Reviews for Memoirs of the Violated
Hadraniel chapter 1 . 1/29/2010
This read far surpasses any others I have read on this site as far as legitimately evoking an emotional response. However, being far displaced from your perspective and safe from responsibility in my position as observer, I can criticize with impunity. If I seem harsh, it is merely because text has never been as effective of a method for conveying emotion as speech; I say all of this with good intentions.

PROS:

Original material. Even by the end of the story, the reader has difficulty casting the characters into archetypes. Not only is the plot of this story unique enough to keep the reader looking for answers all the way to the end, it is strange and original enough to prevent the reader from making any assumptions. You evoke primal feelings in the reader by building up the tension, particularly in the instance of the Jackal's punishment for the unnamed narrator; we have no idea just what is going to happen, but you make it menacing enough of a punishment to let the reader know that "it is bad."

Articulate and coherent. Aside from a few typos and errors in the body of the story (we all know how one can become swept up in a fevered typing session as one scrambles to relate all the imagination's rapidly changing materials), the story maintains a position of intelligence. Only at the end, when our apparently learned narrator loses his identity, does the writing lose its articulation (and with good reason, provided that it was deliberate).

Actually provoked a reaction. Despite not knowing anything about the setting, characters, plot, etc, I felt sorry for the narrator. I dreaded the punishment that the Jackal was going to submit the narrator to, a feeling enhanced by the unfamiliarity of the punishment.

CONS:

Too mysterious. I feel like I made an investment of time, and wasn't completely rewarded. Despite the story being in the first-person, I feel that little was intimated. Even after his punishment is enacted, I don't know his condition, aside from a strange air of despairity about him. I am just as in the dark at the end of the story as the beginning.

Too short. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but I think another paragraph of description before the Jackal arrives might have helped to build tension (provided the surroundings were strange enough).

Narrator undeveloped. I felt little attachment to the narrator. I do not know what he looks like. More importantly, I do not know if he is insane, has some special power (to see his own self in threads around his being), how he feels about the doll, etc. The only thing I know is that he has good taste in pipes (I have a couple of Meerschaums myself; why didn't his turn yellow?).

Perhaps my questions will be answered in later readings. Despite my criticism, I hope you understand that I really did appreciate it (hence the criticism!). A refreshing breath of fresh air in a genre filled with slashers and vampires. It's amazing that people still write about humans as if they're scary.

I'll be reading avidly.

Cheers

-H