| Beatles! or How I learned to stop worrying and love RPS
||[Dec. 3rd, 2009|02:40 pm]
Let me preface this by saying that The Beatles are my favorite band. Ever. They are the best band. Ever. I could on for ages, complete with jumping up and down and waving my arms wildly and probably convulsing on the floor, about how phenomenal they are, how they invented modern music, how important they are not just to rock and roll, but to the entire musical industry. HELL THE ENTIRE WORLD.
Their relationship. Christ, I don't even know how to articulate the beautiful complexity of Lennon/McCartney.
Lifting Latches by thinkpink20
Pairing: John Lennon/Paul McCartney
Rating: NC-17 for sex
HOLY SHIT JESUS CHRIST THIS IS THE BEST STORY EVER WRITTEN. When Beatles Rock Band came out, I started joining Beatles communities on LJ. I worked my way through them all and eventually ended up reading RPS of the lads. It was mostly for the lol factor; I'd never been a fan - or even really interested by the concept - of RPS. For shits and giggles I started reading fics, though and I found "Lifting Latches."
So, this is a review coming from someone who has a thorough knowledge of and love for the Beatles; and while is a slasher and is interested in homosexuality, bisexuality, and sexuality in general, was never a John/Paul fan (am now, of course; partially converted by this fic). SERIOUSLY, READ IT. Paul's shyness and desperation to impress the older John; John's need to maintain his influence over Paul coupled with his own insecurities... AWESOME. The natural fluctuation of teenage desire during a conservative time period, and the fears of social rejection for an "unnatural" interest... AWESOME. The bond between John and Paul and their need to strengthen and explore it... SO AWESOME.
Besides that, this story is incredibly well written. thinkpink20 walks the delicate line between action and exposition. Her Paul is thoughtful and observant, but the story never slows under too much emotional analysis. At the same time, her action scenes are perfectly paced.
And the sex scene is HOT. A lot of slash - hell, a lot of romance - falls into one of two categories: 1) too impersonal, insert-tab-a-into-tab-b sex, and 2) overwrought, over-fraught purple prose sex. Then there's the weird clinicalness that some sex scenes take on, where I feel like I'm reading the minutes from a physical exam, and it's counterpart the author-is-actually-a-virgin stuff where manroots pulsate into love canals. In short, writing convincing sex is hard. But thinkpink20 MASTERS it. Paul and John's scene together is smoking hot. Paul's desire underlines the whole story, and by the time they get into bed, the passion practically palpitating through the lines.
Also, Paul is PERFECT. Fictional!Paul often suffers from acute weepy uke syndrome. This Paul is shy and uncertain, but he's often wiser than John, and while he's not as forward as John, Paul still knows what he wants and when they meet, they do so as equals.
And what's best about this fic?
IT HAS AN EVEN HOTTER SEQUEL: Sending Postcards.
This. Story. Is. The. Fucking hottest thing. Ever.
All the amazing things about the first story carry over to the second: great characterization, awesome Britishisms, flawless pacing. While the sex scene in "Lifting Latches" is incredibly satisfying, it can be (as Paul himself in the story reflects) interpreted as "just getting off." He - and the audience - worry that he/we read too much into it.
But wow, the climax (hurrrrr) of this story blows (durrrrr) everything away.
Again, the sex is perfect. Steamy and sensitive, it's both sexually arousing and emotionally satisfying. The first, second, and third times I read that part, I actually blushed. I won't spoil it, but John has a line that sets off Paul (and the reader, by extension) and it's so bloody perfect I want to tattoo it on my forehead. thinkpink20 deftly twists everything with that one little line - it's so perfectly John-like. The words aren't really profane, but the choice to use one term in particular is so effective: it's dirty and personal and raw and wow.
I was explaining it all to Pete last night - or at least trying to; this rec is evidence that I'm barely lucid: Part of the reason I'm interested in slash is there's the conflict of man vs self, man vs man, and man vs society. Will man choose to put into danger his place in his world for love? Is his love strong enough to be tested by the illegality of his relationship with his lover? Slash stories don't always explore that; a lot of the time, I find that the whole social consequences of sodomy stuff is ignored. Which is fine, not every story needs to try to dismantle (or even acknowledge) the heteronormative establishment. And sometimes slash stories get too involved with it, so that I'm not reading romance as much as I am a dissertation. But once again, thinkpink20 does it perfectly. Toward the end of "Postcards," Paul stops himself from fantasizing a certain something because of how "queer" it could be. (And then, because thinkpink20 is a genius), he immediately worries about John.
THIS SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR EVERYONE.