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Reviews from
Walking Away From War


Can you go home again?

  44 total reviews 
Comment by
SPMC
 
Poet Rating
 
Author Rating For Short Works
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
As I read on, I enjoyed every bit of this story. You transported me to trails of Jasper's journey home. Really enjoyed Hacksaw's frank yet kind manner. Thanks for a great read.- Sue


 Comment Written 04-Nov-2017



reply by the author on 07-Nov-2017
    Thank you, SPMC. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for reviving it. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Mabaker
Premier Author
 
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  56 (+1)
Author Rating For Novels
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  253
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
That was so enjoyable it's no wonder you got awarded so highly. Great job and fine storytelling. It takes a lot of talent to write so well. Fine job and worthy of awards. Sincerely Mabaker.


 Comment Written 11-Jan-2017



reply by the author on 12-Jan-2017
    Thank you, Mabaker. I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
David I
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I enjoyed this immensely. You have a knack for setting the mood and feel for where the characters are and what they face. Was only slightly disappointed in the ending but I understand. Maybe I was enjoying the interaction between Jasper and Hacksaw so much I did not want it to end.


 Comment Written 15-Apr-2016



reply by the author on 18-Apr-2016
    Thank you, Sprinter. The ending is often problematic for a short story. If it's too pat, the story feels manipulated. If it leaves loose ends, it feels unfinished. That's why so many writers resort to a death in order to close out a story (suicide is the worst option). I prefer to leave loose ends--life is an untidy affair. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
KjSilver
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
A great story! I identified with Jasper and really enjoyed Hacksaw's company. Wouldn't mind a cup of that chicory bitter ink either.


 Comment Written 31-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 06-Apr-2016
    Thank you.
Comment by
zanya
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  239 (+2)
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  96
Author Rating For Novels
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  109
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
So much to ponder here in this little gem of a story firmly putting the spotlight on the often lauded aftermath of war and all the glory and the hope - the reality can be oh so different


 Comment Written 28-Mar-2016


Comment by
TKField
Premier Author
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  Rank:  572
 
Excellent
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Very involving H. This was sort of Cold Mountain meets an old episode of The Twilight Zone. I admit, I saw the Hacksaw character as a ghost twist coming from way down that road they were trudging on. That's okay, this was really a buddy/road picture. The journey was the point, not the destination per-se.

Seems a supernatural tool would be able to come up with something more appetizing than squirrel, possum and rabbit, but then we wouldn't have been treated to the primitive menu these southern gentlemen had to stomach on a regular basis (what, no johnny cakes?). Naturally this was full of the folksy, homespun Hump-isms at which you excel...."cleaner'n a preacher's daughter on Sunday", "quarreled like a pair of rut-rattled rams in a one-ram pen", "the blamed Illinoisy tallywhacker", "pert near a pat-a-cake" etc. I wonder, did the denizens of the rural 19th century American south really talk and eat just like the Clampetts? I halfway expected them to start swimming in the Ceement pond and swilling Granny's rheumatiz medicine. Seems veterans of the civil war would be using a LOT more profanity than this, at least occasionally.

Question; how did Hacksaw know the name of the person who killed him on the battlefield? Did the guys who got shot on Normandy suddenly go "damn that Heinz Schmelling, he got me?!". I mean, while I've never been in a war, I assume you don't know the name of who shot you during a battle, do you? I guess God told him. And what was Hack's soul doing between the time he was killed and the time he started helping Jasper? Just hanging around heaven waiting for a gig, presumably. I'm quibbling, I thought the story was terrific and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Whenever I read something with characters on a mission from God, I always transpose God with Author. You are God, the characters your creations, to do with as you please. Chess pieces you move around a board of your own making. When they say God did this or God willed that, it's you they're talking about. What if the players became self aware and realized they were imaginary beings in a short story being manipulated by some unseen scribbler to his own ends? Then the author himself could start wondering whether HE's just a character in a story as well, bringing the nature of all reality into question and raising the possibility that God is nothing more than a hack writer and we are at his capricious mercy? But I guess that's a whole other episode of the Twilight Zone. Congrats on winning the thing.


 Comment Written 28-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 28-Mar-2016
    Thanks you for a fine review. I was wildly amused throughout. Sometimes I transpose Reviewer for God--looking down His bored nose, stirring pots for no purpose other than to stir. Ah, to be such a clever stirrer!
    Thanks again for the whimsical attempt at botched sarcasm. Peace, Lee

reply by TKField on 28-Mar-2016
    You're welcome....from one "son of a botcher" to another.

reply by the author on 28-Mar-2016
    Be careful how you refer to my botcher.

reply by TKField on 28-Mar-2016
    I would never dis your botcher.

reply by TKField on 28-Mar-2016
    PS....shouldn't that be a "botched attempt at whimsical sarcasm", instead of the other way around? Your way implies I was attempting to botch it (sarcasm), when in fact I intended it to work on every level, I did have a stirring purpose beyond mere proboscis peering ennui...two whole cents (no certificate). Linkum!

Comment by
Contests
 
 

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
A seven star rating from the Contest Committee for the recognition this post has received from the FanStory community. While this was not a Contest Committee decision, the committee recognizes this achievement with a seven star review.


 Comment Written 28-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 28-Mar-2016
    Thank you, Committee! Much appreciated. L
Comment by
I am Cat
 
Review Stars
 
 
Excellent
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Wow. I'm embarrassed to bring you this measly five star, Lee... this is amazing. You show, once again, why you are, time after time, in this box... wow... just wow.
This surprised me with the ending, where I was thinking (in my earthly self) how he was going to rob him, hurt him, whatever... but that would have been too 'expected'... I should have known better. lol

some thoughts along the way:

Off the beaten path(,) as he was, Jasper hadn't expected any company. (I'm sure you know this MUCH better than I do, but isn't 'as he was' sort of a clause inside here?)

Was barely sproutin' pecker hair, but I'd had enough of his toolin' . . . and his razor strop." (LOL... pecker hair? awesome!)

Jasper savored the sight of his half of the cooked rabbit sitting on his mess tin. He wanted to cry. He wanted to wolf it down, yes, tear into it with his teeth and wolf it down with barely a chew. But he also wanted to wrap it up, put it in his pocket . . . like treasure. Was he a ravenous animal, or an appreciative man?
(I found this an amazingly insightful paragraph. I don't know if you've ever been that hungry... being someone who has had an eating disorder for most of my life, and also quite poor for the better part of my childhood, I can relate to it... I found it very tender and thoughtful... well done, Lee)

Jasper's faith had always rejected the notion that a creature of God could be dead inside. But war was a contrary convincer. (wow, very thought provoking)

(I chuckled at 'pickle fart on a windy day') lol

He blew snot out of one nostril, then the other. (grossest thing EVER) :( brilliant imagery, but oh god I hate those snot rockets!) lol

I really enjoyed this Lee. When I first looked at it, I thought... wow, that's long and I'm behind... lol as I always am... but I thought, it's Lee.. he's awesome and I need to read it.
I'm so glad I did.

Well done. VERY well done. And worth so many more stars than I have. Please forgive me. :(

Congrats on your nomination and I"m sure you'll go far with this! Good luck in the contest! Wow!
Cat



 Comment Written 24-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 24-Mar-2016
    Thanks so much, Cat. It's not the stars, but the reading. And I know this one is long for one sitting, but I couldn't find a suitable place to split it. I really appreciate your comments. You've picked out a couple of passages I'm fond of, too. I've been hungry, too. It's hard to eat when you think you need to be saving for tomorrow. But today always screams loudest.

    Snot rockets--exactly.

    I have to admit I grinned when I wrote 'pickle fart'. Sometimes my characters are more than 'earthy'.

    Again, Cat, thank you so much.

    Peace, Lee

reply by I am Cat on 24-Mar-2016
    My pleasure Lee... your characters are definitely some of my ... relatives. LOL
Comment by
Mark Valentine
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  120
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  34
Author Rating For Novels
 
Script Rating
  Rank:  6
Review Stars
  Rank:  142
 

#6 Ranked Script Writer
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
A brilliant piece that gets my vote for SOM - The line "Only in the innocent embrace of his past could he discover what kind of man he might become" is worthy of FItzgerald - a great thought, exquisitely worded.

The premise here is great, as is the dialogue. I'm not a civil war buff myself, but it certainly all seemed realistic to me. Love the name Hacksaw and the metaphor of him as a "tool".

I've read all of the entries now and in my mind, this is far and away the best.


 Comment Written 22-Mar-2016



reply by the author on 23-Mar-2016
    Thanks so much for this review, Mark. It means even more coming from another contender. I've always felt the nomination is award enough. In fact, that's my goal each month--to write something worthy of a SotM nomination. The voting is exciting, but not always revealing. Thank you again. We're both winners. Peace, Lee

reply by Mark Valentine on 24-Mar-2016
    I see it's neck and neck at the top of the voting. I've read both and yours is clearly the best - looking forward to reading more of your posts.
Comment by
gretchen1
 
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
This is a fabulous piece of work!Your characters come alive and despite the fact that I usually don't like to read dialect or patois, you did it brilliantly with Hacksaw - I could both hear and picture him. You use delightful and entertaining expressions and good descriptive language throughout which really add to the setting and tone of the piece. The pace never lets up. A really enjoyable read.


 Comment Written 26-Feb-2016


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