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Reviews from
The Vicious Circle

'Hell is personal, Dorothy'

  50 total reviews 
Comment by
A.R. Curry
Review Stars
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Need I tell you this is a solid display of writing? I think not. But I will. This, my friend, is a solid display of writing! I simply stopped by because you occupy one of the top short works writing spots I hope to get one day, and I wanted to see why. Now I know. Splendid.

One correction: "She touche'd him?"

 Comment Written 31-May-2012

reply by the author on 01-Jun-2012
    Thank you, A. R. Curry. I'm pleased to welcome another short works author. I wish you the best of luck, and I'll be looking for your work. Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by the author on 01-Jun-2012
    A.R., your review suggested a need to correct 'She touche'd him.'

reply by the author on 01-Jun-2012
    Sorry, A.R., I hit the wrong key. I am curious about what is wrong with 'She touche'd him.'

reply by A.R. Curry on 01-Jun-2012
    Lol yeah, unless I'm completely not understanding the word... Completely possible. And didn't effect your rating whatsoever

reply by A.R. Curry on 01-Jun-2012
    And for clarification-- I meant that it WAS a solid display of writing. My review reads like I disagree and think that it wasn't. "I think not." sorry if there was any confusion. And once again, I just don't know what "touche'd" is... Never mind. I read it as "touched" and googling "touche'd" didnt show any results... I should have just read "touché" my mistake. Sorry I have failed you!!!

reply by the author on 01-Jun-2012
    No problem, A.R. Touche is a French term of salute used in fencing. But you're right, I bastardized it by turning it into a verb. Just wanted to clear that up. Thank you again for the kind review. Peace, Lee

reply by the author on 01-Jun-2012
    A.R., not at all. I always look into these things so I can improve. You honored me with a fine review. I just wanted to make sure I understood your concern.

    Let's start over. Hi, I'm Lee. Welcome to Fanstory. Lee
Comment by
Judy Swanson
Poet Rating
  Rank:  237
Author Rating For Short Works
Review Stars
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
aaagghhhhhh! Not a six left in my bag for this stunning piece, Lee!

You had me hooked from the first line. I clearly pictured Mark Twain from your delicious description of the character on the bench, but I skated right through the first reference to "Mrs. Parker." Not until a few lines later when I read "Dorothy" attached to the Allegheny Round Circle did I, delightfully, envision just who was having this conversation.

Then the "had me" morphed into a huge grin, a chill down my spine, and a total state of enchantment.

This wild and whacky piece is wonderful!

I have a friend who does an awesome impersonatiion, a one-woman show performance of Dorothy Parker. Lee, I have no idea of what you look or sound like, but, I think you and she would make an awesome team performing this piece you have written. Stage - movie - whatever. This has the meat. The humor and the seriousness, the philosophical commentary are all excellent.

I am in awe, again, of your talent. And - so proud to say I know you (sort of)!

Congratulations on the big prize. Well deserved.

Celebratory hugs to you, my friend.


 Comment Written 29-May-2012

reply by the author on 30-May-2012
    Thanks, Judy. With characters like Sam and Dorothy, how could I go wrong. I simply sat them on the bench and took dictation. I'm so glad you came back in time to see this piece. Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by Judy Swanson on 30-May-2012
    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just taking dictation. You make everything sound so easy. I'm glad I came back in time to read this piece too! Judy
Comment by
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
This is a very fine piece of work, and probably deserves its winning status. The time taken to weave the details of the writer's backgrounds into the piece is obvious. I have only one obstacle to enjoying the piece: the dialogue is clever and pompous to the degree that it is distracting.

But, there was sheer fun in having two writers meet in this way to cross literary swords. Very imaginative.

 Comment Written 28-May-2012

reply by the author on 29-May-2012
    Thank you, FRankieXP. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I know what you mean about the dialogue, but I was making an historical point. This is exactly the way members of the Algonquin Round Table rejoined each other. They were actually accused of rehearsing there bits, and saving up barbs to throw in as if off the cuff. Had you had sat in on a session of The Vicious Circle, this is exactly the kind of reposte you would have heard.
    So you see, that was my challenge. Had I made Sam Clemens and Dorothy Parker less clever and less pompous they would not have been accurate reproductions of the real thing. I hope this explaination helps. Thank you again. Peace, Lee

reply by FrankieXP on 29-May-2012
    Thank you for your explanation Lee. I am now intrigued to learn more of the A.R.T. [I just discovered their fitting acronym, for example]. I can see how they would use the forum to sharpen their skills at repartee. Without a good shot of scotch whiskey however, I'm not sure I could have sat through the whole thing, even as a fly on the wall. May you persist and prosper in developing your obvious talent. Shalom to you as well! FrankieXP

reply by the author on 29-May-2012
    Thanks again for your interest, FrankieXP. You have to remember that in the twenties, the Literati were true celebrities. The ART provided a psuedo public forum from which many giants launched or nurtured important careers.
    Sorry, end of lecture. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Published Author
Semper Fi
Poet Rating
Author Rating For Short Works
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  5
Review Stars
 Rank:  50

#5 Ranked Novelist
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Super job on this, Lee. Congratulations! I don't know how I missed it on the first go round. Your imagination is wonderful. I should have caught on early with your description of the gent in the beginning with the mustache, white coat and all. LOL.

Great imagery and humor in Usual for your work. Bravo! Bob

 Comment Written 28-May-2012

reply by the author on 29-May-2012
    Thank you so much, Bob. But I suppose I have to credit Sam Clemens and Dorothy Parker for giving me such great wits to work with. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
A contest winning entry! A seven star rating from the Contest Committee for posting the winning contest entry.

 Comment Written 28-May-2012

reply by the author on 28-May-2012
    Thank you. Lee
Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
That was great . I can't think of anything to complain about . There wasn't a single moment when I felt like I should stop reading . It flowed perfectly from beginning to end and the characters interacted so naturally that it seemed real .

 Comment Written 06-May-2012

reply by the author on 07-May-2012
    Thank you so much, ripped. I'm delighted you enjoyed my story. Peace, Lee
Comment by
This work has reached the exceptional level
This is one of the most elegant short stories I've ever read. I'm tempted to refer to the story as "she" rather than "it" because it feels female and Southern. She is coy with her real intentions, not revealing them all at once. Instead, she scatters them like bread crumbs along a path--just enough to keep the read following and begging for more. I aspire to master the short story form as you obviously have. Bravo

 Comment Written 24-Apr-2012

reply by the author on 26-Apr-2012
    Thank you very much, Berlybeth. I like that you see the story as a Southern Belle. I find that very interesting. I'm so glad you stopped by. Peace, Lee
Comment by
2008 Poet Of The Year
Judian James
Review Stars
This work has reached the exceptional level
I was wondering who Sam was, and when you mentioned "The Algonquin Round Table", I immediately "got" who Dorothy was and then was even more confused with "Sam". You are so smart and clever. What a fun frolic this one was and their dialogue was superb. "He puffed thoughtfully on his cigar, clearly not willing to give up the joust quite yet. "If ours be the true nature of trysts, dear lady, I fear I was using the wrong organ all my trysting life." He flicked ash. "Though not unpleasantly so." And it is jousting you had them do so skillfully, my friend!!
"He anticipated the question, and had the answer on the tip of his tongue. "Exclusion."

She scrunched up her face in disbelief. "What? Hell is just not getting invited to the party?"

"Isn't it?"
Of course I could have quoted the whole thing. It's so witty
You did a FABULOUS job with this one, Lee
I don't know how I missed it, but I'm so pleased you directed me to it. It's superbly entertaining!! SMART too!
Wouldn't it have been fun to have been part of the mix?
You are so skilled. This is incredibly good. Submit it to
The New Yorker!!! This is the SURE winner for the contest

 Comment Written 16-Apr-2012

reply by the author on 16-Apr-2012
    Thank you so much, Jude. Yeah, I know Sam was dead before the Round Table existed, but that is part of his Hell. I thought the Connecticut mothball, and King Arthur's Court would reveal.
    I would love to have been at the round table, but I fear I'd have been too timid to open my mouth. Thank you for looking this up, Jude, and for the galaxy. I was hoping you'd like it.
    Peace, Lee

reply by Judian James on 16-Apr-2012
    I guess I was a little slow on the uptake with those. There are so many delicious bits to your writing, I must have been too busy savoring one line and the others just passed me by. On the otherhand, I loved the surprise and shock when he was truly revealed. (I didn't sleep a wink last night, so I'm going to blame it on being half-asleep!) Always my pleasure. I'm just glad I had a sixer to give you again. Everything you post is truly 6 worthy.
Comment by
writer c
Premier Author
Premier Reader
Poet Rating
Author Rating For Short Works
Review Stars
This work has reached the exceptional level
Lee, I love this one very much. So smart and witty--your main characters, and you. I CAN imagine a conversation between the two, though I could never have written it so cleverly. I knew right away that Dorothy Parker had arrived, and loved identifying Samuel Clemens. Your dialogue, as always, is so good and true. Favorite thought of all: private hell...exclusion. SSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOO good.
I love the supernatural aspects..the mist, time travel, questioning the context of the setting..all so well crafted.

I have always loved that the round table existed; I think of it as salon...and often think who I would put together for a imaginary dinner discussion from different ages, different to imagine. Did you ever see "Dinner with Andre"? So many people thought it boring but I would love to have been at that table. So, I am thinking a dinner for 4: who would you invite?

I digress. Let me say again that this piece is a true winner: original, literate, funny, even existential. Love it, Lee.

 Comment Written 06-Apr-2012

reply by the author on 07-Apr-2012
    Hey, Carol, thank you so much. I hoped you'd enjoy this one. I loved My Dinner with Andre. People don't appreciate that conversation, dialogue, is an art. Am assuming the dinner for four has to include me, so my three guests would be Oscar Wilde,
    Dorothy Parker, and you. Thank you so much, Sis. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Spiritual Echo
Review Stars
This work has reached the exceptional level
First of all, whenever you are in a contest, the competition is fierce. But this is a literary masterpiece, cherished by those who understand your intimacy with character development and respect for the writing craft. This is not the kind of story that would be appreciated by the kids who do their homework on site, but let me assure you, by those who respect literature and the literary greats in history, this one would be a tough one to beat.

All judging is subjective, as you once told me, and it would be nice to know who these FS judges are and their qualifications might be. Occassionally I shudder and think about all the part-time Toms, imagining they are all college students, but I prefer to believe that I'm wrong.

There comes a point, and damn it I hope you have FINALLY come to the same conclussion, that a person recognizes and understands their own abilities.At that point a contest win is a handy reminder, but without a royalty cheque attached, the contest are just ways to focus and keep up the writing discipline.

With you, I don't expect to lose ALL contests as our styles and bent thinking twists in slightly different directions, but I'm quite happy to lose most if I am in a playground with someone with your abilities.

It's a shallow win if the competition doesn't require any stretching. ingrid

 Comment Written 06-Apr-2012

reply by the author on 06-Apr-2012
    Thank you so much, Ingrid. I have to admit I was afraid I'd get some bad scores from the 'vampire/fantasy' set, but they have pretty much just passed this piece by.
    I didn't really write this because of the contest---it was the photo that intriqued me. We both recognized its ethereal quality. I don't think I ever used a visual as a writing prompt before.
    Sure, I'd like to win the contest, but that's not too important any more. I like my story. I'm glad you do, too.
    Thanks again, Ingrid. Peace, Lee
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