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Reviews from
The Vicious Circle

'Hell is personal, Dorothy'

  50 total reviews 
Comment by
Premier Author
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Poet Rating
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  78
Review Stars
  Rank:  226
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Damn, Lee, this good. How the heck did I miss this before. That is such a cool idea Mark Twian not being able to read new authors, but visits with them instead. Wonder how he and Trumon Capote, or Kurt Vonegut would get along, ha, ha. Good stuff there, Lee.

 Comment Written 03-Jul-2014

reply by the author on 09-Jul-2014
    Thanks for going into the archives for this one, sibhus. One of my favorites. I think Kurt and Sam would get along fine. Maybe I'll visit that bench one day. Peace, Lee
Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
Clever idea, lucky for you they are all dead and can't raise any objections to your depiction of the

Clever idea for a short story. Your depiction may not be far off the mark. I loved Parker and Benchley and of course the master, Samuel Clemens. Also Shel Silverstein and countless others. Your imaginary dialogue is truly original and funny. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Very, very good.

 Comment Written 26-Dec-2013

reply by the author on 27-Dec-2013
    Thank you,janeok. It's a shame Clemens died before the Algonquin Round Table came to be. He'd have fit right in.
    and while Siverstein missed it by a good margin, he'd also have been a worthy addition. It's quite daunting to put words into the mouths of wits like Sam and Dorothy, and I have no doubt they find me lacking. Still, it was fun.
    So glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
terrific; your dialogue is over the top, and your intro's to said dialogue beautiful, masterful: the stories is great but your trchnical precision is well quite envious, something worth emulating.

usually story trumpets technique.

i have tried to urge other story tellers on this site to par down the he said, she told but it comes back as sn insult. how do you explain setting up dislogue, beginnings and exits so they add versus detract?

i go to the extreme and avoid announcing dialogue, particular unhealthy for forcsupporting tropism style as an amateur.

Richard Russo - Empire Falls comes to mind. (not as a comparison though, an equal in dialogue)

 Comment Written 13-Mar-2013

reply by the author on 13-Mar-2013
    Thank you, Sirach. Richard Russo is among my favorite contemporary writers. Amost all my stories are dialogue heavy.
    I prefer to let my characters speak for themselves.
    Tags can be tricky for people who don't read good dialogue writers. The advice I give people is to write a few stories in all-dialogue--no tags, no descriptions. Either they learn economy, and the value of a well-placed physical tag from that, or they just don't get it.

    I also recommend they read some of the noir writers--Hammett, Chandler, Cain, Crumbley.

    I really appreciate your interest in my writing, and, of course, the terrific rating. Many thanks.

    Peace, Lee

reply by Sirach11 on 13-Mar-2013
    very generous, and valuable input. thank you.

    my very next read will be one of the authors you've recommend, thx.. lumbering thru Proust, flying thru Mailer.

Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
This is amazing. It's so interesting how you created interaction between two prominent writer's that never met. I suspected from the beginning that they were ghosts, but I was surprised by the rest if the story. It's great.

 Comment Written 03-Mar-2013

reply by the author on 03-Mar-2013
    Thank you so much, Teresa. This story was written for a contest--the eerie park bench photo was provided, and it was up to me to write a story about it. I don't know how I settled on this story, but I knew Twain and Parker would give me an opportunity to write some fun dialogue. Thanks so much for finding this, and for your stellar review. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I found this a very intriguing story. Sentences flowed which is always good as a reader does not want to have to keep going back a sentence or two. Very well done.

 Comment Written 07-Jan-2013

reply by the author on 08-Jan-2013
    Thank you very much, VicToria. I'm delighted you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
A new twist on an old theme: Hell is other people, or in this case ghosts or phantoms of future dead writers. For Sam (great touch having Dorothy Parker use that name for him) hell is the fact that he cannot know their work. Also the theme that the setting for hell is a familiar, not at all terrifying, place. I once heard a joke about a man who died and was hustled off to hell, which turned out to be an easy chair in a familiar room. He sat down and began reading the paper, and soon felt right at home. Anyway, a masterful story told with verve and engaging dialogue. Old Salt

 Comment Written 24-Sep-2012

reply by the author on 25-Sep-2012
    Hey, Old Salt! I'm really pleased that you resurrected this one--it's one of my favorites. I'm delighted you enjoyed the banter, and my take on what Hell might be like. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Review Stars
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I really and truly enjoyed this read. It was
entirely new to me and I cannot believe what
you did with this story.
What a fabulous scenario and characters from
another time!
Congratulations on your win. I can see why you
won. It is the greatest story ever told on Fanstory.
Thanks for sharing. Marie

 Comment Written 15-Jul-2012

reply by the author on 16-Jul-2012
    Thank you, Marie. This is high praise, indeed. Thanks for digging this one out of the archives. Peace, Lee
Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
The language in here is great although I ma not sure why you subjected poor old Mark Twain to his own personal hell.
I recognised Dorothy Parker and Samuel Clemence right off some of the other names I know, others not so well (except old Harpo of Course).

This is a clever Henry James style Ghost story with so much not only in the words but in the style of the language.

 Comment Written 26-Jun-2012

reply by the author on 27-Jun-2012
    Thank you so much, PaddyO. I'm glad you enjoyed. I put Mark Twain in his own private hell because of all of his wonderfully insidious writings about the Bible--particularly Letter From The Earth. I think he would have enjoyed the irony. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Eddie Z
Review Stars
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Just reading to catch up. Been out of touch in my own hell. Thoroughly enjoy the dialogue and the lesson in American literacy. Hope to catch more soon. Thanks

 Comment Written 10-Jun-2012

reply by the author on 11-Jun-2012
    Thanks again, Eddie. Good to hear from you. Peace, Lee
Comment by
I dreamed a thousand new paths
I woke and walked my old one
Review Stars
  Rank:  628
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I'm not giving you a sixer you're chock-full of them on this one-and everything you write. LOL! Butt...the cigar smoking in this I love and you know as well as I do, it's a sixer-and a winner. I think you dream at night and these two visit you there along with so many others. You make me laugh, ponder and sigh...such talent you have and I get to benefit from it. Take me under your wing and give me a puff of that cigar. Oh and do you have some money I can borrow? I need to pay you back for your priceless help. Meet me on the bench tonight.

 Comment Written 09-Jun-2012

reply by the author on 09-Jun-2012
    Hey, a fella with seven enemies can always use another six-shooter. As for your offer to pay me back with my own borrowed money, well, you can't afford it. I'm delighted you enjoyed, Vicki, and thanks for the review. Any more feedback on our collaboration? See you on the bench. Peace, Lee

reply by vickib on 09-Jun-2012
    Oh I like that Lee, a fella with seven enemies can always use another six-shooter. Did you make that up or is that an old saying? I love that! I'll remember that. God you're witty and your aim is perfect. You kill me. Ok well I'll have to feed you fish. Wish me luck out on the ocean today. If I'm not at the bench tonight, you'll know what happened. Peace-is that a sign? Kisses

reply by the author on 09-Jun-2012
    No, Peaces is the sign. The fish, right? Good hunting. The six shooter line is all mine. Ain't I grand? Remember: Many fish bites when you got good bait.

reply by vickib on 09-Jun-2012
    I feed off you ya know!
    Not only grand but special too. I know a fisherman when I see one. No fishing for me-haibun homework.
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