|Reviews for Reach for the Sky|
| Mislav chapter 1 . 4/30
Very fun and creative story. Nice parody of the common western tropes and cliches. You did a great job with the Gunslinger. He sounded like a real smug jerk. That poor dog... I didn't expect the part where the Gunslinger shot into a mirror. The ending was hilarious, and spot-on, especially the last line. Keep it up. I always have fun reading your stories.
| Guest chapter 1 . 11/30/2016
Wow, i love it
| Ventracere chapter 1 . 10/7/2015
AHahha. The ending was a lot of fun. Who would have guessed that this was the way it was going to end? Anywho.
Something that I liked was the lead up to the end. Everyone who know the gunslinger was - well, at least they knew his type. That gave us clues as to how he was going to be treated in eahc establishment, but covered up the fact that he was going to be heading to a place filled iwth people just like him. That gave you an element of surprise that made the ending all the more enjoyable.
"This is a guns free zone!" - probably my favorite line of the piece considering everything that happened in the span of the last minute. This was the clincher of the story - it made the piece funny despite the rather grotesque ending for the gunslinger. But it read like a "woops" moment considering so many people decided to shoot him dead. Lotta fun.
Another thing I liked was the carefree air you were able to input into the piece. Normally your pieces have a more doom and gloom heavy tone around it, but in this one, the short, light sentences allowed us to hear Gunslinger's voice well and give no care attitude.
Thanks for the read!
| Jalux chapter 1 . 5/19/2015
I certainly didn't expect that ending, honestly I feel a little sorry for him. He did seem like a brute and a bit crazy but seemed to just want a good time. So it surprised me he was shot to bits looking for a hot date. I really do like some of the imagery such as him looking into the mirror then shooting it. The writing is excellent, sort of a Django Unchained or just cowboy feel to it and the dialogue suited the characters with lines such as Jesus H. Christ and alright you maggots. I do feel though we don't care for the Gunslinger as much as we perhaps should because the story is too short. This is another story I could see being expanded, maybe give us a little history on the man.
| Hedonistic Opportunist chapter 1 . 10/10/2014
Writing: You have a very visceral, very tongue in cheek and vivid writing style. It's just full of life and fun, and even if I was in a slightly bad mood while reading this, I felt a lot happier after finishing this. That's how engaging your style is. On a fully technical note, I like how you keep the writing a perfect mixture between simplicity and very detailed writing – you never flesh out the unnecessary aspects, but do take deep care to make the scenes appealing that are supposed to be (like the shooting of the dog or the gunslinger's death at the end). I like how the tone in this one is very playful, imitating the Western style but also maintaining a code that I'd consider true to your canon of texts: there's the jerk who does something wrong and gets punished for it (though not all of your stories follow that formula). I think it's a very readable text too, with the flow being easy to follow, and the writing (syntax and word choice) being rhythmic enough to make this a very entertaining read. It's strongest feature, in my opinion, is the tone and the way it engages you in a sort of slapstick way – very visual, very sarcastic and also a lot of fun. It never gets too serious, which really fits the plot to a T.
Plot: I find it hard to talk about the plot, because it's such a short piece, but I find that you capture a lot of the lawlessness of the Western genre quite well – at least at first sight. You get the idea that, in the end, the gunslinger gets his comeuppance for acting like such a jerkward – which I love being it ties in with themes like karma and you know, bad people just getting punished. I think this is a parody or satire obviously, but it's also perfectly readable as your own take on the Western genre – which I think you do a fair job of representing well. You capture a lot of tropes quite well, and I feel the plot has most definitely got the Western feel down, from the way you make the tone echo it so well to how it's really a piece about regulating a world that can only be ordered by violence. I'm taking rubbish here, but I do have to talk about the plot somehow XD. One of the thing I like about the plot is that it's very much open to interpretation: you can imagine yourself why the gunslinger was punished (maybe he'd already harassed the people before), because you don't provide the readers with all the details. I like that you could pretty much create your own backstory to this. For a short piece, this is perfect, because it keeps the reader engaged and also stays true to the vignette form. You just tell us a plot that takes place at the very moment, and leave the reader guessing about everything else. That's fun and stimulates one's creativity. I also like how this is a blend of humour and a bit of gore: the ending is definitely very violent, but it never gets too depressing or glorifying, because it's obvious imo that this fic is not to be taken all too seriously. It's a very affectionate tribute to the Western genre imo.
Character: The gunslinger is such a jerk – it's amazing how despicable you wrote him. He's not only arrogant and shoots dogs for no reasons, but he threatens people with death for the smallest of things (or if he doesn't get his way). I feel like he's terrorised those people before, and I feel that the comeuppance he gets is very much deserved. It just seems to be that he's done a lot of harmful things and never shown much regret for it. In fact, his very willingness to kill shows how dangerous he is. He's not all too threatening a figure though, because you also get the feeling that he's vain and spoilt, even underestimating the ones around him. He also comes across as impatient and not thinking things through too carefully (if the ending is anything to go by). I think he's an interesting subversion of the Clint Eastwood archetype: Clint Eastwood is very quiet, even calculating, but this guy here is a hothead who yells more than he does XD.I also like how you represent the townspeople as being meek at first, but later reveal their true colours by making them fight back. It also subverts the trope of the townspeople being overly fearful as well. Interesting and fun subversions, here, I think.
Dialogue: I think your dialogue very much captured the essence of the Western genre too much. Not only does the dialogue sound convincing and appropriate for the genre, it's also a lot of fun. I think it's the enjoyability of the dialogue that really made the story for me. You drew me in completely with the totally sarcastic and funny dialogue; it made the story come alive to me, and really helped it be even more sarcastic. In fact, I don't think this story would have worked half as well without the dialogue – it just would have lacked the charm, I guess? I generally think that you also did a great job of maintaining the balance between dialogue and description very well. I never felt that there was too much description between the piece of dialogue, and there were no distracting dialogue tags :3
| Jitterbug Blues chapter 1 . 10/7/2014
Heehee, this was a lot of fun. For whatever reason, I think most (if not all) of your other works that I've had the privilege to read were all Horror, and while that isn't usually my genre of choice, I've enjoyed them all the same. This one is a similar situation: I don't much go for westerns and cowboys unless they're in space and have corgis on board their spaceships, yet still found this a fun, entertaining read.
The opening leaves nothing to the imagination - in fact, I'd say it's the exact opposite of subtle, which I appreciate because it fits the piece. Even though what he did to the dog made my stomach turn, it added to the absurdity and seemed also to fit the Gunslinger's over-the-top nature. Speaking of which, the Gunslinger is a hoot. He's loud and brash and acts like he might think 'stealth' means only shooting a target once. He's rather like a little kid, come to think of it, but then I'm not sure how well the image of a child (or man-child) running amok with a gun sits with me, as a reader. Then again, maybe this was your point all along...?
The dialogue, while not too extensive, was apt for the time and setting. The only line of the Gunslinger's that I thought could benefit from a rewrite was when he talks to the barber: "Give me the works," he says, and it may just be me, but I think "Gimme" could've worked better here, especially since you didn't shy away from 'y'all's and 'outta's etc. In that same line he also tells the bartender he'd better not scratch the Gunslinger's 'beautiful' face - perhaps a less fancy word like 'pretty' could have been worth considering? Again, these are such little things and don't derail the story or anything drastic like that, but just small suggestions.
Lastly, the ending is just poetic justice served with dark humor that made me chuckle. There's an anime that I used to be a huge fangirl of whose protagonist had this motto: "The only ones who have the right to kill are those who are prepared to be killed" ... or something to that effect. Reading the ending reminded me of this all of a sudden, and makes it clear that despite the almost flippant silliness brought about by this being a parody, there's a sobering lesson one can take away from it as well. But really, what the Gunslinger did to the dog in the opening, versus what happened to him at the end - again, poetic justice.
(JM for RG Depth!)
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 8/1/2014
For the RG EF
As a parody, I think it’s quite good – it certainly stirs up quite a ‘Quick and the Dead’ vibe, and I like the gusto with which you wield all the standard imagery and language of the old west. But then I don’t read many westerns (if there is such a genre at all!) so I’m most likely not the best judge for this. I generally like how your stories always have a twist in them, and this one is no different. Granted, it isn’t as great a surprise as some of the other twists you’ve come up with – I was expecting something ironic like a kid fired off a popgun and the guy had a heart attack. But your version fits the setting and is consistent with the opening, so it works!
| adalyn chapter 1 . 7/20/2014
Good story. Keep writing:)