Author Topic: PC276: Juan Caceres in the Zapetero's Workshop  (Read 13532 times)

jpv

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Reply #25 on: September 19, 2013, 08:11:39 PM
I liked it well enough. Mostly, I liked the world building, where magic is real enough but not something innate (at least to the protagonist). Instead it's something you have to work for, by hook or by crook. Granted, it was a little offputting to see just how intelligent the pixies being ground were, but that's something you really have to think about with a story like this: how different would the world be if we weren't the only thinking / felling life on the Earth (although some might argue that's not even the case now).

You may think I'm crazy / And I think you may be right
But life is ever so much more fun / If you are the crazy one

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rlzack

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Reply #26 on: September 20, 2013, 03:53:26 PM
While I finished the story, this was not one of my favorites. Too dark. Or was that the point?

And the glorification of drug use really put me off. Would this story have worked if "pixie" had been replaced by "glue"? Used for making and repairing shoes, and for sniffing. And extended use causes you to lose interest in education. After all - weren't "goblins" just professionals? Accountants and mathematicians.

Nope - I can't recommend this one.



Moritz

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Reply #27 on: September 20, 2013, 05:06:27 PM
Count me in with those who didn't quite like this one. There was too much grim reality mixed into a fairy tale to still be a fairy tale, in my opinion.

I don't know Spanish and Latin American culture is quite far away from the cultures I know about, but I always thought of Zapatistas when I heard Zapetero...



Spindaddy

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Reply #28 on: September 20, 2013, 11:53:33 PM
"I am Juan Caceres, the boy who snorted ogre toe!"

"I am SpinDaddy! The man who still likes Conan stories!"

When I started listening to the story it was 545am and once I heard this goblin twerp was snorting ogre toe I couldn't remotely take anything seriously after that. By CROM! This was a fun little romp during my commute and I enjoyed every second of it. The cobbler pedophile thing added a nice creepy element and I'm still gagging about the idea of snorting ANYTHING'S toe let alone an ogre's toe--but even though Juan is a total asshat I laughed out loud at his antics.

Mostly I was quite happy there a nice light hearted story with no morals or life lessons or heavy thoughts afterwards to weigh me down. It was very refreshing and I thank you for it.

I'm not evil. I'm corporate.


InfiniteMonkey

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Reply #29 on: September 22, 2013, 12:36:43 AM
I don't know Spanish and Latin American culture is quite far away from the cultures I know about, but I always thought of Zapatistas when I heard Zapetero...

Don't feel bad. I grew up in Los Angeles and I had the same problem.



quasidoza

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Reply #30 on: September 24, 2013, 06:01:39 PM
Not sure if there was a warning at start, if not I guess there should.

I liked the story and even the proclamation of snorting Ogre toe (but listened in two parts as work brakes my podcast hobby), so that may dilute.

Fairy tales have never been nice and this was no exception, no boiling 40 thieves in boiling water or necrophiliac (or was she just sleeping) rape of princesses.

The dog thing was he couldn't con it not that no magic would work.

Overall I'm in the vocal minority in likeing  :P



Myrealana

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Reply #31 on: September 25, 2013, 05:25:10 PM
I enjoyed this one.

It's not that I thought the boy was making the best choices throughout, or that I was even sure that saving his brother was the right thing to be doing, but he was just so darn engaging in the way he went about it.

It felt like I was hearing the origin story of a Coyote-like mythic character.

Be sure to put your shoes away in the closet, or Juan Caceres will come in the night and steal their pixie magic!

"You don't fix faith. Faith fixes you." - Shepherd Book


DKT

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Reply #32 on: October 15, 2013, 05:02:30 AM
...looking for the 'like' button...

Thanks, Dave. For some reason I never downloaded that one.

Sorry, missed this somehow the first time. But wanted to come back and say No Worries. It was a miniature, and those are sometimes easier to miss (also read by the awesome Roberto Suarez, but nothing funny about it). We have another miniature from the same collection coming out soon, I believe, so keep your eyes open for it :)

(It's a really great collection.)


Unblinking

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Reply #33 on: October 15, 2013, 02:01:46 PM
It took me a little while to warm up to this one but in the end I liked it.  I wasn't convinced that his brother's fate was so terrible (oh no!  Education!) but Juan's dedication to the cause sold me on listening to his story.  I wasn't bothered by the repitition--it felt very appropriate for a fairy tale style, like the Gingerbread Man repitition mentioned earlier.

I didn't find the level of dark or realistic elements unrealistic.  The nonchalance of the rape threat just seemed to imply to me how crappy Juan's day to day life is that that's just part of the day to be threatened like that.  I think if he'd lost the bargain, I'd probably have been upset at seeing it go down but as a threat I thought it was fine. 

As far as the dark elements I saw it as a throwback to old style fairy tales that were meant more to teach lessons to your kids by scaring the bejeezus out of them, rather than the touchy-feely happy ending Disney fairy tales of the modern age.  So it totally all worked.

And, ugh, the scene with the grinding of the pixie... ugh... dark.  Well done.

I listen to my podcasts when I commute, or when I go to the store, or do chores. It's interesting how I can sometimes get a strong association between the story and the setting I am in, so that recalling one immediately recalls the other.  I was listening to this story as I walked the aisles of the Ax-Man store across the street from my work.  They're a surplus store that has super-cheap bins of all kinds of random things, old useless computer chips, computer fans, chemistry supplies, just random stuff.  I was there to buy rubber stoppers to fill a finger-sized hole in the side of my dishwasher so that I could run a screw through it and mount it to the side cabinet (so that it doesn't fall on my son when he's mobile enough to be in danger of that).  The shelves of bins of random surplus felt appropriate for the story as I imagined the Zapatero's workshop looking cluttered and random like that.
http://ax-man.com/



Leslianne

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Reply #34 on: October 20, 2013, 09:18:01 PM
I considered not mentioning it here after reading some of the commentary- especially Shawn's, because I think he's got a serious point about romanticizing the terrible situations of real people- but I loved this story start to finish. And I want to say a giant Thank You a thousand times over for the number of stories with Spanish language words here that you have read by people who can pronounce them correctly. Mr. Suarez is especially awesome, and he gave a great reading here. Thank you guys.



Jen

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Reply #35 on: October 21, 2013, 07:05:31 PM
I found this to be a too-obvious story about 'growing up is bad, mmkay?' and I have zero nostalgia for childhood, so it didn't resonate with me. Buy the actual reason I'm posting is to praise the narrator - it was very pleasant to listen to a powerful narration *with* a proper accent. (As opposed to, say, Alain/Elaine in 'Nor the moonlight'.)



danooli

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Reply #36 on: October 22, 2013, 11:31:34 AM
This is odd...I just noticed that there is a Juan Caceres in my company! I don't know him as he works in a different building but there's his name and extension in the directory!



Unblinking

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Reply #37 on: October 23, 2013, 01:45:16 PM
I found this to be a too-obvious story about 'growing up is bad, mmkay?'

I didn't think that's what the story was saying.  I thought that's what Juan was saying, perhaps, but not the story.



Spindaddy

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Reply #38 on: October 25, 2013, 02:55:54 AM
This is odd...I just noticed that there is a Juan Caceres in my company! I don't know him as he works in a different building but there's his name and extension in the directory!

So... have you sent him an email with a post to the story?

I'm not evil. I'm corporate.


danooli

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Reply #39 on: October 25, 2013, 10:16:05 AM
This is odd...I just noticed that there is a Juan Caceres in my company! I don't know him as he works in a different building but there's his name and extension in the directory!

So... have you sent him an email with a post to the story?
I am trying to find someone who knows him. This is an odd story to have some random strange coworker send to you out of the blue :-)



soar9

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Reply #40 on: October 27, 2013, 07:37:14 PM
A couple of other people mentioned that the repeated rape threats bothered them. They bothered me too, but honestly, especially coming from an old man to a younger man. The idea that homosexuals are all depraved maniac child-molesters is still a shadow over our society, and I think at this time we don't need any stories reinforcing that.



Toasty_Ohs

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Reply #41 on: March 21, 2014, 07:45:49 PM
I was getting caught up on PodCastle when I came across this gem and had to post.

It was very bittersweet.  I loved the character, a young delinquent, a Puss-In-Boots if there ever was one.   If I knew him, I would invite him in every day for lunch to sit and eat and tell a story.  He goes on a grand adventure on the heels of escaping from a terrible dungeon of a place.  He performs the three tasks as only he could and outwits the monster.

Somewhere along the way I started to realize that these were not real goblins at all, but people who had moved one, moved away from this lifestyle.  He was simply a small broken boy wrapped up in a haze of drugs and poverty.  Even his best friend abandons him.

In many ways this story reminds me of Feng Burger:

http://escapepod.org/2005/05/19/ep002-feng-burger/

A very bitter twist.