Reviews for You Can't Judge a Book
mrspencil chapter 1 . 8/29/2019
Great to get Kinch’s thoughtful view on the early days of the team. You really get under their skin:-) Well done!
Aileil chapter 1 . 1/6/2019
The best part of this story is the first meeting you shared, between Kinch, Newkirk, and LeBeau. There's something about Kinch's easy friendship with Louis (best described as fiery and particular) that has always fascinated me and I loved Newkirk's sarcastic 'to think all I had to do was speak French' comment really cuts to the heart of the matter. All these relationships are based in little things that eventually added up to a lasting trust. I appreciate your exploration of the 'little things', Kinch hearing Carter dreaming in Lakota, Newkirk doing card tricks, LeBeau offering Hogan a cup of soup. None of those are earthshattering events, but they all help to explain why these disparate men (who CAN grate on each others nerves at times) care for each other, joke frequently, and put their lives in each other's hands even though they know each other's shortcomings better than most (as well as their strengths).

This is a touching piece and I thank you for it. :)
snooky-9093 chapter 1 . 1/6/2019
Catching up on my reading. Nice, subtle use of the prompt. The entire story has an air of dignity and calmness to it...perfect in my mind, because it truly reflects Kinch's character. The suspicion of Hogan is believable, and while I'm of the mind he was not shot down deliberately (on the part of the Allies), your explanation (and the closeness of Nimrod) makes sense. You've come full circle with the metaphor, which shows great thought and talent. This is one of my favorite introductions to a character. Well-done.
L. E. Wigman chapter 1 . 12/31/2018
This brought out quite a range of emotions. I was a little misty-eyed when reading mama’s instructions to her boy. I chuckled when Kinch gaged how to approach the two Europeans and then LeBeau’s comment about the Statue of Liberty. Hogan’s introduction was smooth and exactly how one would expect those three to react. I also adored the library metaphor at the end. ‘It was a conversation that launched into a friendship’ - I think this shall be my motto for 2019. Talk to more people and nurture more friendships. I have no idea how I missed it when reading the SSSW stories, but it was a pleasure to read. Magnifique.
Abracadebra chapter 1 . 12/31/2018
I don't know how I missed this story the first time around! It is a wonderful glimpse at the budding friendship among members of the core team. I am always so happy to see Kinch at the center of a story, because his quiet strength really does make him the rock of the team. This was a very bright and easy read, with a nice mix of narrative and dialogue. I loved Kinch's mother's words of wisdom - he must have had some strong people in his life to be able to hold himself up as he did in a segregated nation and military. I also thought the team's skepticism of Hogan was handled really well. One thing I expected was for Hogan to take them into his quarters to speak so candidly to them, rather than doing so in the middle of the barracks, which seemed a little risky to me - but that is a very marginal critique. Overall, fantastic story!
Tuttle4077 chapter 1 . 11/22/2018
Oh! I loved it. What wonderful character studies from Kinch's perspective. Bravo
Sgt. Moffitt chapter 1 . 7/15/2018
So nice to see a new story from you! Your deft touch in bringing friendships to life is very much in evidence here, with Newkirk's and LeBeau's friendship very naturally expanding to include Kinch. Plus I love HH genesis stories, and you managed to develop one here very smoothly indeed. Having it told from Kinch's POV delivers new insights into how the members of the operation viewed each other and how trust had to build among them. The final scene underlines how important that trust was, when Kinch saved LeBeau and Newkirk and in return they saved him.
Book 'em Again chapter 1 . 7/7/2018
Kinch's mother's quote is a nice way to starts this story. It gives a good basis for why he views the world, and more importantly, his friends in the way that he does. And it foreshadows the conclusion rather nicely.

I like Kinch's reaction to the crepe - he doesn't say anything but everyone notices (it's nice to imagine that even the normally reserved Kinch has his moments where he's obvious. But then we get a glimpse of the Kinch who always knows the right to say or, in the case, the right language to say it in. Newkirk's reaction to the whole thing was a hoot.

That metaphor of comparing people to books in the end is a powerful one. The phrase "misleading covers and deep pages" spoke to me because it is so right. I can tell you put a lot of thought into this story and it came out great!
katbybee chapter 1 . 7/4/2018
I liked this story because of its unflinching honesty and authentic voice. Kinch would definitely have faced those challenges, and yet, you portrayed him as the strong and compassionate character we saw on the show. I loved his mother and her advice. The prompt was so subtle I almost missed it. I really liked your explanation for his ability to speak French. I would love to see a pre-war story with Kinch living in the French Quarter…or even post-war….that could be really interesting. I love the set-up you give, putting the team together…covering a lot of history in relatively few words, but it all meshes seamlessly. And I really like that you acknowledge Olsen as more than just a back-row member of the team! One thing I did notice was that you had just a couple of wrong word choices which are extremely easy to confuse…”phased” should have been “fazed” and “baited breath” should have been “bated breath." This is a nicely done story all-in all. Thanks for sharing!
dust on the wind chapter 1 . 6/27/2018
This is awesome good - a solid, believable account of the beginnings of the Stalag 13 operation from the point of view of its quietest member. You write Kinch extremely well; confident in himself yet aware of the challenges he faces in finding the close, dependable friends he needs. In spite of the restrictions of the challenge, your narrative is allowed to breathe, taking the time to reach each cadence on the way to the final resolution. It's a fine art, putting in just enough without going overboard, but you have done it really well.

I particularly like how, even though the heart of your story is friendship, there's no sentimentality about this one. It's real and strong and believable, but never soppy.

The prompt line fits in perfectly in Mrs Kinchloe's talk to her son (she's a lovely character, by the way).

Thanks for this - it's been a true pleasure to read.
Sam Worth chapter 1 . 6/26/2018
Thank you for this great story about Kinch's first days and how acquaintanceship out of necessity turned into friendship. Mrs. Kinchloe's advice kept the different times seamlessly together until it reached its conclusion with a hopeful outlook. Your Kinch simply rings true in his skills and doubts, his experience and hope without losing his pragmatic and brave ways.
The Wild Wild Whovian chapter 1 . 6/25/2018
Very nice story.
Belphegor chapter 1 . 6/24/2018
There's very few stories that focus on Kinch's first days (and later) in Stalag 13 ("Unsung Man, Unsung Hero" comes to mind), so it's always good to read another one! It's a great look inside Kinch's mind and heart as he arrives in Stalag 13 with low if any expectations at all, and a duo becomes a trio over food (which... YUM. It's 30C (86F, apparently) right now and you made me salivate with the crêpes. Did you know you could make an entire meal with them, too, because they can be savoury and sweet? Sorry, back on track now). Loved the line about the Statue of Liberty, too - so true! :D

Hogan's arrival is treated with suspicion (as a new, potentially disruptive entity, and an officer to boot), and when he explains to them *why* he was sent there, the men's hesitation and misgivings are very realistic. You handle Carter's subsequent arrival well, too, and I really love the little scene when Kinch hears Carter speak Lakota in his sleep - the "the realization that their "eternal optimist" was, in fact, pessimistic about something that he should be able to take great pride in" is a great insight, and so sad (someone *really* should knock those two clowns' heads together). And then things take a turn for the worse - or would have, without Kinch, and I really love that line: "It was fortunate that they had all gotten to know each other—to continue reading each other, and learning about who they really were. They were all different books with misleading covers and deep pages—and now, today, their little library would survive another day." I do like extended metaphors, and this one fits perfectly :o)
itstigerburningb chapter 1 . 6/23/2018
Marie here- what a wonderful story! As much as I enjoyed the plot though, the way with words you had with this line is what really caught my attention- They were all different books with misleading covers and deep pages- and now, today, their little library would survive another day.
lalalei chapter 1 . 6/23/2018
This was really sweet :) Seeing the early days of the team is fascinating, and i love how their teamwork began to solidify along with their lifelong friendships!