he lives near a canal, far too small for an ocean going vessel! He is right to observe that this is a metaphor and it is actually about the common style that the Queen Mary and Joe's Art Deco flat in Maida Vale share. His excursus into the story of the Titanic and its final occupants going down to the strains of a Christian hymn being in some way related to Jed's religion, is frankly laughable. Perhaps Broadfoot recognises this when he admits that Joe refers to the Queen Mary, not the Titanic.
Is he taking the mick? Probably not, because he then starts to nitpick about the date of the launching of the Queen Mary in 1934: 14years too late for the 1920s when the flats were built. If MacEwan is making a point about style of architecture, not such problematic dating after all.
There is plenty more of this. Definitely not one to recommend to an A-level student.