Reviews for Gallows
Mislav chapter 1 . 4/26
Pretty interesting, intense and poignant story. Exciting, sad and thought-provoking at the same time. The bitter end-and the lead up to it-definitely reminded me of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". Nothing wrong with that, of course; that was a great short movie. You described Frank's pain , despair and inner turmoil so well. I liked how you first described Frank getting hanged, then "flashed back" to explain what led him into that situation, then went back and described Frank's escape, leading up to the twist at the end. The ending with Frank's wife, just before the reveal, was especially moving. This part really got to me, it speaks to his executioners' ruthlessness: "Even with your last breath you draw ire." Interesting angle with the civil war, dystopian society and resistance movement too. I wouldn't mind seeing that expanded upon. Keep up the great work. I always enjoy reading your stories.
Jalux chapter 1 . 6/2/2015
You set the mood very well here, you get this kind of somber feeling as you steadily progress through the piece. I knew how it'd end just from the title and what we associate with the "gallows" but it was still sad to see after getting to know our character a bit. I appreciated the small insight like he enjoyed a beer once but seemingly not any more. It shows the change in him from all the violence he's seen I think and the suffering he's endured. I feel it's a bit of a coward's death in the end but still I did feel sorry for him and he didn't fade away peacefully like you kind of hope he would. So overall a good read and I think this one has a ending that ties everything up even if it is a grim one.
Cheddar-Graham chapter 1 . 5/8/2015
RG EF review

I like the mood you set up, it's all sad and yet kind of proud. Somehow it makes me think of scenes from movies like 300 where a hopelessly outmatched group is marching off to their deaths against a much more powerful foe.

I also like how you switch between timeframes without confusing us. I think you did a good job alternating between Frank's inner thoughts and the story. It seems this Frank is collateral damage - he didn't shoot anybody or set off a bomb, but just by giving information he was deemed a saboteur. I think this aspect could have been emphasised even more, as the irony would add to the general mood of the story.
Whirlymerle chapter 1 . 6/25/2013
[a sergeant who had probably been a dentist or school teacher in simpler times. Indeed, the liberal military code of this day and age cared not for…as evident by a kindly gentleman such as Frank having his neck in a ensnared.] I love the first sentence because it’s so simple yet effective in showing how dystopic your world is. I really didn’t like the part after though, especially because the first sentence is so good in driving the point home, so the rest, in my opinion, doesn’t add anything to the text. (If you’re going to keep it though, “ensnared” should be “snare”).

I totally like how Frank isn’t even that brave and he’s dying for something he doesn’t really believe in. It’s a grim message and I think a lot of casualties of war are like that.

You must have read “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Frank even has Peyton in his name and the twist is exactly the same. I’m wondering—why tell a story that so closely mirrors the original? It’s fine on its own, but I feel like, given the original, this story would be a lot better if at the ending, you put a spin on the original spin of the story. That way you'd be acknowledging the original, but making it your own, if that makes sense.
Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 6/22/2013
Very interesting ending here. I really liked how you blurred reality with waking reality and or so it would seem the reality of a ghost.

I think ideally I would have liked to have known more about the world that these characters live in. You mention a war on American soil but I didn’t notice any key strategic events leading up to this war – what was causing it, how is this neo-American society handling and dealing with these events. I also thought that some of the transition moments from memory to reality were just a tad jarring and could have been evened out just a bit more.

I really loved all of your opening detail, and the highly charged setting that you utilized in the beginning. I really found it to be rich with symbolism – Lee (a talented general to some, a traitor to others) the raging Potomac – wash away shame, carry him to safety. Even the gallows themselves, which many nowadays consider to be inhumane and rather archaic as a mode of public execution. I hope that you continue with this one.