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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/nomad42
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23 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by Nomad
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This is a great story. Your dialogue is superb, and your pacing is perfect. I felt just as tense as Brian throughout the narrative and had to keep reading to see how it panned out. You put Brian into an awkward situation, one he wasn’t ready for, giving the story a worthy conflict. This is a situation that every guy has been in at one point or another in his life, and it’s extremely relatable.

The ending is brutal, but in a good way. As men, one of our greatest fears is that we’ll experience “equipment failure” at the worst possible time and that fear is realized in Brian, although he handles it well. You put a little anger in there, which I felt was as much a result of her condescension toward him as it was to his not being able to perform. Hell, the “failure” was probably a result of her attitude as well, and not as much the beers he drank.

I really enjoyed this, and I do have some suggestions and take them how you will. As with all reviews, they are merely my opinions as to how I would have written it myself.

The first paragraph is a bit awkward, especially tense-wise. You write the story in the past tense, so start with that. “This was, after all, a workingman’s family club, very unlike the youth club which I was used to. A lot of the people there were middle-aged or older, and I was afraid some of them might even know my parents.”

Paragraph three: I’d phrase the sentence as “Tommy was a workmate from the locomotive department, and a few years older than me.” You don’t have to say that he worked at the locomotive department because that’s implied by describing Tommy as a workmate.

Further down when you discuss Brian’s thoughts of leaving, I’d combine the sentences here: “go home aware that the youth club would be closing soon, but I knew if I did…”

Change “she seemed to stare at me” to “she stared at me” (my opinion, as all of my suggestions are.)
When they leave the dance floor and “pulse” is discussed, eliminate one of the mentions of the word. “I thought I could feel her pulse although I was not sure it wasn’t my own as my heart thumped in my chest.”



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Review of "Do it for Me"  
Review by Nomad
Rated: E | (4.5)
First of all, welcome to WDC! I saw in your feedback request that you were cringing at asking for a critique being so new. Don't worry about that, that's what we're all here for!

This is a very powerful piece, and I can't imagine growing up like this. It feels autobiographical, and the reader gets sucked in right from the first sentence, feeling the angst right away. Growing up in the type of environment you describe has to be awful. May I ask the time frame? This feels like it's set a while ago, when tensions between the German and Jewish people were still raging. Not having grown up in that type of environment (I'm from a small farm town in New York State, originally) I'm not sure as to the state of the tension between the two groups these days. I would hope it's subsided a bit.

I wouldn't change much at all. Maybe the line about your father would sound better if it read "He would tell me he was not raising a wimp or a punching bag." I feel like that flows a bit better. Also, you mention that you knew who you could beat a couple of times, when it really only needs to be stated once as it's a memorable part of the narrative. Maybe phrase it a little differently in the fourth paragraph so it doesn't feel like you're repeating yourself - "Just as I knew who I could successfully take on, I also knew those that I didn't stand a chance against" or something like that just so you're not using "I knew who I could beat" twice.

But, all in all, this is a great piece of writing. I enjoyed it and at the same time it made me uncomfortable, which I hope was your intention. I'm curious as to what the "very special book" was. I think you should elaborate on that a bit, not even necessarily saying what it was but more of what it was about.
3
3
Review of A Glass of Water  
Review by Nomad
Rated: E | (5.0)
I really enjoyed this. It was a great description of a man who really wanted something, something so simple, but was a major undertaking for him to get it. The reader finds himself feeling what Stephan is feeling - how what was once a simple thing has now turned into something difficult - and how frustrated he is with this. This was a man that used his hands for a living all of his life, and now he had great difficulty grasping a simple glass of water.

The description reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite films, The Fisher King, where Robin Williams' told the story where the king wanted a drink of water and the fool gave it to him, and the cup turned out to be the Holy grail. "How could you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?" "I don't know. All I knew is that you were thirsty."
4
4
Review by Nomad
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I loved reading through this! The two of you listen to a lot of the same music as I do. I'm especially a fan of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and I see that Herman's Hermits were mentioned. I had the opportunity to see Peter Noone perform live in Atlantic City a few years back and the guy is still incredible. He has the energy of a 25-year-old.

Music is something which is very important in my life, and I love meeting and seeing other people who care about it as much as I do. I'm making this a favorite so I can follow your conversation.
5
5
Review of No more you  
Review by Nomad
Rated: E | (4.5)
You say you're trying to restructure this, but I honestly don't see the need. I think it's good exactly as it is. The only one thing I'd change is the last line (and this is just my personal opinion, take it for what it is) to "You are" instead of "You were" because I get the feeling from this poem that that the subject of it is still someone very important to the speaker.

I like this a lot. It's very personal, I feel. In poetry, the meter doesn't have to be structured throughout. It doesn't have to be perfect. This flows very well, and I enjoyed reading it.
6
6
Review of Pre-Adult Days.  
Review by Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I loved this. It brought back memories of my first girlfriend in high school, and how it felt to be with her. It was so new and so exciting, bordering on magical. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. Thanks for putting this up on here.
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