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Reviews from
The Cannibal List


A scene from Barksdale Gap.

  37 total reviews 
Comment by
Daniel Massey
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Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
This was cool! I liked - instant million lotto tickets, liars. That gave me a bit of a chuckle. I saw no wrong in it! Is this going to become a novel?


 Comment Written 28-Apr-2021



reply by the author on 03-May-2021
    Thank you, Daniel. I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Dilettante junior
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Poet Rating
  Rank:  158
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  Rank:  68
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Oh my! Ive never read such extraordinary prose before. I didnt know prose could be that great. This piece is unique, beautifully written, full of twists and turns, dark wit and real life struggles. The descriptive details are subtle, concise and original. I am speechless. Bravo!


 Comment Written 27-Apr-2021



reply by the author on 27-Apr-2021
    Thank you, for such a glowing review. I very much appreciate your keen and discerning comments. Thank you again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
RetroStarfish
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Brilliant.
"...living on surplus cheese and expired milk."
"...random rust and rotting rubber..."
"Tommy Hurst wasn't born a whole person--just a proverbial shoulder on which imagined chips could be stacked."
Brilliant.


 Comment Written 01-Feb-2021



reply by the author on 08-Feb-2021
    Thanks so much, RetroStarfish. I'm particularly fond of this story, too. Thanks for your kind words. Peace, Lee
Comment by
vickib
I dreamed a thousand new paths
I woke and walked my old one
 
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
I'm sure everything I want to say about this you've already heard a dozen times or more and you know how to write brilliantly so don't laugh when I say I think I was raised in Barksdale Gap. There's just to many familiar visuals. Pop tarts and tang too!
I've never met a person who can capture poor and blue collar life the way you can, I'm sure the rich too but I relate to the other two better. Someday Ron Howard is going to find out about you and give you a call about movie making.
Yeah your brain was flowing clear and sharp here. Super story telling. Related to the dandelion too.


 Comment Written 06-Jan-2021



reply by the author on 10-Jan-2021
    Thanks so much, Vicki. I think a lot have have experienced Barksdale Gap in one form or another. The struggles of poor people are so much more interesting than those of the rich. I'm glad you liked the dandelion bit--it's one of my favorite lines. Thanks again. Peace, Lee
Comment by
teols2016
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Very nice. I definetly want a sequel. I'm glad your main character has a gray area in that he is willing to do more physical damage to his bully than would be nessecary. Well done.


 Comment Written 12-Oct-2020



reply by the author on 13-Oct-2020
    Thank you teols2016. I recently posted Joanie's Tree. While it isn't a sequel, per se, it centers on Randall, his family, and Barksdale Gap.
    I hope to look in on, and chronicle, their lives from time to time.
    Thanks very much. Peace, Lee

reply by teols2016 on 13-Oct-2020
    I'll have to check it out.
Comment by
Katherine M. Kean
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  52
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  29
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  35
Script Rating
  Rank:  10
Review Stars
  Rank:  36
 

#10 Ranked Script Writer
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I don't remember seeing this appear on the Long Story Long! challenge list. It's a shame as I would have liked to have time to read it twice over, and savour the wonderful words you created. I will just note what I considered the best of the concise images:
an elegant perpetuity
******
This stood up to a second read just as well as I had hoped it would. This time around I especially enjoyed the description of the fight between Randall and Tommy - very realistic with a well worked-up lead-in to it.


 Comment Written 06-Oct-2020



reply by the author on 11-Oct-2020
    Thank you, Katherine. So glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Mrs. KT
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  Rank:  7
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  Rank:  102
 

#7 Ranked Poet
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Good Morning, Lee!
What a delightful read!
I've got to say that this story is my all-time favorite of yours! (No. That's a lie; I love all of your stories!)
But the caliber of the dialogue and descriptions is exceptional. Too many to note, but one thing is for certain: you had one heck of good time writing this piece, and it shows!
Exceptional in all ways!

Thank you for sharing your gift!
diane


 Comment Written 04-Oct-2020



reply by the author on 05-Oct-2020
    Thanks so much, Diane. Yes, this is a favorite of mine, too. It was so much fun to write, I wrote another featuring Randall, his mother, and his sister. I really appreciate all your kind words. Peace, Lee
Comment by
tfawcus
Level 3 Pro
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Poet Rating
  Rank:  69
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  Rank:  27
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  Rank:  7
Review Stars
  Rank:  66
 

#7 Ranked Novelist
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Not sure how I missed this one, Lee. Pitch perfect voice and characterisation. Award-winning matadors - no bull. This is an archetype of the good-versus-evil story. A story that gives hope where there seems to be nothing to hope for. Your metaphor of the dandelion sprouting through the tarmac says it all. Writing that wrenches at the gut.


 Comment Written 26-Sep-2020



reply by the author on 27-Sep-2020
    Thanks so much, Tony. This was one of those stories that seemed to write itself. A volunteer in the truest sense. That's for the glowing words. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Melissa Russell Deur
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  241
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Love this, Lee! Is "Barksdale Gap" a book? You mentioned "scene," so I wondered, but it is story in itself. Maybe I'm just wishing to read more.
Very interesting title. Of course it suits the auto salvage business, but it does seem that various men "cannibalize" Randy's mother, and the poverty and hopelessness of the town seemed to steal parts of people, too. I didn't get a sense of how big Randy is at 14 years old, but he seemed willing to stand up to any man who messed with him (even without brass knuckles). I wondered if Randy--deep down--really had a problem with being called a bastard and men talking about his mother. I was startled when Mr. Gendron told Randall, "you're not my bastard." Way to get in to it! I loved several other lines: "A boy with jingling pockets served as a piercing dog whistle for all kind of foaming curs," (great set up for when Tommy and the Eddy boys tried to get Randy's check); "didn't know a metaphor from a matador;" and "breakfasting on fingernails and Kools." Good choice of artwork for your story.


 Comment Written 11-Sep-2020



reply by the author on 13-Sep-2020
    Thanks so much for this review, Melissa. Several years ago, I wrote a few stories about Barksdale Gap, but this is my first visit since 2013, or so. Nothing much has changed at The B Gap.
    Randy and his mother interest me, so I might follow this one up. I appreciate the encouragement. Thank you again. Peace, Lee

reply by Melissa Russell Deur on 13-Sep-2020
    It's fun when your characters still interest you after so many years.
Comment by
rama devi
 
Review Stars
  
 Rank:  151
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Kudos for another masterful write with outstanding characterization, POV, pacing, descriptive detail, narrative style and character-enhancing diction. All of those would make this worthy of a six, but on top of that you have some powerful poetics woven in your prose, with an abundance of alliteraiton, consonance and assonance so that your prose actually SINGS in places. Additionally, there are some hugely inventive similes and entertaining one-liners. Minimal spag.

HIGHLIGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS:


This awesomely alliterated scenic description drew me right in. I read this long sentence three times just to savor the poetic phonics, especially the consonance of L sounds:

The brass mills that lined River Street for a hundred years all rang hollow as clapper-less bells, knelling a staggering loss of livelihood and signaling the onset of relentless, degenerative decay--right down its malignant marrow.


WONDERFUL PHRASING:

forlorn indignity of food stamps and the desperate dreams dangled by lottery scratch-offs.

*

perpetuality

perpetuity?


Love these alliterated phrases too:

random rust and rotting rubber.
Fret-free favor



HA HA HA:

Barksdale Gap hadn't seen a full gas tank in my lifetime. She might as well have said, 'I'm popping over to Tiffany's for a new tiara.'

scarce as Yetis


*
pest repellant.

repellent (US spelling, anyway)...



Great lines:

Wearing dark glasses to hide a black eye is a fool's conceit. You may as well wear a neon arrow blinking 'Don't look behind here.'


Good simile:
I stood over him like that famous photo of Cassius Clay taunting Sonny Liston to get up off the canvas. "

The theme is timeless and relevant, especially with a big bully in the white house, LOL. That brass-knuckle punch ending reminds me of when I was a tom-boy in middle school (I grew up with four brothers, one a twin), and I punched out the school bully with one blow when he was attacking a vulnerable boy. He fell right over. Bullies often do, once challenged. Your story highlights that psychology well.

Enjoyed!

Warmly, rd


 Comment Written 10-Sep-2020



reply by the author on 13-Sep-2020
    Thank you, rd. You always 'get' what I'm trying to sell--and you read with a poet's eye. Not everyone catches the nuances.
    No one else mentioned the 'popping over to Tiffany's for a new tiara' line. That is my favorite.

    Thanks for your insightful reads. Peace, Lee

reply by rama devi on 13-Sep-2020
    Thanks for your super gracious response, dear Lee. I do get you!

    Warmly,
    rd
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