Reviews for A Boy and His Horse
shirogiku chapter 4 . 4/24/2012
This a really unusual and poignant story.

I found myself liking Tom more than Michael - as a person, that is - but I feel that you've put enough work in every character, even the side ones, and they did come alive. I particularly liked Stevie and Frank (not in the least because of their impact on Tom), whimsical Tabitha and sad, wisened Alex with his unrequited love :D I could complain Christine is too clicheed, but hey, that's life, she couldn't have been different.

Make-believe worlds and situations like theatre or writing intrigue me because it's where the lines between reality and fiction become fickle. Thus, I loved how the play intruded in and shaped Tom and Michael's separate lives and relationship.

I also liked all the flashbacks and the build-up of the suspense around the murder, but even more the fact that the consequences of it were left unclear. Too many stories eventually lead to the great reveal (lol, think, idk, "American Tragedy"). The lack of deep running guilt from everyone did wonders, really.

Now a bit of customary quoting and gushing:

"Despite having never talked to Michael properly, Tom has quite an intimate knowledge of him. He relishes the feel of Michael's hands traveling all over his strained body when the boy caresses his horse. Michael's damp breath ghosting over Tom's neck makes his nostrils flare, makes him feel like he is indeed an animal. Michael lowers his head on Tom's shoulder, whispers to him softly, unintelligibly, and leads him off into the semi-darkness of the backstage." - I found this disturbingly erotic. Disturbingly because you masterfully blur the lines between the human and the animal throughout the story.

"She entrusted him with roles that required no acting: those of inanimate objects, such as trees, street-torches, even a striptease pole once. In Tom's opinion, they hardly required a live actor at all, but provocation was Tabitha's forte and it was not his place to question her judgement." - this really got to me, for some reason. I wouldn't call Tom selfless or spineless, and yet he lets himself be objectified,.

"Michael, in his own way, is like Blue or like that Arab stallion, an enigma without a cause, crafted carefully by some jester from the beyond with a single goal: to torment Tom." - I just love this.

"He adores him, he lusts after him, yet he absolutely can't stand him. The stench of alcohol that clings to him like second skin and his brazen behaviour is where the lines blur and Michael becomes Frank." and later "It is no lie. Stevie and Michael have mingled in his mind so obliquely that he can barely tell them apart." - hitting all my buttons for the messed-up here, my dear ;)

"Tom laughs at the jealousy she makes him feel. It's funny but so damn painful."

and

"He tries to reason with himself: Michael doesn't belong to him, Michael is free to screw whoever he likes. It is the hand-holding and long, significant gazes they share that disturb him. The idea of Michael being in a relationship is more than surreal. The idea of Michael opening up to someone other than him is almost painful." - Tom's jealousy for Laia both moved me and enriched the reading))) Actually - sorry for going off-topic - it's indeed the opening up to /someone else/ that's the worst. I can't help but think of our RP :D

"Tom knows full well what everyone sees in Michael. He watches him, taking in his slight, agile build, his black hair that waves slightly against the forehead and his pale-green eyes. The outline of his mouth is sensual, sardonic; the curve of his throat has a creamy tint to it and his Adam's apple always jumps in an almost nervous fashion whenever he takes a gulp." - black hair and pale green eyes is one of those best combiantions ever 3 why is my mental image of him /Irish/? XD

"I'm yours if you'll have me."

Michael looks at him, a smirk frozen on his lips, a snide remark like a fishbone half-stuck in his throat. He surveys Tom as if appraising a gift-wrapped package, marveling at its size and a beautiful ribbon and trying to guess what's inside." - I loved this scene!

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams." - I love this quote on it's own, but as a recurring motive it's stunning.

"I am yours, and you are mine," he whispers under his breath. He repeats these words until his tongue goes numb. The feast of agony continues raging before his eyes. He wonders if the voice of Equus somehow resides within him too. Within all of them. If the madness of words has touched their hearts. If each and every one of them is bound by invisible, unbreakable threads." - all the sex scenes in the story are unabashedly, gloriously hot, but the ones when they quote and reenact The Play are just kajbdsadkll. of the mind-blowing variety;)

"I called for you. I prayed for you. Someone who could change me. But don't you see? You're appropriately wrong for me! I can almost see the stamp of approval! You're not saving me, Tom, you're hurting me. You are a nobody, you are the bottom of life to me, and you and I– we are the oldest story in the book." - oh Michael. So egocentric.

I loved that the epilogue was from Michael's POV. It offers a drastically different perspective and fleshes him out. The epilogue was the best place for his backstory.

"I had a horse once," he said thoughtfully.

"Really?" Christine's eyes widened. "You never told me. What colour?"

"Bay. The name was Nugget." The words fell in soft whisper. He almost believed what he was saying. - this dialogue3

"His hand rested on the horse's muscular neck. It was hard to tell in the pre-dawn twilight where the rider ended and the horse began, almost like they shared some special bond." 333 recurring motives.

Um, the punchline to my review is predictably simple: write moar! who needs life, when there's fiction? :D
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 4 . 11/13/2010
Oh my – forget the coherent review!

I really loved this story and the epilogue is just perfect in its open-endingness. Having an ending that just spells everything out for you is about the worst error an author can commit -

(because there's nothing left for the reader to muse on).

I think I feel sorry for Michael because he's so obviously disgusted by his life and yet unable to break out.

He's hateful for being a coward (sort of), but also tragic because his cowardice is so human. I think this epilogue made me understand his motives so much better.

I think most people would like to think that he hooked up with Tom, but I somehow sense he didn't because he probably doesn't have the guts to do so (just like, despite his big talk, he didn't have the guts to kill someone).

I like how Tom was present in this chapter without having an “active role”. I like how you depicted him as finally having found something he loved, something he could hold on to. I think, for him, this is a happy outcome?

He's at peace.

I'll stop this review because I don't really know what else to say without resorting to gibberish.

I really loved this and do proclaim this my favourite original story of yours.
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 3 . 11/13/2010
Sort of hesitant to drop a review on this chapter – not because it was bad (by far, it wasn't) but because it really did affect me emotionally. And I also feel that I'm annoying you with my feedback (I'll shut up because I have this innate tendency to apologise for everything I do).

I feel everything is quickly drawing to a conclusion and from what I garner in this chapter's atmosphere it is not going to end all that well. I feel bad for Tom; he has already been abandoned once and his insecurity towards Michael reflects his fears so well.

I did not comment on Stevie before, but let me tell you that I loved your characterisation of her: she seems so magically wondrous and like a symbol of what Tom wants to be, but can't (I don't think I'm making sense). And her relationship with Tom is oddly wondrous too. Also, their travels are magically wondrous too.

The plot is really drawing to a close, too. I like how you're keeping your reader up on their toes by constantly referring to the dead robber. It gives the story a suspenseful, insecure touch.

Finally, I'm really torn about Michael. I'll wait until the epilogue to make a final verdict.

But I'm really loving this story.
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 2 . 11/13/2010
Oh dear, this is really intense and very well-written. I don't think I can keep my promise of writing a coherent review because this chapter was so emotion-laden. As I'm not a doll made out of steel, I felt a lot while reading this (pleasure, excitement and pleasure again). But the fact that I wasn't indifferent to this chapter all means that I enjoyed thoroughly.

I think this chapter really showed us what Tom is made out of; he's a burning volcano underneath the docile and submissive façade. I really love that Michael, in his playful yet vicious callousness, brings that hidden passion out of Tom.

I honestly enjoyed how you had them interact in this chapter and I'm a bit surprised at how erotic this story is in general. You see, you're rather “shy” when it comes to your fanfic, so much that it's a surprise how raw and passionate this story is. I can't decide which was hotter – their first hook-up or the aftermath of their fight.

(And the fight was hot too, but I'm a twisted individual, so ignore this comment).

Okay, there's nothing else left for me to say, but continue reading this?
Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 11/13/2010
Oh God, I only read the first chapter so far, but really love it. I'll say this much: I feel this is something that could be published. In fact, it reads just as fluidly as any novel extract. And no, I'm not mincing words because you should know how critical I can be if warranted.

Somehow I feel that your original writing tells me a lot more about your abilities as a writer than your fanfiction ever did (I don't mean to slam fanfiction because it is a great way to hone your skills and so forth, but it's still an exercise of amateurs playing pretend).

What I learnt about you here is that you're a sharp-minded individual who's very good at depicting American slang, making references to various sort of plays and novels and is wise beyond her years.

And your English is really impeccable.

I'll start off with plot, which is quite twisted and complex. I love the way you've set the story in motion – it definitely does pique my interest.

The narrative frame is very interesting because you start off with the present, then dive into the past and then return to the present. This not only makes the story more complex, but also more interesting because the reader is rather offered a brief sip rather than being forced to swallow everything at once.

And I'm really surprised at how violent this is – and real. But it's not a bad sort of surprise.

I really enjoyed your dive into the past, especially your characterisation of Frank; he's very multi-dimensional – you can't really pin him down as a simple bastard.

I like Tom, too. There's seem to be so much hidden depth in him and I can't wait to find out just how he operates.

(Of course, I'm also interested in the sexual tension between him and Michael).

I don't feel this (unfortunately) typo-littered review does you any justice, but I'll try to review more coherently with the next few chapters.
Megas Alexandros chapter 4 . 6/9/2010
Lookie, I didn't screw up the account this time!

Anyhow, sorry that I'm late to the party, but oh, that ending! It was just the way I imagined it when you said you'd leave it 50-50. It's a perfect choice, perfectly even, and I love it.

I find it interesting that the epilogue is written in a different tense; it gives the story a macabre sense of finality. I loved the impression that seeing Tom again made on Michael and the little detail about a horse and the dream of a horse, too. I feel a little sorry for Michael's finacee, but at the same time she doesn't stir much pity which I'm also glad about.

All in all, it was a brilliant story, love. Looking forward to the midquel now.
helike chapter 4 . 5/26/2010
M... An open ending XD What will Michael choose, ladies and gentlemen? It's up to you to decide XD

But to call the police? . And they say that women don't forgive .;;

Good job, honey
helike chapter 3 . 5/18/2010
1. Somebody should be happy he didn't break his neck after falling down ._.

2. Was there "What is real art?" discussion or was I imagining things? XD

3. There is something that somewhat bothers be about their relationship, although I couldn't lay my finger on it yet. It feels... strained sometimes?

Just a few incoherent thought. Good job :)
helike chapter 2 . 5/15/2010
I feel guilty of leaving the review so late ._.;

I don't know why but I keep wondering it the crime will get discovered or not ;

Good job, honey, keep it up.
Megas Alexandros chapter 2 . 5/10/2010
LMAO! Shit, I left you a review with YOUR OWN ACCOUNT! Sorry, love! I've just re-signed in.
Shaitanah chapter 2 . 5/10/2010
Sorry I haven't got to this earlier; I read it a while ago actually. Anyhow, that het scene? It was awesome. I loved Tom's confusion and his somewhat bleared motivation. The phrase about the girl with a boy's name reflects it perfectly.

Needless to say, Tom/Michael scenes hot! Double, triple hot.

Of course you just had to include a character with my name! )
OmniStrife chapter 1 . 5/1/2010
I'm so glad I read this. I was directed here from LJ, and I had it pulled up in a tab for a few days before I finally sat down and read through it, and I'm definitely happy I did. It's obvious to me that you put effort into this, and it paid off. Your writing is fluid and natural, your characters are round and well-thought out, and you have a perfect balance between darkness and eroticism to make for a fascinating story. I'm left feeling like I want to read more, but I'm still satisfied with what there is. Very well-played. Very impressive. Pieces like this are the reason I joined this site. Thanks for a great reading experience.
helike chapter 1 . 4/28/2010
I don't see Tragedy listed as a genre, so maybe there won't be a tragic end? ;

The story looks interesting so far.

Sorry for not writing anything more. My brain has just decided to die.
Megas Alexandros chapter 1 . 4/22/2010
OMG! You posted it! XPP That's a pleasant surprise to find something like this in your inbox.

Okay... Love the quote you chose for the epigraph. Somehow it's quite reflective of what's going on in the story, especially for those who read Equus. Love multiple allusions to Equus, as well as the use of direct quotes (boy, that final scene is so hot!). The boys are... well, hard to describe. Michael definitely reminds me of a certain someone. *wink wink* I liked that flashback from Tom's past and his relationship with his stepfather (if I may call him so). Indeed, it seems to have a lot in common with his feelings for Michael, on and off. The pattern is interesting to observe.

Ahem... more please?

P.S. Pink tutu! That killed me for good, and it was a good death!