Reviews for The Caller
Dominique Diane chapter 1 . 4/9/2013
Tetue chapter 1 . 1/3/2009
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[“Go away, Ben.”]

The introduction of this ‘Ben’ is very sudden. Jacob hadn’t even shown that he’d had any suspicions that it could be ‘Ben’, whoever ‘Ben’ may be. This definitely made it seem as though the story was rushed.


I just finished reading and, although the ‘Ben’ thing is explained later on, there wasn’t a clue to even hint at it in the beginning, except for Jacob replacing his family’s pictures with his wife’s. The replacement of the photos was too generalized—he replaced everyone’s photo, not just Ben’s. If his mother’s, father’s, and brother’s names were mentioned, even in passing, that wouldn’t make Jacob suddenly calling out to Ben seem so sudden.

And up until the introduction of ‘Ben’ as Ben, there wasn’t anything else that pointed to it. You went from the vaguest of backgrounds to sudden action, and then it was just action. Slight details that would flesh out Jacob (providing him with children for neighbors) were too slight. At times, Jacob didn’t seem ‘real’.

Combined, the two lessened the impact of the revelation that there’s something not quite right about Jacob. My reaction was blasé, more “Oh. Okay.” than “Oh, my god.”


1. [Jacob searched the bushes next to the door, maybe they had hidden themselves there, but there was no one in the bushes either.]

2. [He could hear laughing, he was sure he could.]

You have a run-on sentence in the excerpt above. After the word [door] and before [maybe], the comma should have had a conjunction following it or should have been an ending punctuation mark, because the part of the sentence after that comma has a subject and verb of its own, but nothing to make it a dependent clause. Basically? Run-on. In the second excerpt, it’s much of the same. You could replace the comma with a semi-colon or an em dash, to show that the two are directly related to one another, more so than a period could. But otherwise, #2 is a run-on.

[No one was there, as he suspected.]

Since he’d already opened the door and is staring out of it, seeing nothing and no one, he knows that there’s no one. So his suspecting was something he’d done previous to that moment. [he suspected] should be ‘he’d suspected’ to convey that.

1. [Go away! Leave me alone!]

2. [I’ll kill you again, Ben! I don’t care! I’ll kill you again! I don’t mind!]

No matter how vehement the statement, using more than one exclamation point to end one sentence is technically incorrect. You can show the vehemence behind the words with italics, or capitalization.

[Jacob scowled, defeated and he died on his front lawn.]

After [defeated], there should be a comma. [defeated] interrupted the sentence, but it isn’t part of the second half of the sentence. It’s more or less an appositive.


This reads like the skeleton of a story. The twist was definitely surprising, but that was in part because of the chapter wasn’t quite as fleshed out as it could be, although it is a short story, so I suppose that’s excusable. The Ben-thing was the only problem I had with the entire story.

Thank you for writing!

- Tetue
azy07y chapter 1 . 10/11/2008
Ooh...That's a bit disturbing... I liked it! It kept the reader insuspense all through the story. The words flowed perfectly-I loved it! And I was definitely not expecting that ending. I like those kinds of stories though. Good job!

Your obedient servant,

rayney chapter 1 . 9/21/2008
Nice story. The plot twist at the end really caught me by surprise (which usually doesn't happen). You could work on the grammar a little bit, though. It's not distracting to the normal reader, but it does hinder from the story at times. All in all, I enjoyed reading this. Keep on writing!
R.T.D.W chapter 1 . 8/4/2008



Yea, I saw that one coming a bit away, though. It was pretty neat, anyways. Good job!
concerto49 chapter 1 . 8/2/2008
Surely, fits suspense... keeps the reader interested with this seemingly weird event. The opening appeared simple and plain, but you begin to get us into what's happening, slowly and slowly, and the transition seemed to work out nicely. It must have been annoying for Jacob, especially at his age. I like how you've tried to use description to pull suspense, and nicely portraying the emotions in relation to it.

The knocking gave it a nice effect. Ha, I could almost see the character's frustration. This idea's cool in terms of a prank-style story. I found it amusing too. Wow surprises too. Surely some twists near the ending that made this more exciting. It's simple and generally nicely written. So, you managed to pull it off with practically a single character. Interesting. Although this means there is less dialog, except Jacob shouting and all, the descriptions weren't too heavy to be in the way, which kept the balance.

Unless done on purpose, the only other thing I'd comment on is sentence variations, especially sentence openers near each other. Yet, repetition has sort of been a technique throughout so cheers for that. Oh and maybe it could have started off with a darker atmosphere, perhaps in terms of the weather or something else that could add to it.
LadyGawain chapter 1 . 8/1/2008
Actually it's not a "blatant rip off of the raven." It's a rip off of "the tell-tale heart". The only thing that has to do with The Raven is that they're both birds! And it's a freakin' WOODPECKER!

Know your Poe rassoo.


Anyways, alot of authors draw influence from Poe and you added a twist at the end that was ORIGINAL. The only similarities with Poe is the constant tapping and the fact he goes crazy because of it. Which happens in like every plot of everything.
rassoodock chapter 1 . 7/31/2008

writing-your description was well done. it was short and to the point, but it got the point of the story across well to the reader.

pace-seeing as how this was a short story, i understand that the pace in it had to be a bit faster than in regular stories. with that being said, i think this moved a bit faster than most short stories would move.

plot-this is a blatant rip off of poe's the raven. if you're going to rip someone off, make it less obvious.

enjoyment-i had a hard time liking this story. it was well written and all, but the similarities to the raven put me off as a reader.
Squezzo chapter 1 . 7/31/2008
That was quite enjoyable. Reminded me quite a bit of the Poe story about the guy underneath the floorboards with the crazy eye. Anyways, I really liked it. The language was intriguing and pulled me in without me even realizing it. It was also just the right length. I love how you slowly built up the suspense it was quite a feet. I laughed at the end with the woodpecker. It was a surprising twist. The character could have used a bit more fleshing out, but nonetheless, for a short story I definitely liked it. I definitely hope to read more of your work as it comes out. You have a lot of talent and I can't wait to see what else you come out with.