Reviews for Five Men in the Desert
Akhenaten chapter 2 . 6/10/2005
I totally like it. VERY well done, and I don't think anyone should be offended by it.. except agnostics, maybe... heh.

You did a beautiful job of not exactly saying that one person is right or wrong, or saying which (if any of them) survived... this is truly great...
linespalsy chapter 2 . 7/4/2004
the spiritual desert is probably the most banal 'metaphor' in this story but somehow also my favorite. i just like desert stories.
actually it hadnt even occured to me that the city was supposed to be 'real'. i just assumed it made no difference either way... the reason for this is my point on what i thought this story was really "about" - ie the process of how we [as audience members/readers] create the world through a frame rather than merely experiencing it.
one could read this as a bit of self reference on the part of the writer [ie the athiest/religious person's creation of reality as mirages or miracles corresponding to the writer's skeptical frame of view [obviously christian, but not especially orthodox from what i can tell by reading this story] - but i feel that would be wrong.
what's really clever is how the story's ambiguity as to the 'real
existence of these mirages and miracles puts the reader in the role of a culprit to the creation or subjugation of reality to his/her specific frame or paradigm [in my case, athiest, or perhaps a spiritual skeptic - so like the athiest, i didnt even imagine the city as being real].
the second chapter isnt necessary but further cements this as the main point of the story.
as a side note, i dont understandy how anyone worth knowing could be offended by this.
Magentian chapter 2 . 6/8/2004
Three cheers for Life of Pi!
Personally, I didn't take offense to it. Don't really see how, if one takes it in good faith as not being meant to offend anyone, it could be seen as a fatal blow to your own religion, or lack thereof, or doubt therein. Of course, I could quote Life of Pi there too - if your Gods or your reason are so infallible, why do they need you to argue their case for them? They and their laws will not be swayed by mortal argument - only you will be petty enough to express your weakness and discomfort by arguing. (that's for any future flamers. _)
I feel kind of sorry for the atheists and agnostics in this story... At least the religious men got to believe. According to them, even if they perish chasing mirages in the desert, good and fair things will come to them in the hereafter. ...(forgets her point in this paragraph)
Anyway... yeah. All right. Nice little parable.
amazingblazes chapter 2 . 6/3/2004
Um, I liked the story and all, but I was a bit confused as to what the message was. I actually liked your *nudgenudge* second chapter *wink wink* better.
germericanqt chapter 1 . 6/2/2004
Hi! Great story!
I found it interesting that you and some of your commentators think that this story had a conclusive ending, proving one point or another. To me it seems that this story is just a clear illustration of the fact that nobody really knows what is going on in the universe. The religious men? Each of them saw their paradise, each of them followed it, and who knows whether they were rewarded or not? The athiest? He preferred not to run towards some illusory prize, instead pressing onwards, doing his best to get as far as he could before he died. The agnostic... well, he was just a confused, uncertain person who was punished for trying to keep one foot in each camp. I think the only point this story makes (and it's a good one) is that whatever you do, you should at least be steadfast and follow your beliefs, whatever they may be. Figure out what you believe in and stay true to it. Wishy-washiness won't get you anywhere. (Well, it could get you a weasly sidekick role, like that guy in The Mummy... )
Oh, and I thought the stone was there to represent the athiest's inner dialog. The stone itself as a symbol would seem to represent solid evidence, i.e. "I'll believe it when I see it;" but considering the things it tells the athiest, I think it's his intellect. It suggests to him the possibility that the religious men are right in following their beliefs, whether or not they pay out, but doesn't disagree with him when he still decides not to chase after the city.
Who was right? Your story doesn't say so. Good for it. There really is no way of knowing... your "lady or the tiger" ending is perfect.
molten-amber chapter 2 . 5/29/2004
Animagess, I *loved* it. I loved this story. The metaphors were very well done and everything made perfect sense. Heck, you could use this as a witnessing tool...
noel-airman chapter 1 . 5/11/2004
Well, I'm an atheist, and I think the story was pretty well-written. I understand you're operating from your viewpoint, so the religious folk winning in the end doesn't bother me. The talking stone reminded me of any number of miracles in the Bible, so I think it has its place in the story. Also, I have heard many a Christian say atheists are all cold-hearted, bitter, loveless people, so your characterization of him seems fitting.
Well, overall, keep writing, you have a knack for making stories interesting. Don't lose it like a lot of Christian writers seem to *shudders at the "prose" in the Left Behind series*.
tangible mandible chapter 2 . 5/10/2004
I don't know, I thought it was okay. I agree that it definately was a little biased because the atheist was a jerk, but otherwise, whatever. But then, I'm a Christian too, so I guess even this review isn't politically correct. Who cares. Yaay for Godly mirages/cities/things!
Saprophyte chapter 2 . 5/7/2004
"Please review as fairly and considerately as possible"
Meh. If you're anything like me (not saying you are), you're sitting there gloating about how you wrote this excellent story, and anyone who disagrees is a fool.
Since I (sadly) have that mindset, I find it hard to review things. But this is an excellent piece of work. I notice all five men came to harsh ends (in my interpretation of it), which seems to lean towards the athiestic view. But I also considered the pebble to be an avatar of God, which is on the other side of the fence.
I'll say it again: This is an excellent work.