Reviews for Wars and Rumors of Wars
m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 2/4/2015
RG EF #6,593

I like how you portray the war supporters/patriots as feverish, suffering from a spreading disease, an epidemic of martial hysteria.

The images in the beginning make me think of a hot virulent disease:
“A palpable shock and awe swept across the country like a perverse conflagration.”

Personally, I don’t know about using ‘perverse’ to modify a ’conflagration’ though. A conflagration is really just a big fire. Don’t quite see how a fire can be perverse, you know? In order for something to be ‘perverse’ it has to pervertible. You can’t really pervert a fire, fires just burn indiscriminately.

Great visceral description here:
“firecrackers hissed and vomited across incandescent skylines“

I really like how you introduce the reverend:
“After the first prayer a strangled piano chord lurked through the building and in a great impulse the reverend burst fourth from behind his pulpit, eyes glowing and voice cavernous.”
Very iconic description, cinematic feel.

Wow. Those are some horrific images there at the end. Very appropriate for a story that challenges the values of militancy.


Persevera chapter 1 . 3/22/2014
I knew I liked this from the moment I read the phrase shock and awe. This is a lot the way I felt when everyone had the War Fever, like the only reason people wanted to hear was more reason to do it.
I can't say I liked the ending. It was very extreme and possibly a little too localized. It wasn't only Southern hicks who wanted the fight, after all.
That being said it was an important truth. Patriotism becomes distorted into nativism and would we really recognize God's messenger telling us to stop, especially if it was an outsider?
Jalux chapter 1 . 2/3/2014
I don't know why I'm saying this but I think the part where the church reacts with the insults and uproar is extremely well done, sadly people do indeed act like that and words like cunt and bitch really get the message across. It's clear in the writing you're trying to instill some despair and I think the last line really hammers it in. Overall the piece was well written and for such a small word count you crammed in a lot of content. Good job!
deadaccount2019 chapter 1 . 1/31/2014
Sadly, I've had the misfortune of meeting entire groups of people who are like the one portrayed here. The story does a great job demonstrating just how evil people become in the name of patriotism, nationalism, and even religion. The bastardized sermon made for a very intense setting.

I think probably the biggest drawback of the piece is the ambiguity of the time period. On the first read it seemed like there was a consistency issue. On the second read I wondered if the shift in dialect was intentional, indicating "history repeats" or "things never really change" theme. If it was meant as a deliberate thing, perhaps beef up the narrative in the second half to better indicate the 'over time' element.
alltheeagles chapter 1 . 1/27/2014
For the RG EF

I like your consistency. You have a particular narrative voice that is apparent in most if not all your stories. I'd describe it as 'old-world' without any connotations of being old-fashioned - it comes from the grandiose descriptive language and also in part, the themes and plots you come up with. I also kind of like the twist at the end, though it's a little hard to stomach. You certainly put across a strongly cynical anti-war message. One thing I think you can improve on is the dialogue, wherein you show the prevailing accent in the beginning but that's not apparent at the end. Having said that, I'm not entirely sure a person would swear in the Lawd and Gawd accent!
Jitterbug Blues chapter 1 . 1/26/2014
So I've noticed that there's often a common pattern to your stories: you start off with a very grandesque opening, then tell a moral and then have things end in a very blood way (often very macabre). I will state that I kind of like that, because it really makes you stand out as a writer.

I particularly like your descriptions in this story, especially in the opening paragraph. You really give the reader a feel for this war-like situation: I really got a sense of the excitement, the various sounds and sights. I also like how you used language to make that clear - I'd say that your visuals are bursting with vividness, and it really makes this a fun read.

I like the irony behind the reverend's speech. It's such a far cry from your usual hymns, and I like how you twisted those words of peace to turn them into something that celebrate war.

The ending is very …cruel, but I like it because it gives you a very clear message. I rather like how the language turns more simpler and downright colloquial here, creating a perfect contrast with the celebration of war in the opening.

The only thing: you tend to have very simple but annoying mistakes, like 'reverends'. It kind of juts out because of your rather details and descriptions.