Reviews for Stray Dog on the Back of an Iron Rod
lookingwest chapter 1 . 8/7/2012
...provided they endured their trials. [the "they" in this phrase didn't sound parallel to me because the sentence starts out with "he", so changing the pronouns kind of rubbed me the wrong - just my opinion]

I almost don't even think it's worth saying but...yeah I'll say it again - didn't like the ellipses, because I thought those pauses were way unnecessary xD. Sorry, I just can't help myself!

Honestly, the reason I'd thought I'd reviewed this before was because I actually tried reading it once and had to put it down - it's just a little too dense to me and I'm not afraid to say I don't understand it given the author's note too - the themes and what the actual meaning of everything meant went right over my head. That being said, I think a lot of that has to do with me just knowing zero about science and psychology and all that good stuffs. I feel this piece is very ambitious, and I like that about it - but I didn't get it.

What I do get is that it's about lab rats, essentially (lab dogs in whatever case - lab animals, let's say), and the torture of that, and I do like the unique perspective. This is a take on an issue I've never seen handled this way before - it reminds me a lot of Frank Quietly's We3. You should check it out. At any rate, the whole concept of how far someone can be pushed in the end was hard to read (in a good way). I think my favorite sections were the last ones. It got better as it went on reading-wise (for me), and I settled in nicely by the last paragraph. I like the shorter sentences dispersed with the longer ones.

Oh! and I liked the title, by the way.
Abbytjie chapter 1 . 7/16/2012
Beautiful. I couldn't tear my eyes away from this. Really wonderful.

You really deconstructed human nature brilliantly. You can understand why the man acts the way he does. You pair the human nature of the lone man against the men who put him to this test. The two facets of human nature contrast each other brilliantly.

You chose an amazing method of torture, you can FEEL the pain and desperateness. You are really amazing.
Headhawk Moth chapter 1 . 7/15/2012
I feel slightly intimidated by the above reviews. So, I'll keep this short. A haunting and thrilling account of the charcter's thoughts and, well, pain throughout the story. Truly harrowing. I feel an inexplicable aching after reading this, perhaps this is because of the inescapable truth that we give up almost instantaneously. Not meaning we are weak, but the idea of utter helplessness is a frightening one indeed. Excellent story. Looking forward to viewing more of your work now!
Findus chapter 1 . 5/22/2012
Geez, that Seligman guy was a real scumbag. And even though I get chills from the whole idea, it's an interesting one to build on and I liked how you tied it into your story. As for the learned helplessness thing, I think you can look at any abusive household and come to the same conclusion (which is frigging scary.)

This is probably my favorite so far amongst your stories. It evokes a whole array of emotions. The descriptions of skin melting and his pain, so real you can almost feel it. The impulse to try to hold his breath and failing, so cruel.

I thought you did an amazing job with this scenario and putting the reader right in the action of it, uncomfortable as it was to read it at times.

"Perhaps a neve had been pinched." - Nerve?
Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 1 . 4/8/2012
I looked that experiment up. Holy tacos! That's so interesting. Wowie.

This is an excellent concept. The blood going down his back was a very good image. I'm concerned with the way you explained the situation through the stary. There's some repetition of a few of the more vague details, when one time would've done. "The dizzying relief became short-lived as it, instead of being the veil of protection, became the bridge between metal and flesh.

If anything, that made it harder to bear. The small relief was like the taste of a sweet fruit, leaving a sour taste behind as it was taken away after a single bite. He wanted more. No. He needed more. But there would be none. The burning continued. The small light that had granted him a brief reprieve became bitter. A cruel tease, giving him that brief glimpse before snatching it away." you spend a lot of time circling around the way he feels about the releif being taken away. There's probably a more direct way to get to the idea, which'll keep the audience from wanting to skim.

Only other problem I had was with linking verbs and passive voice (which I'm picky with, I'll admit): "was held", "were chained", "had been reduced". This takes away a lot of poweful verbs/nouns you could use instead. "the iron bit/shred/ground/whatever", "the scientists/[cool metaphor] beat/destroyed/majorly fucked over" and lots of other terrible examples I can come up with out of the blue. Forgive me, I'm not warmed up. :P. You know what I mean, I think.

I like this. This made me think. The wikipedia page on Seligman sucks though. :[

-REB
blueagle246 chapter 1 . 4/5/2012
Great story!