Reading Reviews for Not a Waste of Space
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Ribbons Not a Waste of Space

4th August 2014:
Hi, this is Ribbons!
I stumbled on this one-shot and thought I'd give it a try. Am I ever glad I did!
This story has finesse, feels, delicacy and lots of heart, and I'm so happy that you embraced the character of Dudley, who a lot of writers (understandably) shy away from. I really liked his speech (I know, I know, that was practically the whole story), and the part where he looks Harry in the eyes and talks directly to him at the end.
Of course, the fact that it was a speech meant that it didn't have the same feel as two character's talking to each other, but in a way that was good because it made it more fulfilling. I was definitely satisfied by the end.
Thank you so much for writing this, it was definitely not a waste of time!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review! The speech is a different mode than I have taken on previously, but for some reason this particular conversation between Harry and Dudley didn't seem to come out right when I thought about them having it one-on-one. I think Dudley would have been too scared to face Harry if it was just the two of them. So I'm very pleased that you felt the speech was appropriate. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave a lovely review.

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Review #2, by BookDinosaur Not a Waste of Space

28th December 2013:
Hi! I'm here for the second of the Twelve Days of Reviewing Challenge.

I really can't think of anything to say now. I'm so glad your oneshot has no banner yet, because I absolutely loved reading it. I haven't read much about Dudley, expecially when he was an adult, and even less about him thinking and relfecting on his action from childhood. The content of this was both unique and engaging, and you pulled it off perfectly.

How you wrote Dudley was plain amazing. He's really grown, and developed, but he's the same Dudley we knew in the series, and now he's repenting for his earlier actions. His speech was plain amazing, and I have tears in my eyes from reading it. He's somehow conflicting inside, and he knoews his family wouldn't or doesn't approve of his making such a speech in tribute of Harry but he goes and des it anyway. I think you've really transformed Dudley, and shown his good side to us, and now I'm finding him a much more tolerable character, someone I like.

I loved your use of the phrase 'waste of space'. Harry did feel like a waste of space, and it feels right that the phrase which brings Dudley to his senses would be waste of space.

I loved the description of wherever the speech was held - I'm guessing that it was in Hogwarts, but I love the bewilderment with which Dudley tries his best to find his way around, and then get oout at the end, it was both realistic and amusing. I loved that little sentence at the beginning, where Dudley said he wasn't in the habit of asking people for help, and I think that came through in the chapter. You've done an amazing job characterising Dudley here. :)

The reuniting and reconcilation of the two brothers at the end was wonderful as well - even though we see him through Dudley's eyes, he seems like the same Harry we all know and love from the series. The actual scene was touching as well, how Harry and Dudley awkwardly caught up with each other and the tentatively decided to stay in tough. It was wonderful.

The only think I picked up on was that at the beginning, Dudley said that Harry Potter was 'a four letter word whispered behind...' so you might want to go back and change that.

This was a wonderful oneshot and I really enjoyed rafing it. Great job! :D

Author's Response: Thank you! Dudley's definitely a bit of a question mark at the end of the series, there is so much room to explore with him. This was really an experiment in characterisation and I'm so, so pleased it turned out all right! It's always tricky to take a stubborn character and successfully transform them. So you've made me really, really happy and I thank you for the delightful review.

The one thing you picked up on should be all right. Saying something is a "four letter word" is a common way of saying something is a dirty word or a cuss (so many swear words are four letters). Reading back over it I think it sounds the way I meant it, but I appreciate the note. =)

Thanks again for this really wonderful review! =)

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Review #3, by Manwe Valarian Not a Waste of Space

28th December 2013:
Good chapter, I liked the maturity of Dudley and the asdmission of what he did.

Author's Response: Thanks very much! =)

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Review #4, by Violet Gryfindor Not a Waste of Space

27th December 2013:
It's hard to think of what to say about this story or where to start saying something about it. I knew it would be amazing because you wrote it, but this is above and beyond what I expected. It's a powerful story, very affecting, with a lot of feeling behind it.

What you've done with Dudley... wow. I have tears in my eyes, not only from reading his speech, but from seeing the conflict going on within him as he gives it and how it sends him reeling afterward. He's aware of what he's doing, yet it's clear that he didn't think about what it would truly mean to do it, the kinds of things he'd have to reveal about himself, his family, and about Harry. He has to delve into a past that made them who they are, yet it's also a past they'd much rather forget. And you capture Dudley's experience with these conflicting thoughts and feelings brilliantly. By giving him a voice like this, you make him very human and sympathetic, even likable. You bring out his goodness and portray him in a way I've never thought possible.

Your portrayal of Harry is also excellently done. There aren't many who can write him as well as you do - he's difficult to recreate, but here he's humble and unassuming, all the things that Dudley described him as, all things that should be impossible based on Harry's upbringing. And I really like how Dudley is still overwhelmed and confused about how Harry turned out. At the end, Dudley is lost in more than the geographical sense - he spends the whole story feeling lost, perplexed, and out of place. I wonder how far this resonates into his life, how his own accomplishments must seem very small even though he was the one who grew up with everything while Harry had nothing. Harry has a bright future, but what does Dudley have? It's a thought-provoking ending, even uncomfortable because of the kind of thoughts it provokes. But that discomfort and lack of complete closure is what makes this story so striking. I love it when stories have that ability to affect readers in this way.

It's fantastic to see a new story from you as well as a hint on your author page that more might be forthcoming. It's been a great experience to read something of yours again - your writing has only become more amazing. :D

Author's Response: SUSAN! I have been avoiding answering this review because you are, as usual, far too kind and lovely!

Dudley is one of those loose ends at the end of the series, which gives us so much room to explore! That moment when he and Harry bond (in their strange way) for the first time when Dudley and his parents are leaving Privet Drive leaves so much room for Dudley's character to grow. I really hope this is how he turned out - not lost and somewhat self loathing, but at least aware that he was wrong and cruel. I like to think he would have found a way to apologize to Harry, but honestly I think he was probably too much like his father - proud and stubborn, and certain that he was right.

Anyways, all this to say that this story was a bit of a gamble in terms of characterisation and I'm really, really happy that you enjoyed it. I admire you so much, and respect your opinions and writing to the highest degree. You always make me feel really proud of my writing. Thank you, my dear! You are such a gem. xo.

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Review #5, by FriendofMolly Not a Waste of Space

27th December 2013:
Congratulations! This was excellent. I'm sad that it took Dudley 10 years to see Harry again. (Yes I know what Jo has said.) But he finally stood up and admitted his mistakes and praised Harry for what he did and who he has become. It has occurred to me, that Harry's fighting spirit is due to Dudley's treatment of him. It toughened him up. That's not to say that had he'd been raised with love and encouragement, he would not have been the stand up guy he is. You did an amazing piece of fiction. I want to thank you for this. Now I need to check and see if you have written anymore.

Author's Response: Thank you! I like to think Dudley would grow up and realize what he'd done, but you never know, he might've grown up to be just like his parents. Thanks for this lovely review! I have plenty more, hope to hear from you again soon. =)

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Review #6, by peppersweet Not a Waste of Space

27th December 2013:
Hiya! Iim here from the 12 days of reviewing challenge on the forums. Today's challenge was to review stories with no banner, and boy am I glad you don't have a banner for this. This one-shot is a gem. It's so rare to read about Dudley on HPFF - not many authors want to think about him, and I can see why. So it's no mean feat that you've chosen to write about him in the first place, let alone the fact that you've written him so well. His redemption seems so real and natural, and I think it's a fitting end for the two cousins. Dudley might have redeemed himself and apologised for his brattish behaviour, but he still seems very unsatisfied with his life. Harry is, as usual, understanding and accepting, and although we see him here primarily from Dudley's perspective it still feels like the Harry I know and love from the books. Really, this is such a remarkable piece of writing. I especially like the ending - Dudley, directionless! In spite of myself I feel so sorry for him - he's so lost. He also had a horrible childhood, although in an entirely different way, and it's knocked him off course for life.

Seriously, you've done such a good job here. I know you mentioned in the chapter summary that it was unbeta'd, but I didn't notice any mistakes in this. Your writing flows very naturally. I liked this a lot - thank you so much for sharing it with us, and merry christmas! ♥

Author's Response: Thank you! This is the first new piece I have posted in AGES and to receive such a warm first review makes me really happy.

Dudley is definitely a tough character, particularly as the protagonist in a story because you know he's been a total brat but you don't want the reader to hate him. I think "bad" characters deserve to have their flaws explored. We can only imagine how Dudley would feel about his behaviour towards Harry - would he grow up to be like his father or not? It's fun to explore those things and I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words! Happy new year!

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