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An ending and a beginning

by Helen Raven

The saddest I've ever read

The Same River

because there are worse things than death. But there is also a superb plot, brilliant writing, deeply-felt love, a touch of irony and lines like these

He went to join Grey and they stood looking into the garden. The light was fading but the main features were still clear.
"You won't have seen real countryside, Grey. The whole of the island isn't like London, you know."
"No, Ray's started teaching me. See, there's a bird. And that's another kind of bird."
Doyle choked on his whisky. Maybe that waste was the main cause of Cowley's glare, more than the flaws in his teaching or the excesses of his laughter. With a struggle, he got himself under control. "I'm sorry, sir. But I think we've just heard him make his first joke. It's quite an occasion."

and to raise the spirits afterwards


because they are so B/D (although in this Doyle never was in CI5), there is first dislike, then friendship, lust, finally love (or at least the beginning of it), and pointed dialogue

At the end of that day, he spent a few minutes with Lucy updating his appointment book.
"Oh, he came back, you know. While you were with your three o'clock."
"What're you talking about?"
"That Bodie man. 'Smiler' I call him. Because he doesn't. He said ... um ... it
had worked. But he hadn't realised till he was on his feet and moving around. And he paid."
"Oh." Doyle frowned. "He didn't make another appointment, did he?"
Lucy shook her head.
A broad smile. "Perfect."


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
I think The Same River is one of the most beautiful Pros stories I've ever read and it's almost completely indescribable. There is a terrible sadness about it ('melancholy' I think was mentioned somewhere in the intro) but I think there's also something redeeming about it because Doyle thinks he's lost Bodie for ever and in a sense he has, but there's also something left of Bodie, something to hold onto and that something means Doyle's not completely alone but which also seems to reinforce his loneliness.....not to mention the loneliness he imagines 'Grey' suffering when he has to leave him each day. I think it's an incredible piece of writing, totally disturbing, hard to bear and a fine example of the kind of writing which makes me proud of Pros as a fandom. I always think of it as a story for 'grown-ups'. And Transients seems to share the same mood of stillness and is equally atmospheric. I'm so glad you've read these and for reminding me of some wonderful stories. (And well done for tackling The Same River, many people don't! I hope it hasn't depressed you too much?)

Edited at 2010-02-07 11:18 pm (UTC)
Feb. 8th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Re: Spoilers!!!!
Thanks for your comment, I totally agree with it! I read it because I was curious as I haven't found a single rec for it and I liked some of her other fics like Transients (Heat-Trace is next on the list). And no, I wasn't depressed too much. It's fiction and I can acknowledge a well written fic even if there isn't a happy ending. And I can always go back to a lot of more cheerful prosfic to lighten up.:-)
Feb. 9th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recc.

I'm too much of a wimp for "The Same River" after your warning, so turned to "Transients" instead, and liked that very much.

She really can write psychology, even in that simple (pared-down even) plot, Doyle is very believably complex.
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
She really can write psychology, even in that simple (pared-down even) plot, Doyle is very believably complex.
I agree! And I'm so glad you liked it.
As to "The Same River" you're right, you should only read it if you feel up to it.
Thanks for letting me know! :-)
May. 27th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hmmm....not sure if I read The same river yet, though I thought I´ve read all from Helen Raven....
I´ll have to go there and just read.
Transients I LOVE!

Thanks for the recce!
May. 28th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
My pleasure! I hope you'll like it. :-)
May. 28th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)

No, I didn´t like it.
Not at all.
Not the beginning, not the middle, not the end.
Though it´s a fantastic, well written, amazing story with twists and turns and an almost unbelievable outcome.

But it´s too fantastic for me. Too much AU, not enough B/D.
But that´s just my opinion.

May. 29th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
It's okay. It depends on what you mean with 'like'.
Did I enjoy it? No. Do I think it's an outstanding, very well written story that drew me in and didn't let loose? Yes.
Storys I don't like I seldom read more than the first few hundred words.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )