alessnox: Aless Nox - A writer (Default)
http://midnightficobsession.podomatic.com/entry/2014-08-01T03_16_06-07_00

Episode 10 - (Magic, Angst, and Humor)

Time: 10 minutes and 56 seconds

News: The Holmsies Awards - Voting now open for Sherlock Holmes Fan Fiction awards.

Recs:

Fandom: Sherlock
Story: The Letter of the Lore
Author: Anonymous


Fandom: Sherlock
Story: All Hearts are Broken
Author: Writerfan2013


Podfic selection:

Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (books)

Story: Like a dream

Author: W_a_i_d

Reader: ElaineofShallott (Lady of Misrule)
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alessnox: Aless Nox - A writer (Default)
TITLE:   The Quiet Man
FANDOM: Sherlock (BBC)
GENRE: Grief/angst, Johnlock
WORDS:  157369

http://archiveofourown.org/works/322978/chapters/520106

SPOILERS FOLLOW

Reading Sherlock fan fiction, especially Sherlock return stories, is like living in a world of parallel universes. Each story paints an image of a possible future where the smallest choices create different dynamics in the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. One of these stories, The Quiet Man by paints a world with an ending so sweet that we want to close our eyes and let it linger for a moment as Sherlock does in one key point in the story.

This work, an epic at over 157,000 words, tells the story of John Watson enduring the loss of Sherlock Holmes for three years before his eventual return. Needless to say, there is a lot of angst in this work. John Watson spends most of his time feeling lost and horribly depressed. Some of the early chapters are a bit slow as John continues to live in a fantasy world where the image of Sherlock talks with him, and he seems to make no progress forward, but his story picks up again after we meet Mary.

The Sherlock return story is one of tension and expectations. We know that Sherlock will some time come into the picture, and we know that what happens to John during this separation will have a great part in deciding how their reunion will go. Will he marry Mary? Will he commit suicide? Will he tell his therapist his true feelings? Will he learn to hate Sherlock? Each decision affects the outcome.

In this version of the story, John becomes a  writer for The Strand magazine, just as in the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books. He works through his feelings for Sherlock while creating the novelization of his blog as he continues to be haunted by images of Sherlock that he seems to see everywhere. When he finally does encounter Sherlock, we are still left wondering how he will act. Will he be able to accept this sudden change in circumstances?

The story doesn't try to go too fast. It lets us comes to terms with each decision as John does, allowing him a depth of characterization that is underscored by the title "The quiet man".  John now thinks a great deal before he speaks, and we are spectators viewing his thoughts. The story is in first person. We stay deep in John's mind. Like him, we don't know what Sherlock was doing on the rooftop at Barts, and when we meet him, we don't know what he's thinking. It makes everything a bit muffled and uncertain as John is when he goes through the world uncertain of who he is and what he should be doing.

It is mostly a work of mood. it spends its time conveying the sense of loss and mourning that John endures. This makes the story a bit of a downer in parts, but it is alleviated by the interesting experiences and observations that John makes of the world around him.

The story is very well written and beta-edited. The explicit rating comes from some fantasy scenes  and a few sex scenes at the very end of the story, as well as some violence.

At fifty eight chapters, this story is a bit of a commitment, but it is well worth the effort. Although the road of loss is long, ultimately the reunion is beautifully sweet.
alessnox: Aless Nox - A writer (Default)

The Progress of Sherlock Holmes

FANDOM:     Sherlock(BBC)
GENRE:        Romance
TIME:             7 hours 45 minutes

PODFIC:       http://www.audiofic.jinjurly.com/progress-of-sherlock-holmes
STORY TEXT:
   http://archiveofourown.org/works/173274/chapters/253157


At over seven hours this fanfic is not for faint of heart or the casual Sherlockian, however it is perfect for a long day of solitary housework. I must warn you, however, that at some scenes you will want to just close your eyes and listen because the images are particularly intense and evocative, especially if you are as much of a fan of the John / Sherlock pairing as I am.

OVERVIEW:
Sherlock Holmes is in love with his flatmate, John Watson, unfortunately he is unable to express his feelings. John Watson appears to like him, but his mixed messages are hard for Sherlock to understand, and then Mary Morstan walks into John's life.


PODFIC
The reader, cellardoorpodfic, has a pleasant voice that is not annoying to listen to which is important in a story of this length. She makes distinct, recognizable voices for John, Mary, Mycroft, Sherlock, and Sherlock's thoughts that make it possible to understand Sherlock's story.

The podfic has a foreword by the author, ivyblossom, that discusses the narrative structure, first person present tense. We only see things from Sherlock's perspective. We may infer what others feel, but we don't know for sure what they are thinking.


MY IMPRESSIONS:
This work has a soothing, lyrical quality. Sherlock is a strange person with strange thoughts, but the author makes us comfortable in his head. This Sherlock thinks about John a lot. John also often thinks of Sherlock, but his intentions are unclear to Sherlock. They dance around each other for what may be months or years not talking and not understanding each other. In a way, the story evokes a bit of the Victorian quality of the original, because there are so many things that they cannot or will not say.

Mary is a flawed woman with philandering ways. She is so good at hiding her emotions that most of the time Sherlock cannot read her. John tries to lead his own life, but he is unable to stop working with Sherlock for long before his limp reappears. Mrs Hudson is a jewel, seeing to the heart of the story, when most of the other characters are blind to their own and other's emotions.

If there is a villain to the piece, then it is Mycroft Holmes who interferes too closely in his brother's affairs. If we assume that he treats all of Sherlock's acquaintances the same as he did to John Watson when he first met Sherlock, then we might get a glimpse into why Sherlock has no friends, and why he hates his brother so much.

RATING: Mature

This work is rated mature for graphic sex scenes, however they do not take up most of the work which consists of bits of interesting cases, texts, flirting, and lots of suggestive and sensual touching followed by Sherlock's ever unsure interpretations.

ANGST
The sense of loss and longing in the story is palpable, for Sherlock (our viewpoint character) but also for John who wears his heart on his sleeve. John is trapped between his desire to live with his wife, and his almost physical need to be with Sherlock.

Mary is a complication that makes a successful romantic resolution difficult, and when the resolution does come, it is not without it's share of discomfort. We get the feeling that Sherlock Holmes is a very misunderstood man doing his best to interact with people although he is horribly repressed and unable to communicate his true feelings to others. Perhaps it is only that no one has ever listened closely enough before.

Overall, the story is worth the listen if only for those moments when John and Sherlock finally begin to realize that each of them truly do have feelings for each other that go beyond friendship. The sex scenes are good too.

PEOPLE
For the most part, the other characters fade into shadows. John and Sherlock think almost constantly about each other to the exclusion of all else. The fact that they can't see what's in front of their eyes is sad. Then again, this is what makes the conclusion more satisfying. Even so, one is left with a sense of regret, if only they had communicated a bit better a few years earlier, then we could have missed all of this angst.

PLOT
The plot is what the title says. The progress of Sherlock Holmes as he goes from totally sexually repressed and uncommunicative to sexually active and slightly more emotionally open. Other than that, the days are fairly repetitive for Sherlock, (case, no case, case, no case). We never are given a complete case to investigate. Mostly Sherlock just looks at things and deduces with John there to say "Amazing!" The only thing that gives a sense of time to Sherlock's existence is John and his relationship with Mary. John is the timepiece for the work. The clock on which Sherlock's life runs, and this more than anything tells us that there is only one satisfying resolution to this work.

WORRY POINTS
If I have any criticisms of the work, it would be in the obviousness of making Mary so flawed. It seemed like her faults were paraded by us just so that we would not pity her so much when John's affections turned to Sherlock. Mycroft was surprisingly noteworthy because he ended up being such a shit. They explained his viewpoint in the end, but even so, I just didn't like him. Also, his ability to control Sherlock with petty, though very expensive, bribes made Sherlock come off as a bit too juvenile and materialistic in my opinion. Despite these minor faults, overall I consider this story an excellent work, and a very well executed podfic.

My rankings (0 yuck to 5 WoW!)

Romance: good 4
Hotness: good 3.5
Mood: excellent 4.5
Case Quality: fair, interesting 2.5

Overall: 4
( out of 5)

June 2017

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