|Reviews for Intrados|
| Cheile chapter 1 . 12/11/2015
Hi, I’m an RLT member and saw your fic listed as a past Story of the Week so I decided to come have a look-see. FYI I’m fandom blind but I’m a medical assisting student so I’m sure I will muddle through ;)
The title caught my eye as I love unique words/phrases and I think fits well because what we’re getting is a look into the depths of Foreman’s thoughts and way of thinking. He seems to be the kind of person who has been hardened by time and therefore has shut off a lot of his emotions, from the way he is talking to this girl he calls Thirteen and by his own inner thoughts about how he used to operate. Those kinds of characters are always interesting to me because even tho they are trying to hide themselves from the world, they always end up getting revealed in one way or another.
It sounds like both he and Thirteen had a hard time growing up, just in different ways. He had to deal with racism on his path to success, she had to deal with a mother who unknowingly abused her. I like how you have it sound like he got what he wanted at first—top of his class, etc, but that it seems like a hollow victory in the present because he lost a job and is trying to bury himself in his chosen field. I also like the justifications he uses for choosing neuropathology, but it’s kinda easy to see that they are just that—justifications for being a loner and for ignoring everything that he can’t fit in a neat box. I sorta feel like I’m missing something extra but I’m gonna write that off to fandom-blindness.
The ending is very bittersweet as he watches Thirteen break down in realizing that she wasn’t understanding enough with her mother’s disease and that he feels a bit guilty (I sense) for judging her for not fitting neatly into one of his little mental boxes. And he doesn’t know how to cope with it but he pushes himself to try because she is his friend. That’s a great ending touch.
My only suggestion would be to put his thoughts into italics rather than parentheses. Other than that, nicely done.
| acctdisabled chapter 1 . 11/30/2015
I thought the execution of this story was absolutely brilliant, especially the fact the narration reflected the clinical nature that Foreman is describing himself and also Thirteen’s relationship with her mother. I would suggest though adding some more body language and facial reactions to further drive the emotional complexity of the situation- there is a lot going on and this would heighten the tension of the situation.
I’m not the biggest fan of fractured writing, however I think in this case it works well with the themes you were trying to convey. The dissociation that Foreman usually does well is lost in this story, which is why the fractured writing works so well- it is truly depicting his mind. There seems to be something out there Foreman cannot fix, and despite his accomplishments and intelligence, his relationship with his own mother cannot be clinically diagnosed and stored away in a drawer like any other case.
You definitely accomplished what you set out for as noted in your author’s note. Unfortunately I cannot judge too harshly because even though you said this was an experiment, you executed it phenomenally and really conveyed a lot with only 1,000 words- that is the sign of a gifted writer.
| mockingjaybrandybuck chapter 1 . 11/27/2015
Hi there, reviewer here from the Reviews Lounge, Too, where you story has been selected as the Story of the Week.
I’m always impressed by authors who can clearly create characterization quickly in so few words. Starting off with Thirteen’s dialogue and Foreman’s unique position with her (his patient, his colleague, his friend), creates tension right away.
The section discussing Foreman and how he views himself was so crisply written. You first see this proud man and all of his accomplishments and then realized he has his own vulnerabilities that he doesn’t let others see. And rather than just stating these things, I like that you have fit it in with a visual, like when he’s tightening his tie or walking past the mirror. I really felt immersed in him with that style of writing.
The structure of this one-shot is very well designed. Opening with Thirteen’s brief revelation about her mother, and then diving more specifically into Foreman’s character, his history and what’s behind his mask, and then closing with the full confession from Thirteen and Foreman’s response was perfect. In a matter of 1000 words you managed to convey so much about two people, including making me feel terrible for both of them.
Your writing style is highly effective. I felt immersed in this story from the beginning, which is not something that happens to me often on this site. I felt connected to their struggles and inner conflicts within seconds. I can only say that this must reflect your ability to really know your characters and to let them shine on the page.
1. Have you considered putting his inner monologue (currently within parentheses) into italics? It tends to be more standard practice for inner dialogue.
| darkaccalia520 chapter 1 . 10/21/2015
Just a small disclaimer that I'm completely fandom blind, but I don't think that's a problem.
I have to say I really loved this, and my favorite part is...and please forgive me if I'm wrong...that it seems to me that Foreman is doing a case study himself (the fact he refers to the woman as Thirteen; I'm assuming it's her subject number and not really her name), but in all reality, I think he ends up learning more about himself, as do we, the readers.
And that is probably the very reason he dislikes her. Obviously, her situation is rather sad, and I do love the fact you briefly touched on Huntington's disease, as its effects can be devastating. I also love the face that Foreman reflects on his accomplishments and what he had to do to get where he is, but it seems to me that no amount of experience or education really prepares him for dealing with Thirteen, as it were.
Even when he notes that she must be beyond crying and that her guilt has basically eaten everything away, and she clings to him for some sort of comfort, he has absolutely no clue how to help her... And I think in all reality, he's just scared about that. Again, I'm fandom blind to the show, but it seems to me he's the sort of man who always knows how to help others, but not this time...which I assume is why he doesn't care for Thirteen...and the fact he learns some dark truth about himself.
I really thought this was an amazing piece. I quite enjoyed it. Well done! :)
| Ckorkows chapter 1 . 9/22/2015
Finally a fandom I'm familiar with! I'm from the Reviews Lounge, Too - so here goes the review.
The descriptions of Thirteen were nice. You did a good job of showing the different side to her instead of telling us about it. I think they were one of the bright points in this one shot.
This was a bit choppy for my liking - though I suppose that was the point. I think it would work better without the little breaks. Maybe with some facial expressions, or little actions to set off the different thoughts.
You taught me a knew word and I love it. Phlegmatic. I found a lot of your word choices to be spot on for someone as well-educated as Foreman.
I though the last sentence was the most effective. "...and he has never felt so useless." It is in stark contrast to the successful life he just flashed back. The only thing to change would be tense change that happened in it.
Thanks for a fun look into Foreman's head! Ckorkows
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 1 . 9/15/2015
I think you might've misused "equitably," and you occasionally neglected commas ("what she is and sometimes"), but there were no major grammatical errors.
The half-zeugma of "neatly pressed shirts and a shambles-bound marriage" came off nicely. You expressed the complexity of Thirteen's relationship with her mother and her own slow, inevitable decline beautifully and quickly, and you did an excellent job of not tacking a happy or even optimistic ending onto a one-shot exploring the depths of pain and introversion in two characters.
| Ellastasia chapter 1 . 9/12/2015
(Found through Reviews Lounge)
Excellent writing, Eekz, I'm really impressed! I stopped watching House right around the time Foreman came back on the show, and I vaguely recall bits and pieces of sporadic subsequent episodes. And yeah, that was a long time ago! So I have to tell you that if I'm a bit off when it comes to the series, forgive me! But my first impression was: wow, I love how you neatly condensed very well-written vignettes of his character in the middle. You really got into his mind and character, and I love it. Very realistic.
My only technical hiccup was the "microwaves the spaghetti left over from the night before." It was a little mind-twisting because I'm used to saying leftover "food" so it's probably a completely personal thing.
But the flow and the quick flashback scenes work very well. I was never a big fan of Thirteen but under that coldness, I know there's a heart in there. Somewhere...! 10 out of 10 Eekz, Kudos!
| reminiscent-afterthought chapter 1 . 9/11/2015
Disclaimer: mostly fandom blind to House. Our med school recommends we watch Scrubs instead.
The language of this piece is quite clinical, like the refrain from contractions, the adverbs - without the context it drags a tad, but with it it, it catches the need to set oneself apart from things, to not get swept up in the initial emotion that costs something later. The need to slow down, take a step back and then dissociate... [He should probably be horrified]. The coarseness of some of the description adds to the clinical nature as well, eg. "stabbed with a needle". From a medical perspective, I interpret that as something more like a quick jab, which isn't abnormal at all, but stab is still quite a brutal word - just not in that context. Clever word choices there.
Not much else to say about this piece with the fandom blindness. There seems to be a subtext with the relationship between the two main characters that I'm missing. The ending is a nice touch: it's not that something's resolved or that it's necessarily progressed, but rather it's something strong and connecting to the first scene and bringing about a circle with some jagged ends.
My favourite line of this piece is: "a puzzle in abstract..." Very potent. :D
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 1 . 9/10/2015
Congratulations on making Story of the Week over at The Reviews Lounge, Too! I've seen all of House, but it was a few years ago and I don't remember the specifics of this episode.
I adored the premise of this - mashing up an amalgam of loosely related memories and themes to show Foreman's frame of mind in the instant that he and Thirteen have this conversation. I loved that you showed him as viewing Thirteen as a patient instead of a friend in that moment ("She is here as his patient, not his colleague, and sympathy is the worst part of his job.") and then branched that out into all the aspects of what makes Foreman the kind of man and doctor he is and the emptiness that comes with pushing aside feelings for the sake of competitiveness and achievement. The fractured format really worked in your favor, too: each piece felt very concise and complete within itself, but the shortness of the lines (and the shortness of each scene, too) helped create a feeling of fragmentation to mimic the fragmentation of Foreman's thoughts in all these different places at once. So congrats - you accomplished what you mentioned you were going for in your a/n! :)
Great use of recurring themes here: "There was a time, he thinks, years ago, when the compassion was real and a diagnosis was less important than the person, but he is more phlegmatic these days"; ""he glimpses his reflection and sees nothing in place of a man"; "House frequently makes similar claims but Foreman is better at disassociating. He should probably be horrified"; "He is almost grateful that no one cares enough to ask why," etc. And it gave excellent context for why Foreman feels so useless at the end when he's trying to comfort her - he's made such a point of dissociating from his patients and always wanting to be the best, so of course he's going to feel lost in a situation where he can't dissociate and there's nothing he can do to fix it.
Really well done! Instant favorite.
| Legendary Biologist chapter 1 . 9/10/2015
Hi. I'm fandom blind, but I don't think it'll be a problem. :)
That is a gripping start. Thirteen's confession (not really, as revealed later) of telling a lie keeps me interested. What was her lie? Why did she lie? These questions make me want to read on!
But what especially shines here is Foreman's conflicted character. Having experience in medical field, I can relate. Doctors has to be able to empathize with their patients, but not to the point of being emotional. Here however, Foreman is rather uncaring. I can relate with this: sympathy is the worst part of his job.
The fragments add a lot to Foreman's character. He puts achievements above all, which is why he ends up pretty detached as a doctor. He puts friendship aside for accomplishments. He also throws away his emotions for accomplishments. And he is smug. Believing that someone who is the top second in the class is miles behind him nicely shows how arrogant he is. And his reason of choosing neuropathology specialization just nails his arrogance. Human brain is the most complex subject, but Foreman chooses to study it because this excludes those who aren't competent enough to study it. But behind everything, Foreman's life is actually pretty sad, especially the fragment about Foreman's mother, the only person who has ever called to acknowledge him and is really sincere in the acknowledgement.
The last part gives so much feels. Thirteen's guilt of her mother dying while she still hates her for it is very sad. Her mother never actually means to truly snap at her after all, but Thirteen just isn't aware of the fact that her mother is sick - the reason why she keeps yelling at Thirteen. But when Thirteen realizes it, it's too late. She doesn't have the chance to reconcile with her mother anymore.
And Foreman's reaction is amazing. After knowing that he's an uncaring doctor thanks to the development in the fragments, it's just very touching. He does care after all.
| Lexik chapter 1 . 9/6/2015
I don't really watch TV shows, although people tell me I would love House MD. As it is, I read comics, and the whole while, I find myself pleasantly reminded a bit of Dr. Frost.
I adore the concept, experimenting with how a man can think many things in a moment. I've heard in a couple places that the speed of thought cannot be measured. It's true though, that many things in the mind overlap and bleed into one another, and one particular moment can bring back more than a handful of recollections all at once. In this case it's an emptiness that seems to hit a little too close to home.
And to describe someone by what she isn't instead of what she is! Heh.
All these little snapshots in between are fascinating. A peculiarity. The worthwhileness of fitting in (or rather, lack thereof, and I laugh because I didn't think it was worth the bother either). His disassociation that he thinks should bother him, but is such that he just notes it as a clinical observation. A reminder of his own mother. The next blend together in a bit a strangeness that I find myself appreciating. Proud of his knowledge, heavy in his ambitions, but here's something he can't fix with his smarts.
In the end, I want to say that it feels like a band-aid on a man whose already bleed out. That they both are empty, and that in learning how to help a broken heart, he might find his own.
| MissScorp chapter 1 . 9/6/2015
Hi there and congratulations on being selected as the RLt’s Story of the Week for 9/6/2015! I absolutely love the show House so I am not fandom blind and can say happily that I loved this piece. Right from the start here: (("I… lied to you the other night," Thirteen says as she leans against the spare desk, staring studiously at the wooden floor beneath her feet. It does not sound like a confession. "She doesn't freak me out about my future, she—she freaks me out about my past.")) I was hooked. I literally could hear Olivia Wilde’s voice for Thirteen in my head and was instantly transported back to that storyline where she was undergoing an experimental treatment to try and slow down the progression of her Huntington’s Disease.
I think you captured Eric perfectly right here: ((Foreman defines himself by his accomplishments, his knowledge, his strength, his triumphs. Everything he is—from the starched suits to the framed diplomas mounted above his stone fireplace—is proof of what he made himself, of the product of drive and weakness of sentiment.)). He’s House Lite/Jr. He’s become something he’s proud to be. He’s considered one of the top in his field, was selected to work for one of the most recognized (and hated) Diagnosticians in the country. However, he’s got moments, like everyone where he ((…glimpses his reflection and sees nothing in place of a man.)) He has sacrificed friendships and personal relationships; he’s closed off parts of himself and shut himself away from even his family. He recognizes that the only real friend he has is a person he stabbed with an infected needle when he was dying and clearly doesn’t understand why. He’s made something of himself, but he’s not made someone of himself at this point and that clearly bothers him at times. He doesn’t want to be House. He wants to be better than House, but doesn’t know how to be because he’s spent so much time trying to be House.
This here: ((She stares dry-eyed at the floor, shoulders slumped and head hung, and a moment passes before the gravity finally hits him—before he realizes that she is far past crying, that the guilt has been eating away at her nerves for so long that she might have nothing else inside, that Huntington's was never the secret she was fighting to hide.)) is where you really captured Thirteen. She comes off as someone who is broken, who has carried around this great big burden for such a long time that she’s literally exhausted from it. Her guilt for hating her mother for being sick has sliced holes inside her soul that will never heal. It wasn’t a physical disease that she was hiding from everyone—it was her own guilt over allowing her mother to die without forgiving her. That Foreman doesn’t know how to help her, that he feels ((useless)) is another point where we see how not okay that he is. He doesn’t know how to respond to her needs outside of a doctor. It’s easier to treat a medical problem with a pill than it is to treat a heartsick soul.
Just a pointer:
((He learned in the first day that heavy black kids...))-I think (in) should be on?
In all I think that you did a fantastic job at capturing both Foreman and Remi. You portrayed the man that Foreman is, how he sees himself, what he did in order to get to where he is, how he thinks and feels perfectly. You also did well in covering Remi and her feelings about her disease and having watched her mother die from it. It was absolutely believable and I walked away feeling even more sorry for her because of how difficult it was to be a child watching your mom slowly disappear into a stranger that you hated. Excellent job!
| GeorgyannWayson chapter 1 . 8/30/2015
You know, this is a really unique style of fanfiction that I haven't seen. Or maybe I have seen it and it didn't intrigue me as much as this did. I think Foreman is one of those characters that had a very interesting arch of a story throughout the whole series. He went from this arrogant ass of a doctor who would cut whoever's throat he had to in order to get ahead to a character that I really came to like and respect by the final episode. I really enjoyed this study of his character in many different ways.
I can tell you put a lot of work into each and every fragment. Your word choice feels careful, yet bold; simple, yet complex. I think what really made this work for me was how much characterization you packed into these short fragments of his past. I mean, some of them are super short like this one: [John Hopkins is one of the best medical schools...] but in this you highlight that part of his character that made him oh so completely detestable for me in the beginning of the show - the unquenchable thirst for getting ahead of his peers - and you gave me a reason to rethink why he would be that way in the first place. In other words, you gave what I perceive as a somewhat minor character thoughts and feelings and a history that are very tangible and real for anyone passing through and reading this and answered the question of "why?".
Your title was really wonderful and a great representation of what you were trying to accomplish here. Each story of Foreman's journey to then was like a support beam (or arch) that holds up a building and makes it what it is. You can't change the building unless you wreck it and start over, but you can study it to understand how it became the way it is and like a master architect, that is what you do all throughout. Well done.
I'm a moderator at The Reviews Lounge Too forum here on FFN and I will be adding this to our Oneshot/Twoshot Archive, I think it deserves more love and attention and I think our members will enjoy it immensely. If you're ever around, please come by and say hello to us!
| Nickelodean chapter 1 . 1/24/2011
Not even close to a miserable failure! You did a great job of capturing Foreman...what he might be thinking or feeling. I enjoyed reading this.
| Rush chapter 1 . 9/1/2010
Wow, this is a really great fic.