Reviews for And Love Thee After
Lyrical Ballads chapter 22 . 4/26/2014
It only took me five hundred years to do it, but I've finally reached the end.

I like how this chapter opens with Evelyn confronting Ardeth alone. Because out of all the characters, Evelyn is really the most sane person here. Also, she knows the truth about who Rick has -really- been sleeping with, which adds another level of fascination to this scene. The irony is just killing me! And not only is Evelyn the one person (besides Rick, obviously) who knows the truth about this supposed "affair," she's ALSO the one person who can figure the culprit behind the mess. Like, it's so great when everything just clicks for her after this:

[He nodded gravely. "It is true. Ask your husband. He knows. He has been my only honest friend."

Evelyn gasped, and fear left her body. Her blood started to boil within her.

"My husband?" She could barely call him that, just then.]

I love how quickly Evelyn realizes that Beni has something to do with Delphine's death. It's about time somebody uses their head in this story!

I also love how the truth comes out about the handkerchief and everything else. This scene is actually pretty uncomfortable, because Ardeth FINALLY realizes the truth about Beni and realizes that he killed Delphine over absolutely nothing, and then all of Ardeth's theatrics come to a sudden halt with this:

"You are a coward," Ardeth whispered. "You could not fight me like a man. You had to sneak up on me like a thief."

Beni snorted. He might have started to say something, but Ardeth plunged the knife into his own heart.]

Holy crap. These lines are kind of contradictory to me because Ardeth calls Beni a coward, and then he proceeds to immediately kill himself, which is pretty much the most cowardly thing you can do. What the hell, Ardeth? I don't know, I'm really struck by this scene because suicide is so incredibly stupid to me and I always hate it when fictional characters kill themselves, so Ardeth just seems like a gigantic hypocrite to me. Like, he has no right to call Beni a coward when HE'S the one who ends up plunging a freaking knife into his chest.

Wow.

And now it's over! Despite all my criticism and skeptical remarks, I really enjoyed reviewing this piece and am kinda sad that I'm done with it now. It was really fun to revisit this and analyze it properly, and it was also pretty nice to read this at my leisure, without having to worry about you updating every ten minutes. Okay, I'm exaggerating just slightly. ;) So anyway, marvelous job! This is still my favorite story!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 21 . 4/26/2014
Here we go, Ardeth's murder of Delphine! I can't help but pick apart his thoughts here, because the whole thing is just so absurd.

[He dreaded this thing he was about to do, but he couldn't find any way around it.]

REALLY? I had no idea that murdering your spouse was the ONLY way to solve a case of suspected infidelity!

Like, seriously? He can't think of ANYTHING else to do in this situation? He's just gonna straight-up kill Delphine instead of trying to solve this like a normal person? This is almost too ridiculous for me to handle.

[If she was dead, she couldn't hurt him anymore. If she was dead, perhaps the images would fade. And maybe one day, he'd only be left with the memories of her love, or feigned love, and the sweetness of her kiss.]

Okay, only a psychopath would think like this. He really thinks that after KILLING his wife, he'll be left with fond memories of her love? He doesn't think he'll be consumed with guilt afterwards? Wouldn't her memory torment him for the rest of his days? Like, how on earth does killing her prevent Delphine from hurting him? Killing someone you love does NOT free you, Ardeth!

(I probably sound really angry in this review and I apologize for that. I'm just venting! Also, the fact that I'm reacting so strongly means that I care about what's happening, which means you've done a marvelous job with this story. So take my anger as a compliment!)

Ardeth's final confrontation with Delphine is also pretty ridiculous. I feel like Ardeth is behaving really childishly here, because he literally will not listen to Delphine at all, and he completely fails to realize how utterly confused she is. He just totally throws a tantrum without having a proper conversation about this, and THEN he just cuts her off mid-sentence by putting a pillow over her face. Really mature, Ardeth.

I'm really glad this part happens, though:

[In his mind, he'd imagined this moment being one of great relief. He'd imagined it coming on him in waves, the pain dulled down to a quiet thud that he knew would eventually go away. But when he pulled off the pillow and looked into her face, now truly lifeless, the pain came on a thousand times worse. He felt needles coursing through his veins, unbearably sharp and cruel, piercing every inch of his soul.

The images of Delphine and Rick were gone. How could they have ever been there? Instead they were replaced by her stony, unmoving visage.]

This is exactly what I was talking about earlier!

[She was dead. Really dead, like the hundreds, thousands he'd seen on a battlefield. How could he not have known it would be like this?]

Because you are obviously a psycho, Ardeth.

I can't even freaking believe this chapter. (Which means you've done a great job!)
Lyrical Ballads chapter 20 . 4/26/2014
Wow, I feel like an idiot, because all this time I had the wrong idea about Beni's plot. For some reason it never occurred to me that Beni has been planning for RICK to be killed, until these lines happened:

[They started down the hall, but Ardeth quickly stopped him. He got very close to Beni, and whispered in his ear.

"I am going to kill her. I cannot take it anymore."

Beni raised his eyebrows. He hadn't quite anticipated that reaction. Kill Delphine? What about O'Connell?]

Like, I knew all along that Beni wanted to ruin Rick, but I guess I didn't realize what that meant exactly. Holy crap. I love how Beni is surprised that Ardeth wants to kill Delphine, because that wasn't even part of his plan since all this freaking time he's been waiting for Ardeth to snap and kill Rick. I can't believe I didn't figure this out sooner! I think Rick's demotion threw me off. I thought Rick getting demoted was Beni's goal (at least as far as Rick is concerned), but nope! So basically this chapter was an eye-opener for me and now I get to spend the rest of this review feeling annoyed for myself for failing to pick up on these things.

But anyway, let me continue to talk about those lines I quoted above, because I want to talk about Ardeth and how overdramatic he is. The man still has absolutely NO solid proof that his wife is cheating on him, and yet he's planning to KILL her? What? He literally has nothing to go on but some vague, highly speculative rumors from Beni freaking Gabor, and now he wants to commit cold-blooded murder so that another man can't have his wife. REALLY, ARDETH? Even from him, this is really extreme! Like, Ardeth has basically reached new levels of crazy here. (I can't believe I thought he was tame in this story compared to your other ones. I was clearly remembering wrong!)

Also, this is pretty hilarious:

[Ardeth's eyes, so hard and black since the discovery of the handkerchief, softened for the first time in a while. He put his hand on Beni's shoulder and nodded.

"You are my only friend."

Beni looked down at his feet, nodding sheepishly. "I am only performing my duty."

"No," Ardeth insisted. "You are a true friend. Everyone lied and hid the truth...except for you."]

Literally laughing out loud right now. I love this epic friendship!

I don't have much to say about the rest of this chapter, since the rest is a Beni/Evelyn scene and I've already said a lot about this relationship in my reviews for Amour Fou (also I'm way too distracted by Ardeth's ridiculous, unreasonable behavior) so I'm gonna move on to the next chapter. So close to the end!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 19 . 4/26/2014
Feels like it's been a million years since I reviewed this. This week has been horrible, but it's finally over, so I'm ready to (hopefully) get this thing finished.

This chapter took me completely by surprise because I don't remember it at all. Like, I literally don't remember a single bit of this chapter, so the whole time I was like, "What? When did THIS happen?" Also, this chapter made me adore Rick a hundred times more than I already do, which is crazy because usually I'm all invested in what Beni's doing, but I don't know... lately I've been all about Rick. I have no idea how this happened! I think it's because you write him so freaking well? It's kind of funny how my opinions can shift because of stuff like that. Like, I used to be completely unimpressed with Ardeth and tried my best to ignore him because he bored me, but after reading your stories I straight-up HATE the guy. Every time he shows up in a story I get all irritated because you've made me hate him so much. And I've always liked Rick a lot, but your last couple of stories (like The Fools, for instance) have made me way more invested in Rick than I ever was before.

And wow, this really has absolutely nothing to do with this chapter at all. Well, actually it does, because I want to compliment you on how awesome Rick is in this chapter, and to comment on how much of a dick Ardeth is. (See what you've done? I'm calling him a dick and I have no regrets!)

Anyway, the whole "Welcome Ball" part of the plot is pretty cool, because I can't remember anything like this happening in the play, and it's a nice addition to the story. It gives Rick a chance to be his usual ass-kicking self, which ties in nicely with the movie, and gives us an example of the chaos that erupts when people like Beni are in positions of power. It's fascinating how you've taken Iago and turned him into this interrogator/torturer character who's basically ruined the lives of a LOT of people. Like, it's not just a couple of people (who would be Ardeth and Delphine, in this case) who are getting screwed over by Beni. We're talking about an entire people group here, and it really takes the horribleness of "Iago" to the next level.

Which also makes Rick and Evy's affair even more satisfying, because I feel like Beni deserves to get cheated on more than Iago does. It would be pretty spectacular if Iago's wife DID have an affair, but it just wouldn't be the same, because Beni's wickedness is on a much larger scale (and it just occurred to me that I'm making assumptions here, because I can't really remember what Iago does in the play aside from his evil plot; like, maybe Iago did torment a whole bunch of people, but I forgot, so my whole analysis might be kind of inaccurate) and it simply makes SENSE for Beni to get cheated on here. Like, everything just fits together so well in this universe.

And now I'd better move on to the next chapter. Three more to go!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 18 . 4/20/2014
I've been kind of avoiding this chapter, since it's rather long, but it's about time I made myself read it. I'm almost at the end of the story, after all!

And actually this chapter wasn't as long as I thought. Or maybe I just read it faster than I expected. Either way, I don't have a whole lot to say on this chapter, but maybe it's just laziness. I am full of excuses right now.

Anyway, this chapter made me realize that this story doesn't have nearly enough Jonathan. I know Roderigo isn't a super important character or anything (at least I think), but I was so excited when Jonathan made his brief appearance in this chapter. Jonathan totally should have had a bigger role!

But enough about Jonathan, since he only has like, two lines (unfortunately). Rick is so great here. Rick is always great, but he's even better when you stick him in uncomfortable social situation, like a party or a dinner. He's so wonderfully sarcastic and unrefined and blunt about everything, and everything about him in this chapter is just YES. I freaking love Rick! Also, his dynamic with Meela is spectacular. I'm always going on about how great Beni and Meela are together, but Rick and Meela are also ridiculously great. It makes me wish I had written something with those two, because they actually work really well together, but oh well.

Let me move on to the highlight of this chapter, which is obviously Delphine getting upset because Ardeth has been acting like a total creep. Well, more of a creep than usual. This chapter is kind of a relief for me, because I felt like I was being tortured with Ardeth and Delphine's nauseatingly perfect relationship, but now things are -finally- starting to fall apart. Which isn't a good thing, really, because I don't want either of these characters to die (honestly, I don't!), but this relationship made me roll my eyes -way- too much.

I kinda wish Delphine would like... wake up, though. Because she's still acting like she's five years old and it's a little frustrating. I mean, I understand her situation and I feel sorry for her and everything, but it's hard to take her seriously when she does things like this:

[Delphine crossed her arms over her chest and actually stomped her foot.]

Girl needs to grow up! Or ditch Ardeth and hook up with Jonathan, 'cause Jonathan is basically a little boy trapped in a grown man's body. They would be perfect together!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 17 . 4/12/2014
Wow, Ardeth is such a drama queen. He is SUCH a drama queen.

I mean, his theatrics are just completely over-the-top here. Sure, Rick has Delphine's handkerchief and Delphine is fond of Rick and everything, but holy crap. That is not nearly enough to prove that they're having an affair. There's no solid proof, Ardeth! None whatsoever!

It's kind of awesome how easily Beni manipulates Ardeth, though, even though the whole thing is ridiculous. Ardeth must be pretty freaking gullible because Beni's "evidence" is weak, and yet it's enough to have Ardeth shouting and crying and moaning all over the place like an overdramatic teenager. It's kind of funny, really, because Ardeth is making this big huge fuss over nothing, while Beni's all smirking to himself on the inside and enjoying every moment of the drama.

Beni really is a brilliant Iago.

And this is gonna be a short review, since this was a short chapter, but I feel like I'm making some major progress here. Five more chapters left to go!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 16 . 4/11/2014
I am the slowest reviewer of all time. (I'm ridiculously slow at everything, actually. It literally takes me weeks to watch just one little movie on Netflix. Weeks! It's a miracle I managed to finish any of my stories at all. But enough about my focusing problems!)

So, this chapter is pretty great, because Ardeth actually manages to be somewhat interesting for once in his life. Well, for one sentence, anyway. I love how he asks Rick completely out of the blue if he would ever sleep with a married woman. This is a great way to start a chapter in any situation, but it's freaking -Ardeth- who's asking this question! It's like, finally something interesting comes out of his mouth. It's about time! (I guess I can't stop picking on Ardeth. He's constantly asking for it!)

Rick's thoughts on the matter are also pretty great, because he really IS sleeping with a married woman, only it's not the woman Ardeth's thinking of. And even though there's obviously a misunderstanding here, Ardeth really rubs me the wrong way in this scene. He's just so creepy! Rick makes a really good point, though:

["You know, people don't always get married because they're in love," Rick retorted, a little stronger than he meant to. "And you know, women aren't just these...these dolls someone else can just take away. Sometimes they're just not happy."]

Yeah! Go Rick!

Also, this is another one of those scenes where I feel sorry for Rick, because Ardeth is such a douche here. (I normally hate using the word douche, but it feels so appropriate right now.) Thank goodness for Rick and his awesome comebacks! I'm gonna quote Rick again, because this is really spectacular:

["I don't know what you want from me," Rick kind of spat. "We've got a bunch of men in the hospital - six have already died - and we don't have enough goddamn barracks to house the men we do have - who, by the way, are scared out of their minds. We've got a prisoner in custody, but God knows what Beni's done to her, and you're arguing with me about if it's ok to sleep with a married woman?"]

You get a gold star for that, Rick! Honestly, I don't think I spend enough time appreciating Rick. Because he really is fantastic.

But enough about Rick and Ardeth. I haven't even gotten to Beni and Meela!

So, the scene where Beni interrogates Meela is really fascinating, and it makes me realize how little I actually know about Britain's occupation of Egypt in the 1920's. I know that the English were in control until like, the fifties or something, and... that's basically it. I know nothing. So I love the whole idea of Imhotep and Meela being terrorists who go around bombing military buildings, and I love seeing what it looks like Beni does his job. Because I also know absolutely NOTHING about the military. I mean nothing at all. I'm pretty sure this story taught me that a lieutenant ranks higher than a major. That is how little I know about the military.

Isn't it great how ignorant I am? I feel so good about myself now! I also feel a little out of my depth with this scene, but I'm gonna try my best to comment on it.

I always enjoy Meela in a story, but she's especially fascinating here. She's usually got the upper hand over everyone, but this time she's actually vulnerable ('cause holy crap, Beni breaks her finger!) and it's kinda refreshing to see how she behaves when somebody else is in control. Especially when that person is Beni. These two characters always have such a fascinating dynamic, but this scene is just downright brutal and I love it.
Lyrical Ballads chapter 15 . 4/5/2014
Holy crap, two chapters in a row that start out with Ardeth/Delphine fluff. This is almost more than I can take! And even though Ardeth and Delphine don't bother me as much as other Ardeth pairings do (nothing can possibly annoy me more than Ardeth/Hattie; nothing!), I'm kinda wondering why Ardeth is so wildly attracted to a woman who basically acts like a little girl all the time. No offense to Delphine or anything, but there's something hopelessly juvenile about her personality and behavior, and the fact that a grown man like Ardeth is attracted to her is kind of... creepy, I guess? Also, I find these lines really interesting:

[She wasn't sure what to say. The words she needed felt odd in her mouth, and this was the first time she'd ever dared to confront Ardeth about anything. She suddenly felt the age gap between them, and the color rose in her cheeks. She felt like a silly girl next this man, and for the first time it occurred to her that she might not be his equal.]

My thoughts exactly, Delphine! I like this little bit of doubt in her mind. It isn't much, and it certainly isn't going to prompt her to leave Ardeth or anything, but still. I like that it's there. It makes the relationship a little more realistic, I guess? Like, it helps that Delphine is consciously aware of her own youth and Ardeth's maturity, though it makes me wonder even -more- why these two people decided to get married. (So there would be a story, obviously, but I still like to wonder about these things. Also, I like to call everything into question, 'cause that's just what I do.)

Anyway, I'm done picking on Ardeth and Delphine, because I've picked on them enough already. And Beni's in this chapter! Things always get better when Beni shows up! Well, better for me, but not for the characters.

Despite all the eye-rolling I did over Ardeth and Delphine, this chapter is pretty spectacular, because the handkerchief finally makes its reappearance. Ardeth's thoughts on the matter are pretty much the highlight of this chapter for me:

[What was the kerchief doing in Rick's things? In his suitcase? Among the things he had been planning to take to the barracks? Over and over again, he heard Delphine's words from just earlier: Major O'Connell is very dear to me. How dear? What had she meant when she'd said that?]

YEAH! It's happening!

I shouldn't be getting excited over this, because Beni's plot is terrible and nothing but misery happens at the end, but it's just so exciting because I love this play so much. (And it's always great when Beni triumphs over Ardeth. Always.) Also, it's about time Ardeth and Delphine's ridiculously perfect relationship becomes a little less perfect and a little more interesting. Go, Beni!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 14 . 4/4/2014
Oh no, a romantic scene with Ardeth. The horror!

Okay, that's a little harsh, but it's pretty much the last thing I want to see at the very start of a chapter. The very last thing! And this review will probably continue in this tone, since it involves Ardeth. (Also, I've been listening to Green Day non-stop since I got home from work, so I'm feeling pretty rebellious right now. Down with Ardeth!)

So, I'm kinda laughing at the Ardeth/Delphine part of this chapter, because romantic scenes are always laughable to me and they're even more absurd when they involve Ardeth. You know when Rick and Evy are kissing at the end of the movie and Jonathan's all rolling his eyes, going "Oh, please"? That's basically me every time I read a romantic scene. Every time. I just can't take these scenes seriously!

Also, to be perfectly honest, Ardeth and Delphine's relationship is downright boring. Which isn't your fault at all, because Ardeth is an extremely boring character, but it would have been a -little- bit more interesting if he and Delphine got into an argument or something instead of having an absurdly sweet bedroom scene. They're just too perfect!

Speaking of perfection, Delphine is starting to grate on me a little. I really liked her in Amour Fou, because she wasn't married to Ardeth yet, but this girl literally has no flaws. At all. She is just perfectly sweet and perfectly sunshine-y all. the. time. It makes sense to have the "Desdemona" figure represented by someone like Delphine, because she's completely blameless and it's tragic when "Othello" kills her over suspected adultery, but she's just so... so unreal. Like, she's not human at all. And I feel kinda bad for picking at Delphine, because she's your character, but I can't help wishing she was more flawed. Oh, well. Kinda hard to pair a flawed character with Ardeth, I guess. He's much too boring to fall in love with interesting women!

But let me mention something I liked in this chapter, because I hate writing reviews that are mostly criticism. RICK AND EVY! HECK YES! This cuckolding situation gets better and better.
Lyrical Ballads chapter 13 . 4/4/2014
Okay, it's finally Friday and I'm off work early, so I'm ready to review this thing again.

I like how this chapter opens with Rick dealing with the aftermath of Beni's promotion, because I completely forgot that Rick is being seriously affected by this. I mean, I knew all along that Rick was being demoted and everything, but I was so focused on Beni that I wasn't thinking of how Rick would feel about this, and now I feel really bad for the guy. Which is really interesting, actually, because Rick normally isn't one of those people you feel sorry for. He's just one of those guys who always fights his way through everything, and he definitely isn't pitiable in any way, but this chapter is like, POOR RICK. And I like that, because it reminds me that Beni -is- the villain here, no matter how much I like him, and that perfectly good people are suffering because of his selfishness.

Also, freaking Rick and Evy in this chapter. I love them so much! Which is crazy, because I'm usually all about relationships that are either totally dysfunctional or completely doomed, and Rick and Evy don't fit into either of those categories, but somehow they make me so happy. And the way you write them makes me so happy, because you pull it off so well in this story.

Another thing you pull off really well is Beni's role in this chapter. He's so smug and is obviously loving every minute of his own brilliance, and it's great. I love this bit of dialogue between him and Evy:

["Beni, Ardeth is forcing Major O'Connell to move to the barracks."

Beni's face fell; he looked at O'Connell sympathetically. "He's doing that to you? But you are an officer."]

This is absolutely perfect because Beni is such a natural-born bullshitter. And everyone in this story is actually taken in by him. Even Evelyn, who knows perfectly well what a terrible person he is, believes that he wants to help Rick. Which makes me wonder if she's aware of how much Beni actually hates him. I haven't really been paying attention to that, but now I wish I'd been reading more closely, because I can't remember if Beni's ever insulted Rick in front of her. I think this scene suggests that she truly believes they're friends, but I can't say that with certainty, and it's not terribly important anyway. It's just a little thing that I find interesting, because I always find Beni and Rick's friendship really fascinating, and I'm just curious about how the other characters perceive it. I guess I'll start paying attention to that from now on!

But back to Rick and Evy, because I'm not done talking about them. I love how Evelyn actually tells Rick the truth about her marriage. I love that she finally has the nerve to say these words:

["He treats me terribly," she whispered. He looked away from her, but she squeezed his hand and he met her gaze again. "And I'm not happy. I've never been so lonely or sad or hopeless in my whole life."]

Go, Evy! Tell Rick all about it! So, yes, this is a really great moment for Evy and a really great moment for Rick, and it's wonderfully ironic that Beni is trying to destroy a perfectly good marriage while his own marriage is spinning out of his control without his knowledge. Because it really IS the best thing ever for the "Iago" character to get cheated on. It's just brilliant, and it's always been one of my absolute favorite things about this universe.
Lyrical Ballads chapter 12 . 3/30/2014
Heck yes, I've finally reached the Beni/Bianca chapter! I've been looking forward to this, since I think Bianca is a fascinating character and her worship of Beni is so interesting. Their whole dynamic is really great. Here we've got Bianca, who's basically a nobody because she's a servant, and on top of that she's foreign and speaks somewhat broken English, and it's just perfect. But I'm getting ahead of myself a little. I want to talk about Beni's promotion first.

So, I really love how becoming a lieutenant completely fails to satisfy Beni. Because nothing ever -does- satisfy him, does it? It's such a great theme on his character, even though there's really nothing in the movie that overtly suggests that Beni is forever unsatisfy-able. (I just completely made up that word.) But Beni just SEEMS like that kind of person and it always thrills me when something like this shows up in a story. These lines are really great:

[The title felt as if it should have brought him more satisfaction, but it was cold and empty - like receiving dinner too late. He deserved that title and had for some time. Receiving it now was no great honor.]

It's just so HIM. I love it. Also, I love Beni's perspective on Ardeth, because it's always fun when a character sees Ardeth in a negative way. Okay, to be perfectly honest, it's pretty satisfying, even though Beni's thoughts on Ardeth are extremely petty. Also, this totally made me laugh:

[But Ardeth had wronged him, and Ardeth deserved his recompense. Fellows like him always got their comeuppance.]

The irony here is so great, because that last line is obviously paraphrased from the movie, and it's funny because the movie line refers to Beni (obviously). I just had to point this out because I love things like this.

But now it's time to talk about Beni and Bianca again, because I've got more things to say about them. It's always satisfying (which is kind of ironic, I guess, because this chapter deals with Beni's dissatisfaction) whenever a female character actually -wants- to sleep with Beni, and this scene with Bianca is pretty spectacular. I mean, the way Beni manipulates her is fantastic. Maybe not fantastic, because manipulation isn't a good thing, but he's just so devious and it's fun to read. Plus it's fun whenever Beni gets laid, 'cause he's obviously the Mayor of Titty City. (I got that phrase off of some ridiculous video I saw on Youtube a while back. Somehow the phrase stuck with me and now I use it all the time. So yes, Beni's the Mayor of Titty City in this chapter! And now it's time to end this review before it gets even more absurd than it already is.)
Lyrical Ballads chapter 11 . 3/30/2014
Wow, it's been a few weeks since I last reviewed this story. I seriously have the shortest attention span ever. I've also been (slowly) getting a little original writing done, so I've been distracted by that. But I'm kinda getting writer's block again and I'd really like to finish reviewing this, so I'm back. For now, anyway. (Have I mentioned that my attention span is short? I have no attention spam whatsoever.)

Anyway, time to talk about the actual chapter. I don't have a whole lot to talk about here, since there isn't a whole lot of action, but I'm thrilled that Allen and Dr. Bey are BOTH in this chapter. The only thing that's missing is Nigel! But I guess that would be too much sassiness for everyone to handle.

I love Beni's deviousness in this chapter. As much as I love the bar scene in the previous chapter, I couldn't remember what exactly Beni was hoping to accomplish, but now it's become more clear. So yes, it's pretty brilliant that he purposely got Rick drunk in an attempt to make him look bad, and that his plan works so beautifully. Because holy crap, he actually causes Rick to get demoted, and nobody has any idea that the whole thing is a trick.

The best part, though, is how absolutely deluded Ardeth is. It's hilarious that he thinks Beni is a good man and that he believes every word of his bullshit. I actually -enjoy- all the scenes that Ardeth has with Beni, which is crazy because I'm usually annoyed every time he appears. This whole situation is so damn funny, though. Ardeth is so perfectly good and Beni is so wicked, and Ardeth's like, "Oh, here ya go, Beni. Have a promotion! 'Cause you're such a great guy!" I don't know why I wrote that in Rick's voice, but whatever. Rick is basically the perfect voice for anything sarcastic.

Anyway, let's see how many weeks (or perhaps months) it takes me to review this whole thing. No point in stopping when I've made it this far, so I intend to review every chapter eventually!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 10 . 3/10/2014
Rick and Evy! Yes!

I've probably said this a hundred times, but I absolutely adore Evy in this universe. Her chapters are always such a delight to read and her perspective is always so sympathetic. She's probably the most sympathetic character, actually. It's kinda hard to feel sorry for Ardeth and Delphine because Ardeth is pretty much the most boring man alive and Delphine was foolish enough to impulsively marry him, so yeah... Evy is definitely the biggest victim here.

Her desperate thoughts on her marriage are seriously so heartbreaking here. I love that she vents all her angry feelings in the form of this spur-of-the-moment, rather childish letter that she ends up burning so Beni won't see it. It's so sad that she has to keep these thoughts to herself, and the scene with the letter really demonstrates what a prison she's living in. She has no nowhere to go, no one to help her, no freedom at all, and her marriage to Beni has basically put her in a cage that she can't unlock because her father and Beni are both in control of the key. Wow, I'm getting metaphorical here. I just feel really strongly about this whole marriage-as-a-prison theme. Because I'm basically the most cynical person ever when it comes to these things, and I could go on about that for an eternity, but I'll spare you from it. Let me talk about Evy and Bianca!

So, the fun part about re-reading a story is those moments that are hilarious in retrospect. Like the part where Bianca shows up at Evy's room and they talk for a bit, and then Bianca leaves and these lines happen:

[She wanted to ask Bianca to stay with her and talk, but she knew that was ridiculous. She was tired, and probably had to be up early the next morning. And...anyway, what would they talk about?]

Hmm... maybe they could talk about her husband? ;) Bianca hasn't slept with Beni yet, but the fact that she DOES sleep with him makes this scene hilarious. Because it's always funny when two women who have been with the same man are in a scene together, interacting with each other. So, yes. I just wanted to point out how funny this is.

But I have more important things to talk about, like Rick and Evy. Because holy crap, RICK AND EVY. Every bit of interaction between them is just so exciting in this story. Here we have Evy trapped in this horrible, horrible marriage, and then there's Rick, who's got this awkward attraction to her that he has to struggle to control, and it's just... ahh, beyond words! I think the best thing about this, though, is that Beni has something desirable that Rick doesn't have. Which like, never happens. Beni, who usually has NOTHING, actually has something that Rick longs for, and it makes this whole thing so fascinating. I love this universe so much!
Lyrical Ballads chapter 9 . 3/7/2014
Yes! The bar scene! This chapter really stands out to me because I remember how much I love it. It's one of my favorite scenes in the play, for one thing, and you adapted it beautifully.

One of the most interesting things in this chapter is the way you handled Rick's reaction to alcohol. It's interesting that he can't hold his liquor very well, even though he's kind of a big guy. It's something I've never considered before, and I definitely would have never thought of this on my own, but it works really well here. Also, now that I'm thinking about it, I vaguely recall that Cassio (who Rick is based on) can't hold his liquor very well in the play. Or am I just remembering wrong? Either way, this is a really fascinating take on Rick and I like the way you handled it. Because it's really interesting (and kinda fun in a terrible way) to see Rick completely fail to hold his liquor.

Also, the fact that Beni is getting him drunk on purpose makes it even better. But enough about Rick. Jonathan's in this chapter! Is it weird that I completely forgot about Jonathan? Because I -completely- forgot about him. Like, I forgot he was even IN this freaking story. I cannot believe myself! But anyway, Jonathan's here and I'm totally having Moulin Rouge flashbacks because of the whole Green Fairy thing, along with Jonathan pining over Delphine. Like, I'm almost expecting some can-can dancers to randomly pop into the bar. But I'm getting off-topic again. And I'm rambling again about... randomness.

Okay, let me go back to talking about Jonathan. I've already gone on about how much I love Jonathan's love for Delphine, but I'm gonna say it again, because I love it. Even though they're cousins. And Delphine literally has no idea how Jonathan feels. And Ardeth is completely in the way. I don't care! She should have chosen Jonathan. Every woman should choose Jonathan! I love how Jonathan is actually spilling his secret to Beni, though. I mean, he's obviously drunk and everything, but he tells BENI that he loves Delphine. It's so funny and horrible at the same time.
Lyrical Ballads chapter 8 . 3/7/2014
So, obviously the best part of this chapter is the fact that Allen is in it. Because OBVIOUSLY. Any scene involving the characters at the dinner table is always spectacular (particularly in Amour Fou, as I remember), and Allen just -makes- this freaking scene. I mean, right off the bat he's being sassy as all get out:

[He was suggesting grace, and glancing over the table with a distinctly disgusted expression. His eyes landed on Ardeth, and then Rick and Beni.

"I do hope that no one here is adverse to an Anglican prayer."]

Allen Chamberlain, you are officially the sassiest man in all of Egypt!

What makes this scene even BETTER is the fact that Allen and Beni are basically facing off against each other here. And there's really nothing better than Allen vs. Beni. On hand, it's unfortunate that Allen is such a judgmental bigot who insists on singling out every person who's different from himself, but on the other hand it's so spectacularly entertaining. I guess if it wasn't Allen, I'd be pretty irritated, but everything that comes out of Allen's mouth is just pure gold. He's like a much more refined version of Tom Buchanan or something. I especially love his subtle little jabs at Beni:

[As the first course was served, Lord Chamberlain turned his superior gaze to their end of the table.

"Major Gabor," he pronounced in a falsely conversational tone, "I couldn't help but noticing your unique accent. Where do you come from, originally?"]

HIS SUPERIOR GAZE. I can't get over this.

Holy crap, though, even Rick gets picked on here! As much as I love Allen, it -is- pretty great when Rick reveals that Beni can speak nine languages. It's a really great triumphant moment for Beni, even if it happened because of Rick. Which is really interesting, actually. Beni could have been the one to mention how many languages he speaks, but Rick is the one who brings it up instead, and I think that says a lot about their one-sided friendship. Rick manages to score a couple of points in Beni's favor, while Beni is sitting there planning to have him killed. Wow.
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