Review for An End to Innocence

An End to Innocence

(#) fyre_byrd 2005-10-19

The subtlety of the changes between the adult Nooj and the adolescent Nooj are what strike me the most about this story. I impressed by how you write these differences.

Nooj is only slightly more open and less argumentative as a young adult, something which I find quite convincing. Perhaps the most of this comes from your decision to write this in the third person, which removes Nooj's agonized introspection from the story. In some ways this makes the story easier to bear, less agonizing to read, not that I am trying to criticize the agony which characterizes The Confessional.

I was amazed at the readiness with which Nooj allowed Kaith to touch his pet. I am amused at Nooj's reaction to Kaith. He may like to think of himself as filled with restraint, but I think that women would perhaps be his one weakness. It is slightly amusing that he should share a weakness with the common man, although to be fair, he is specifically drawn only to competent and strong women.

Second section, seventh paragraph: "So he stood there, stone-faced as a martyr before the tools of torture . . ." I understand what you are driving at, but "tools of torture" seems a rather awkward way of referring to Kaith's charms. Nevertheless I am trying to come up with an alternative and drawing a blank. I like the torture metaphor, it's just the two exact things being compared seem not to mesh perfectly. Anyway, you know how I nitpick.

I think this is cute: "No. I saw with pleasure the excellence of the exercise. Carry on, soldier." Cute is not a word I thought to ever apply to Nooj, but I am delighted by it really. It is as if he is inadvertently inserting innuendo into his speech with Kaith.

It's so amazing how the tenor of Nooj's behaviour changes so drastically in a different context. Because he is young, his discussion of bodily functions as mechanical or animal seems so much the result of innocence and inexperience rather than callousness and disillusionment as it will become later on. Also Nooj's comparison of sexual activities to military strategy was quite amusing and apt.

Fourth section, paragraph seven "With a certain haste, he detached the young Coeurl from the quilted fabric where it sprawled and tucked it in nearby stall, supplying it with food and water." Just a simple typo. You need "a" between "in" and "nearby."

I enjoy the awkward nature of the sex between the two. I like that both of them assumes that the other must know what he/she is doing.

Fourth section, paragraph twenty five: "She could to that; she had just proved it." Simple typo, "to" should be "do." And again, paragraph thirty-four: "He started to withdrawn but was held back by her arms which drew him even closer." "withdrawn" should be "withdraw."

The ending of this chapter is very sweet indeed. Offering Kaith the name of his pet is a kind and charming gesture on Nooj's part. I found this sex scene was much easier to read than the ones in The Confessional. It seemed realistically awkward and, I can't really put my finger on what it actually is unfortunately. I just somehow liked it better.

Author\'s Response: In this story I was attempting to account for his fondness for fellatio. It occured to me if that was the first sexual act he experienced, it would bind itself firmly to his concept of sex. So, I let these two innocents get their information from overheard comments and books. LOL And he was not being cute or inserting innuendo. He does not understand how to do such things. He simply is incapable of hearing how he sounds to others. He is not now and never will be truly easy and comfortable in his dealings with other people. He is awkward until the end of his life. I think you are picking up on the truth that the only time he truly shares intimacy with a woman is this first time. From now on, he is more occupied with relieving his own tensions than becoming one with another. There is a hint that he might be changing toward the end of The Confessional but, alas, the Shuyin possession puts an end to it. And you are perfectly correct, his sexual drive is very strong and is his only inescapable weakness.