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Review:patroni says:
Hullo again!

I have to say, without being patronising or simpering- you are a very gifted writer. I'd said in my review of Heartache Squadron that your style reminded me of Douglas Adams'. With this piece, I keep thinking of Beckett's plays, Embers in particular (with the repetition and recurrence) and Eliot's poetry (with the flow and words). But I don't mean to be reductive; your writing is distinctly your own and it is incredibly stylish. I am amazed at how deftly you've moved between these two very different ways of storytelling: the humour, lightness and mischief of Heartache; the poetry, emotion and depth of Hourglass. Congratulations!

In this story, you're at your best when you pack complex thoughts into succinct sentences that leave the reader hanging on every word: short bursts and spaces to breathe. For this reason, I'd say that the paragraphs in (i) and (vii) to a lesser degree, did not hit me as hard as the rest of your story did. On a similar principle, I found myself wondering if (xxi) wouldn't be even more unsettling if you deleted from "it is the secret" until "you hear it." But then, I have an unhealthy fondess for unnerving/vaguely unsatisfying/ambiguous endings, so what do I know? :)

And, of course, it goes without saying that these tiny niggles in no way detracted from your wonderful story and skill. Thank you for sharing it!

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