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Mister Bramble and Mister Thornapple Redecorate by Jill Hand

PostPosted: June 16, 2015, 10:09:29 PM
by EddieSullivan
Quite a good short story. The characters were well developed and the amount of fantasy was just enough to make it fantastic while the protagonist kept it anchored in the real with her Jane Average qualities. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Re: Mister Bramble and Mister Thornapple Redecorate by Jill

PostPosted: June 21, 2015, 08:52:19 AM
by Megawatts
Liked the intro; it did grab my attention. That’s always a plus in any story, but I have read stories that started out very bland, but once into them they developed into enjoyable tales.

Over the years, I’ve read and studied many stories at Aphelion, and I must say this one ranks high. All the elements needed for good-short-story writing are present in this one.

Thornapple and Bramble appeared stereotyped but they were not. When individuals come from the past, they must appear as truly being from a former time, and it is easy to confuse the use of that technique as being stereotyped.

Evil George is an interesting addition to this story, and one that I can’t understand. I believe that Evil George might symbolizes Donna’s bad luck leading up to the fire which destroyed her home? Maybe it was her bad luck with men, or associates? The fact that Donna cares for Evil George means something? I don’t believe that Evil George was written into the story just to run away from Donna’s new house and initiate the encounter with Thronapple and Bramble. No, Evil George had a special meaning within the story, one beyond serendipity.

Ambrose Bierce comes to mind when I read this story. Suggestions of alternate states were very common in his writings----even his writings about the Civil War in which he participated. He’s well worth reading.

Thornapple an Bramble become alive as does Donna and of course Evil George. Jill gives depths and dimension with her characters, and her sensory input works well also Not too much, yet it is interject when it will be most beneficial. A good example: “It’s lavender an begamot. Very refreshing. I picked it up in Venice.” Nice technique that also shows that Thronapple and Bramble are world travelers. Nice.

I always loved stories in which kids get themselves into weird situation like Stephen King’s It.
Donna might not be a kid, but she does indeed get into an eerie situation—thanks to Evil George.


It’s an entertaining story—one that should be enjoyed by all!

Re: Mister Bramble and Mister Thornapple Redecorate by Jill

PostPosted: June 27, 2015, 04:11:23 PM
by kailhofer
Actually, I had a problem with Evil George. I used to have a Maine Coon Cat, and he was simply the most gentle being I've ever met, among any species, and his breed is known for gentle behavior.

Apart from that, I thought this was a great story.

Re: Mister Bramble and Mister Thornapple Redecorate by Jill

PostPosted: June 27, 2015, 05:34:47 PM
by donnallymiller
I liked the light tone of this story. Also I thought Evil George was a very engaging character, one that stayed with me after I'd finished reading the story.
If there's one suggestion I had to give the author, I think she should work on the back and forth between Mister Bramble and Mister Thornapple. I think there's a potential for some funny dialog between those two.

Re: Mister Bramble and Mister Thornapple Redecorate by Jill

PostPosted: July 01, 2015, 11:03:04 PM
by TaoPhoenix
I focused more on the use of the trope of the "slippery effect of wishes".

It might have played a little flat that she ended up with a copy of Versailles before she begged to have something simpler.

Was there a specific time period and place they came from? Something suggested the Victorian period with the dinner parties and such, but I don't know my British culture, and it could have been elsewhen.