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10/27/2015 c1 16Child of Dreams
8/21/2015 c1 17broadwaygirl818

I'm so glad you wrote this. Raoul tends to be overlooked in almost every fanfic, and he's also unjustly - at least in my opinion - hated for the sole reason that he's a rival to Erik. Don't get me wrong; I'm EC all the way, but the original Raoul isn't an antagonist (although I've portrayed him that way, once, just to mix things up), at least not intentionally. He's a young, well-meaning but impulsive boy who wants Christine to be safe, above all else. Even though he was hardened by the time the events "Love Never Dies" occur, I think you have to think of things in his point of view. I think, deep down, he knew Gustave wasn't his son. I think he recognized the eerie similarities between his son and his old enemy, and though he loved the boy, it was like a slap in the face after he nearly died trying to save Christine. He knew that though she was his wife, he still didn't really "have" her, and I think that's what caused him to become an alcoholic. That's the only thing that makes sense to me because it contradicts everything we know about Raoul in the original musical.

Anyway... this is beautiful. I love it. And you. Thank you for writing this lovely short. :)
3/22/2015 c1 4readmered
Wow! Very well written. In LND, I though Raoul was almost a different person but here you do him justice in reminding us he's still the same person, just a little sadder and has seen more than his share
2/27/2014 c1 45Igenlode Wordsmith
So this is the story you were going to write... I'd thought of it as a vignette from the deck of the departing ship, but this is far more detailed and developed.

Poor, poor Raoul, caught up in a house of deathly silence and haunting memories, where even the happy past can only bring regret and ghostly reminders lie in ambush everywhere he turns. And drinking... tea. (Is this his attempt at expiation?)

Waking is relief from the night - until he remembers. Even the seasons drag her away from him. And the child, his... *her* son, is doubly lost, from the future and from the past that never truly was. Raoul is shut out now from Christine and Gustave for ever, and it is too late to change anything.

The story conjures up all too vividly the endless round of guilt and memory that intrudes at every instant, at every glance, and yet is all that remains; forgetting is no salvation. The past is everywhere... the future is nowhere, and that is worst of all.

"He tries to work, but there are too many images in his mind now... they crowd out all other thoughts": yes, been there, done that :-(

One thing I appreciate in this story is that you've made it clear there *were* moments worth remembering: it's not the usual round of "oh, it was a marriage for safety and social position, she would have been better off expressing herself freely as a pauper in the gutters" (well, just a little bit of that, perhaps, in the penultimate paragraph!) The little vignette with the jwellery box - the two young newly-weds cocooned from the rain in the warmth of their own happiness - is poignant and unbearably sweet. And Gustave on the rocking-horse, not yet retreated into that solitary bond with his mother, but laughing freely for them both... and the moment of shared heart-soaring joy with the boy he thought was his son.

The episode with the piano: again, that rings very true from experience. Random notes with alternate hands, pointless pedal-pressing, hopeless frustration ending in crashing discord. (I'm amazed he limits himself to only one discordant thump, actually!) But in a world where the 'competition' is a master musician, utter musical disintegration is not just ham-handedness but a perhaps unconscious way of striking back.

"the vicomte is wearily making his way to bed and all will soon be quiet and peaceful" - that isn't quite the impression I'd got of Raoul's customary nights from the opening paragraphs :-(

The end... this is the 'ghost' of the opening lines (and, ironically, a happy ghost) but I was left unclear how Raoul himself feels about it. Comfort? Further loss? Shivers up the spine? It stands as a very effective ending as it is, but in the context of the piece as a whole I wasn't sure how it was meant to be interpreted.

Textual comments: "none are willing to speak ill of the dead; suddenly have they found so many complimentary things to say about her" - the inversion "suddenly have they found" reads oddly to me here.

"They were all happy that day. It saddens and relieves him all at the same time for those years cannot all have been bad ones" - too much repetition of 'all', I think (three times in the space of two sentences). I'd lose the second one ("all at the same time"), since 'all' implies more than two things to me in any case, and insert a comma after 'time': "It saddens and relieves him at the same time, for those years cannot all have been bad ones"

"With stooped shoulders, he sits at the piano, feeling like an imposter and hits a key, then another one" - the sentence needs another comma (after 'imposter') to separate off the adverbial phrase "feeling like an imposter", which is effectively being inserted into the middle of it: if it's going to be introduced with a comma, it needs to be concluded with one too. On the other hand, it's a wonderful sentence!
2/12/2014 c1 3Deadtom77
This is truly beautiful ;-)
I could almost feel sorry for the fop... Narr ;-) lol
Very well written ;-)
You have a real talent at creating sympathy for people whom i want to dislike ;-)
Cheers Dt
2/1/2014 c1 38lead me to salvation
This is absolutely beautiful. No question of it, beautiful. You have such a way with words and a way with storytelling - I love the little moments with the piano and how Erik is only ever referred to as his 'old enemy' or 'the monster in the mask' because that's how Raoul probably sees him. I love the regret, the sadness, the looking through Christine's old things. The little anecdote about the rocking horse is sweet and wonderful and so sad. I especially adore the first line and the last line and the complete juxtaposition between them the 'house of ghosts and shadows' and 'the happy laughter of a child.' So, so beautiful, perfectly capturing Raoul after LND. Stupendous story, I can't wait to read more of your work.
1/26/2014 c1 63Erik'sTrueAngel
Ooo... this was very interesting and I like that it follows Raoul's POV after the events of Love Never Dies. I often wonder how he must have felt knowing that Gustave wasn't his son, especially after watching him grow up. Those memories, happy as they were, are haunting and tastefully done, which reveals his guilt for his past deeds. And that realization about Christine's and Gustave's happiness was not dependent on material things was like a light bulb went off for him. He's going to be haunted by the past and it's sad, but he never truly belonged in that picture in the first place. This was beautifully written as always!
1/5/2014 c1 7judybear236
Great imagery!

Good chapter/story!

Really explores the depth of his sorrow and too late regrets.

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