The Rapture by Daniel Devoto


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Post May 02, 2007, 09:08:22 AM

The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

Wow, I really, really like this story. The narrator seems like a real person, despite the unusual setting.

I think this is a great cautionary tale.





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Post May 08, 2007, 04:12:16 AM

The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

somehow i knew from the first moment that she was a girl. just knew it. providence, anyone?

as for the nonbelievers leaving...heh heh wish i could be with them.

i always go for black and white, good versus evil on a grand scale like this, and The Rapture was no exception. to me, these "infidels" were the good guys, leaving a decrepit world behind, where the hypocrisy of hardcore religion soon revealed itself. but that's me.

the author sprinkles other hints that may lead to other conclusions, like the narrator saying there was a war against "those people". who were these nonbelievers? were they simply all those who didn't subscribe to the speaker's religion? was it even religion? who knows.

at any rate, while the writing wasn't especially driving, the deliciously building sense of threat more than made up for that. good and intriguing.

didn't necessarily warm to the last line tho...it was in limbo. would much rather have her tell us she's cooped up in the basement hearing the maniacal horde outside scratching on the door.

Lee
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Post May 09, 2007, 08:38:30 AM

Re: The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

Lee, I don't see this story as black and white, as good vs evil. To me, the theme is about human nature. I can very well envision the "infidels" having similar issues. In fact, that would make an intriguing corollary story. The nonbelievers, without their own "enemies", might very well turn on themselves. The theme, at least as I saw it, was that people will create an adversary regardless. The Utopian concept is unachievable. We're hardwired not to get along.

I thought the author did an excellent job of capturing the essence of a thirteen year old young woman writing in a diary. There's a sense of innocence about the piece, of crossing the threshold into the ugly world of adulthood. That can be a bit tricky, because writing from that perspective limits the amount of sophistication in the narrative. The technique did not distract from the plot. On the contrary, it strengthened it, which is a credit to the author. The only thing I would have done is add a few more obvious spelling errors (not many, just a few) to remind the reader that we're reading a teenager's diary.

This is another impressive story. A great issue so far.
Last edited by Jaimie on May 09, 2007, 08:40:54 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post May 17, 2007, 02:09:18 AM

The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

true, i agree the story can easily be interpreted as you suggest.

However, due to lack of backstory and any real detail, the departing non-subscribers struck me as more of a plot device than anything else. We're not intended by the author to contemplate their fate, perhaps?

Either way, this opens up lots of interesting possibilities and for sure there's a moral to take away from it all.

Lee
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Post May 20, 2007, 08:48:46 PM

Re: The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

Whew. This story pakcs quite a punch, and neatly illustrates man's "blind injustice to his fellow man", to steal a phrase from Eric Bogle. The atmosphere was creepy and honest, and really drew me in.
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Post May 21, 2007, 08:00:28 PM

Re: The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

I don't think it matters what religion is practiced by the Stayed Behind population ... the point is that those whose identity depends on being (in this case literally) holier than someone else will turn on each other when there are no out-and-out Heathens to hate. (viz. Catholics and Protestants, Sunnis and Shiites, Sikhs and Hindus, Christians (mostly Catholics) and Muslims (any sect)).

The funny part is that the Stayed Behind Christians were presumably waiting for a non-technological departure from Earth (rising bodily into Heaven), failing to grasp that God Works In Mysterious Ways ... which may include enormous human-built starships. ;)

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Post May 23, 2007, 09:30:40 PM

Re: The Rapture by Daniel Devoto

As usual, I'm the stick in the mud, the odd man out.

I didn't really get into this story, but it doesn't fit into my narrow, writeligious world view, as Robert would probably put it. I admit this is a more literary than genre style, and as such would not be my bag.

I think it's hard to write a gripping or moving epistolary because the chronicle format keeps the reader at a bit of a distance. The main character can only be found out through their own words, so it takes a lot longer to identify with that character. Few people write about anything more than what was heard or seen, so the scene never became wholly concrete in my mind without that input.

Once she wrote about her feelings, about being small when embarrassed, she felt more like a real person to me, but not before then. In fact, when she talked about how she felt in relating with others or events, whether with Aaron or otherwise, was the only time she felt real to me.

I'm not totally against epistolaries. I think my favorite is the song Kilkelly Ireland http://youtube.com/watch?v=KpD_aLxz2Ls, but it's emotion is carried by the voice of the singer and the music, which this story obviously doesn't have as options.

So, it's great that other people loved it, but it was not for me.

Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on May 23, 2007, 09:31:20 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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