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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/neilfury
Review Requests: ON
40 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.0)
Best laid plans...and a school yard crush are the ingredients for this short story. Not sure which demographic this piece is aimed at, but I imagine over thirties could reminisce about their own clumsy attempts at getting the girl and living happily ever after.

It's a straight up, wholesome story without any twists or surprises, except, the boy in the story actually got the girl, which didn't happen to me when I was besotted by that new girl at school.

Well written, with only one small mistake, in the third paragraph where it reads...'Frustrated, he wandered off to the side where sat...should read 'he sat'. Overall, a good yarn to kill ten minutes with.
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Review of Gush Me No Gushes  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
I note this review of the reviews given on this site that I will be reviewing today, indicates this kindness over critique is not a new phenomenon...and that not a lot has changed in the ten years since it was first posted.

I agree with the crux of the argument here, that we can benefit more from truth rather than pandering, and while each piece of writing should be judged on merit alone, there is a degree of prejudgment going on in most of the reviews that happen here on WDC...as per management instructions I might add, but then creates a type of selection process where we pass over those items we cannot honestly glow over and give five-star ratings to and in reality, helps no one when looking at the overall quality of work which is found on the site.

I think there is a word to cover this err...balance.

The author has done the leg work and researched the stats...read the top reviews and show us that there is a problem with this 'be nice and don't hurt feelings' reviewing style. A style which, yes, fluffs the ego and doesn't cause memberships to plummet...and therein may be another underlying reason management doesn't want the truth to be at the forefront of lifting the overall quality of the pieces being reviewed...better to have membership numbers up, rather than lose the few who may not handle some critique and don't see this is the number one benefit we can have from balanced and fair reviews of our work.

The shortest path to becoming a better writer is through truth, and the only way to hear that truth is by getting reviews that reflect both the flaws along with the highlights of the piece in question...and as the author points out, can help them deal with the rejections they will experience along the way to becoming published authors.
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Review of Luella's Revenge  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This is the tale of two sisters, each having a dark secret. The story moves along at pace...well written throughout. The style is to me, unique. To describe in one word, 'minimal'. In some places, pronouns are missing. Sentences read fine without them, once I understood what the author had done, which gave me ideas on writing, having attempted the style this review.

A good way to reduce word count. Not only enjoyed the story, learned something as well.

Wear seat belts, you may be ejected at the twist.
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Review of Label Me  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
I like it...and believe me, I am a difficult person to like...like I like this poem because it makes me feel sad. Not like sad but happy sadness that is like nice feelings of sadness washing over me and drowning my sorrows without alcohol but maybe some Prozac will help.

Ok...down to business...satire is my fav thing to write and also to read...your intro had me and I chose your poem because of it...so, well done on that.

The poem itself is really well written...it flows well and the style is yours...not having read any of your other work, I wouldn't be surprised if it washed through to those.

There is something that cannot be hidden, and that is the honesty within the words. I felt what you were feeling when you wrote it all those years ago...there in itself is the key...some works I read and they can be good or not so good, but when I feel the words and they speak from the heart...now there is a talent that we either have or we don't and is a difficult thing to learn...to translate emotions into script.

You have that talent and I will read some more just to make sure I am not speaking a whole lotta rubbish so, please don't make me eat my words because I had a lot for dinner and I just couldn't fit in another mouthful tonight.

Good job, well done and awesome effort etc etc.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
Some good info here for those who still believe in the dream of being published (self-publishing is something else altogether). It is one aspect of writing that seems so remote and difficult to achieve. My method is simple...don't bother. Not because I have had my work rejected or the tasks that must be performed just to get a piece read by a junior staffer are too much (even if they are).

No, it's the odds of actually being published. Even if the i's and t's are dotted and crossed and the submission is perfectly presented to the particular standards they have set...even if the piece is entertaining, funny, spine chilling or just really well written...it's a fickle world and publishing houses know what they want and 999 out of a thousand submissions are not that.

So, I write for myself...the way I like and with all the imperfections that make it mine. Even if I am the only person to ever read something I have created, so long as I am proud of the work and I gave it my best then for me that is enough.

It does seem a little unfair...that the people who create and put their heart and soul into the work are looked at like bottom feeders, yet the publishing houses, who do nothing but select, print, market along with some risk of loss if it doesn't sell well...but if it does they make the lions share of the profit and act like they are above the art but really, only profit from a (select) writers efforts.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
Bravo...what an inspiring piece and such truth. I like the way you build the message from factual statements at the start to the crescendo of laying the responsibility squarely at each and every one of our feet...to choose wisely...or with blind hatred which only leads to more of the same.

I believe this is the way...the only way to deal with wrongdoings from minor arguments to war.
Even if war is necessary...a soldier who fights with love in his heart will prevail over one who fights with emotionally corrupt motivations.

This is a very well written piece but the one thing I had difficulty with was the solidness of the layout and uncertainty of where the next line is...especially at the beginning. When I write online, I set out no more than four or five lines and that space between makes reading a lot easier I think.

A well thought out and positive ideology anyone can benefit from.

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Review of Therapy  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
It's not that Matt killed his wife in cold blood...I mean, who doesn't want to do that. If I had a wife, I would spend hours trying to figure out, not just how to do it, but how to get away with it. And this is the crux of the story 'Therapy'.

The fact that the cold blooded killer was planning a new life before he brutally murders his wife with his fists shows his premeditation was obviously by his wife (and typically now known as 'the victim') caused him to act in such a way...it always is. The reason most men don't follow through is their balls are missing and so are no longer of any benefit, at least not to them...not because of age or dysfunction but because they are in the wife's handbag. She uses them to destress from a hard day shopping or hanging out with her friends at the club, by rolling them in between her fingers...one for each hand.

Well, Matt had one way to take back possession of one's "ball's...another is to man up and refuse to hand them over in the first place...it's well known that a woman has no respect for a man who gives in without a protest (that's right guys, if you say no more often you will hear yes more often). A woman likes a man who stands up to her and tells her that she is taking his precious balls over his cold dead body.

I wonder if she pleaded temporary insanity when he was found dead from cyanide poisoning, was stabbed 24 times and had his balls removed with her teeth...in this day and age I doubt she would even be charged...he must have done something to provoke her.

Loved the twist at the end.

I personally suffer from temporary insanity on a permanent basis. It's called Crazsanity.

Disclaimer; no balls were removed during the writing of this review.


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Review of The Gift  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
Well...that's a different take on rejection. Through rejection can be found true happiness. I do see your point. The fact that almost everyone has been rejected, we might as well put a positive spin on it. One person's trash is still trash make no mistake...but with some training, a job and a haircut I am trash who used to be suspected, dejected and infected...but now I understand rejection, something unexpected...I'm connected, projected perfected and disinfected.

You wrote this eight years ago and I am wondering if it is still your philosophy? I am so lucky to have been rejected by almost every person I know...my kids, siblings, friends, people online, editors and women (except my mom...she tried but I used every mother's Kryptonite...guilt). I even rejected myself once...but I sneaked back when I wasn't looking.

I've been looking at rejection the wrong way...I'm truly free because nobody wants to hang with me which means I have so much time for me now...my expectations were lowered by rejection, so I am not disappointed anymore. I'm still waiting for all the like-minded people (rejects) to fill the emptiness, but when they do show up...I'll reject them...I don't want to be seen with a bunch of rejects.
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Review of There and Back  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
Who hasn't wished their partners dead sometimes? That didn't sound as good as I thought it would but I'm leaving it in for the sake of truth...maybe not dead but a coma for life...nah, then you have to visit every week and you can't divorce a person who is in that state or you will be the worst person on the planet when you keep all the good stuff because she doesn't need a house or the Vette...ok, maybe it is better to try to control these feelings of wanting to murder them...did I say murder...I meant accidentally pushing them off a cliff when you tell them to have a closer look at the beautiful view.

It may be a case of the grass is not greener when the new Mrs bores, nags, spends, has a headache (we all know what the best cure for a headache is don't we...yes that's right, a bullet...in my head, not hers because if you get married once so be it...but twice and that shows weakness, lack of self-esteem and the inability to understand that "It doesn't get any better dummy."

So, to conclude this...Ummmm, whatever this is review type of thing...I have discovered that flash fiction is not writing stories whilst in the park wearing a raincoat...much to my dismay. No flash fiction is really cool and fun and I might just give it a go...Ummmm, do short stories count as FF? So, I have written FF...just not as cool or good as this.
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Review of Mon-Anon  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I used to know a monster. He didn't care about anyone but himself. Then one day everything and everyone important to him was gone from his life. It was then he realized being a monster seemed fun at the time, but if you are not willing to change and become someone different...someone who isn't scary or selfish...then life becomes the monster and you become the one who is frightened and alone .

I read your stories and poems and I didn't know which one to review and because comedy is my favorite genre, it had to be this gem...original ideas from a very non original group of characters. Did you have to pay for their use?

You are a great writer...consise and skilled at storytelling and mechanics...I also read your bio and wonder what you would do if you stopped writing...a writer who doesn't write? Is a painter still a painter if he never picks up an easel again in his life ? Looking at his past works, we would have to say yes. So, you are a writer...and no matter if you never write another word, you will always be a writer.

I get blocked sometimes and my fear is that I won't come back from that...but if I think of all the stories I haven't written...the places and people and even in my dreams...I can at least write something, even if it is not what I would choose but for lack of imagination.

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too.

Great stuff, I wish you had more.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (5.0)
I like this poem...It has a message for us all...don't be afraid to be different and don't be afraid of those who are different because it's our differences that makes us strong and interesting and human.

We are all becoming more similar because of the internet's reach...we look the same, we think the same and we are the same...and what a shame.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
Your story grabbed my attention for obvious reasons...I was so pissed about my situation I wrote a book called, 'The Minefields of Separation and Divorce'. It covers family law in Australia and the points you make in your story are the same the world over. The grubby tricks used by ex's and their lawyers boggles the mind and is all acceptable by courts when seeking an agreement on children.

There are more stories than I could say here which support your arguments for change...but don't hold your breath because legislators and the justice system like to take their time, especially with family law. You won't see any stories in the media about the unfair, often spiteful and illogical outcomes for fathers and their kids...they would rather highlight the few who take the law into their own hands and act violently when the vast majority of men who are going through separation do the right thing.

To say a woman could be responsible for causing harm to the kids they are supposed to love by denying them access, putting their dad...their hero, down constantly and using kids as tools in some spiteful and senseless game of revenge...well that sort of thing never gets said because here in Australia, a domestic violence order will be the next court appearance we find ourselves facing and that is a place no man ever wins regardless...and then everything changes.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (5.0)
Well, I never...a seventy-four-year-old grandmother dressing up all glamorous and attending parties...why wasn't I invited?

Ok, let's do some investigating...first of all, there were thirty guests in attendance (Imagine Ol Bill wiff a Cockney accent) yet only twenty-nine of your books sold...Hmmm, something seems odd...you sold twenty-nine books! At one party...sorry, it wasn't a party it was a ?? It was a success story that's what it was.

And that should be when we all go home for a cuppa and watch Coronation Street or East Enders...but you Madame likely went out to some rave club and danced all night with all the youngsters who couldn't keep up no matter how many pills they ingested...(A message to all those foolish enough to take drugs...Drugs are bad..there my guilt is now gone so...go bonkers next Sat'd night at da club...do they accept seniors cards at the bar?). Now, where was I...Oh yeah...I have to share...I am a caregiver to my eighty-five-year-old mum...she's from Hull (it's in England like you are) and after living here in Australia for the last fifty-seven years she still talks like a pom.

So, to conclude my reviewish ranty thing...you are a glamorous successful author who has lots of friends, some you are willing to delegate tasks to, which if we ever meet...I can be tasked...although somewhat unwillingly...but I'm sure you have tasked much more difficult people than I.

You party at The Cube and understand the importance of being fashionably late, especially when you are the guest of honour...you had fotos (that's an in-joke just between you and me) taken so you love the attention but you love your Granddaughters more. I can just picture you in your royal blue top with long chiffon sleeves, and black trousers...a wine in one hand and the other free to do what it does best...delegate.

And so, to the business end of the reviewish thingy I'm doing now...Ten out of five star-spangled banners...Oh wait, you're from Old Blighty...ten out of five God save the Queens.
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Review of You Come Too Late  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is the kind of poem that can be read and read again and still it retains such depth and sorrow and hope and emotion that pours from every syllable and line. The pain we feel is God's reminder that we are still alive.

In time, the pain dissipates and memories fade...and like the new green grass that grows the sweetest shoots only after the fires have passed, new love can only come after the wildfire that has ravaged and scorched a heart black, only time makes it possible to turn the sour taste of loss into the sweetest of loves.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Great piece of SciFi writing. Descriptive and paints a clear picture in the mind of the reader.

A tragic story of a successful programmer who inadvertently kills his entire family via AI home defence when they arrive home early while he is temporarily offline.

Well thought out with smart concepts which are not too far into our future.

I have a notoriously short attention span but this piece held me and that in itself makes it a worthy read.

Well done and good luck with the competition.

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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.0)
Yo Dog...I like this concept of freewriting word art. Letting go of the boundaries and constraints we are told we must follow from a young age limits the artistic quality to some degree I think...but may also affect the overall readability of the piece...nothing comes for free in life and each time we move in one direction it is certain we move towards one thing and away from another...but what if we want it all?

You wrote this seven years ago according to the copyright date...seven years is a long time to learn and develop skills and develop habits good and bad. I hope you now look back and see those improvements and are proud of the effort you have made to get here and now.

Well done.
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Review of Easily Forgotten  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: ASR | (2.5)
I read your story and I felt for you...not pity but understanding.

I'm a drug addict and when I read what you think of me it hurt...because I would not kick you and I would not say I am glad I never turned out like you. I have a disease which I accept full responsibility for...if I had never touched a drug I would not be an addict. But if you look back, can you honestly say you did nothing to bring about your own situation? Are you free from responsibility for your own life?

I have a good friend and she at one stage in her life became a prostitute...and you when say you are glad you never turned out like her and had to sell your body to stay alive, that hurts...it hurts me that you look down on us when you yourself say you have had it so hard...we have all had it hard and I don't think it is OK to kick other people just because other people have kicked you.

I am sorry for this alone...that you feel you are glad you are not like me yet, you don't even know who I am to make that judgement.
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Review of Where did she go?  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (5.0)
This poem by Norbanus is an accurate reflection of what life could be like if Alzheimer's were to inflict its symptoms upon a person.

It is quite confronting in its approach...and goes far beyond sad. Almost a blueprint for what some of the challenges might be once this disease ravages our memories and changes who we are.

My father developed dementia, which has similar symptoms and this poem is eerily similar to what he and us who loved him went through.

The writing is beautiful and the subject matter very well thought through...a class performance by a seriously talented writer and poet.
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Review of Lost Boy ~ Weep  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (5.0)
For me, having such limited experience, knowledge of styles and technique in poetry, I must rely solely on how the work makes me feel...and this poem certainly made me feel...sadness that is palpable and deep...longing for the past, that could reflect in anyone's life who is not so young anymore...pain...so much pain.

I am a writer of poems, but I know I am no poet...and this work was written by a poet...someone who knows how to capture feelings and emotions in their essence and deliver them in powerful and beautiful verse.

Simply outstanding...and I say that with tears in my eyes.
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Review of Ass On Fire  
Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This song reminds me of my trip to Thailand in 2018...curry tastes so good but the next morning it comes back to haunt the ass...Burn baby burn, disco inferno, burn baby burn, burn my ass down.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (4.5)
It wasn't just going to college and getting an education that was going to change Ruby's life...Ruby is a young woman who has an overactive mind and I suspect her imagination is the same way. With everything in her life going wrong,she has a mini-breakdown and begins hallucinating and sees a ghost who gives her some spiritual guidance. If she didn't believe before, she certainly will now that she has imagined herself a Christian...and God bless her for accepting Him and not putting it down to the frat house party she was at the night before and one of those naughty but handsome boys spiking her drink...no I made that up and she really did see a ghost...well, I assume she was a ghost...why can't something like that happen to me so I could shed my atheism and get with the program...oh, and heaven sounds better than nothingness or worse...is it hot today?

Good story, well written and entertaining with that little twist at the end I never saw coming.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: E | (3.5)
This is a well thought out piece on a subject I do find fascinating...with a question leading off which I must admit I find a bit confusing. No Adam or Eve may or may not undermine Christianity...I do like your take that (I assume this is what you mean) in a literal sense, the stories contained within the bible are based in truth. But truth is only what we believe it to be in stories where evidence is either gone over time or never existed in the first place and the stories were written in an ideological sense. Somewhat like a blueprint for how we humans should live, but also, in order to get us with the program, using a carrot or a stick type of reinforcement...and of course, once organised religions got hold of this beautiful concept, then corruption and greed...the very things the whole system was designed against infiltrate and exploit our want for something more than 'We live, then we die and that's it' and the fears of not following a certain doctrine or we will burn for eternity. Very dramatic stuff but that was, as they saw it, what was needed...for our own good I have to assume.

I am no expert in bible fact or fiction arguments...but I think the real questions people want answers to are...Is there a God? Was Jesus Christ the Son of God if in fact there is such a deity? Of course, these are questions no one can answer (although there are plenty who believe in God and Jesus and don't mind telling me so and just as many, if not more who do not). Far be it for me to tell either side they are wrong, but I don't like having people's beliefs (opinions), either way, being touted as fact, neither science or religion. And I do wonder why in your piece there is no mention of a Heaven or Hell, which so often goes hand in hand with the concept.

The only criticism I have of your piece is that it begins with me, the reader, thinking you are going to present an objective and balanced approach to this subject, but towards the middle and end give away who or what it is you truly represent and although you have a right to believe whatever you want to, and there will be lots of support for this here, I for one found this a little disappointing.
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Review by Dr Gonzo
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I am fascinated by the nasty but nice human critter, and so to it seems is Joy the Masked Ghoul. At different times I have had very different thoughts about us as a species...from loving us to despising us. Human beings show all of the characteristics of a virus...we need a host (Earth), we take from our host and give nothing in return but our toxic waste...we eventually kill it but not before infecting another...well, those last two have yet to be seen.

Now, I feel that this behaviour is part of our evolution...and if we survive our own stupidity, eventually we will become a more caring and knowledgable being...The human brain is a very complex organ, a biological computer if you will. And it has the potential to achieve things we at this stage cannot even begin to conceive...but in order for our children and their children and beyond to fulfil this destiny, we who are alive today are the only ones who can ensure their destiny is possible...by changing how we look at and treat the Earth and come to terms with its fragility and the finite nature of this planet we live on

I think the message we should all get from Joy the Masked Ghoul's story is that it is not good enough to expect someone else to make the changes required for our survival...we have run out of time and tomorrow will be too late...we all need to change NOW...withs our thoughts, our behaviours and our attitudes...and the best way to foster these changes is to pressure our so-called leaders by writing to your local representatives about your concerns and make localized suggestions for positive changes in your area...and if you are old enough by voting for candidates whose policies are pro-Earth (or getting mom and dad involved by getting them to vote in the same way), or better still...become a leader and lead us away from this catastrophe and towards a sustainable and better future.
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