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Up-and-Coming Writer Lacks Plot, Substance

Karl Marx’s recently published “Communist Manifesto” leaves much to be desired. The novella has made many readers, including this critic, disappointed. The story lacks imagery, plot, and good characterization.

Chief among the deficiencies of Marx’s supposed stroke of genius is its incredible disregard for characterization. We hear an awful lot about the ‘proletariat,’ but it just seems like not a whole lot of thought went into it. Marx would do well to explain to us more about the proletariat. Rather than just giving us a dry recitation of facts and theory, it would be of more interest to readers to know some background. Enriched characters are the foundation of a good plot. Who are the proletarians? What role do they play? Are they even human? What are their strengths; what are their flaws? Where are they going in life? Any quirks? Just tell us something about them, for Christ’s sake.

Beyond characterization, Marx’s supposed ‘magnum opus’ is a piece of shit when it comes to style. The writing is dry, academic, and frankly confusing. ‘Simplified class antagonisms?’ What the fuck is that? How are we supposed to know? There are very few metaphors, similes, and the word choice is incredibly bland. Terminology becomes increasingly dated. No one even knows what ‘hitherto’ means anymore.

In addition to trite, banal, erudition, Marx also offers readers a really fucking dumb plot line. First, there’s no ending. Marx leaves the fate of the proletarians and bourgeoisie completely up to chance. While the attempt at subtlety and interpretation is appreciated, we would honestly like to know what exactly happens? Who dies? What’s next? The story is all bark and no bite- proposal after proposal, but little action comes to fruition.

While many critics point to Marx as a genius, this literary critic gives two thumbs down, and two middle fingers up. What a pathetic excuse for a novel. I just want something I can read to my kids.


© 2013