Reviewed: 2016-06-10 - (Review Updated: 2016-06-12)
This is a tough review for me to write, because it won't be as glowing as I'd like it to be. I'd like it to be glowing, because I really like Lazlo Zalezac's work, most especially "Thunder and Lightening" and "The Millionaire Next Door".
This story is different from his others that I've read, in that after the setup, it seems to be chapter after chapter of stroke stories. Then it changes, and becomes more of a romantic story--there's still lots of sex, but the emphasis isn't on the sex so much. Overall the storyline holds together pretty well, with no major holes. There are certainly parts that stretch credibility nearly to the breaking point, but not quite all the way. The characters have some depth to them, though a couple are rather two-dimensional. I didn't have trouble immersing myself in the story.
It's in the technical arena that "A. King and His Queen" has problems. This story cries out for an editor. There are misspellings, with particular problems with similar words (e.g., scaring/scarring, dinner/diner, later/latter, etc.) and compound words. There are occasionally words missing in sentences, and some fractured grammar in the narrative (I don't worry about fractured grammar in dialog, because that's how people speak). There are punctuation issues, particularly with a lack of hyphenation of compound adjectives, and a lack of commas to break up long sentences. There's nothing fatal, but a solid edit would make for a much more readable story.
I like the story, but as much as I might identify somewhat with the protagonist, it has sufficient flaws that it won't become one of my all-time favorites.
I was in the middle of reading a longer older story when I saw that the final chapter of this one had been posted. I decided to take a short break and read the story from where I had left off, which left me the final 5 chapters to go. I will say that this is not a good way to read this story.
They attribute a saying to Bill Gates about not making fun of nerds, because one day you will probably be working for them. In this story, the ultimate nerd manages to come up with a new package, which in turn leads to him making enough from the sale and/or licensing of the design to live what some may consider every man's dream. In the process, he learns about the difference between having sex and making love, all while saving a number of women who happened to be in desperate need of the help. The story throws in a life lesson regarding the importance of adequate fiscal planning and management along the way.
For a plot, I give this an A (8). It is convoluted enough to merit it, and the author does a decent job of filling in the back stories of not only the MC, but also of others involved in the story.
For Technical score, there are just enough small mistakes (missing words, wrong homophone usage, etc) to also bring the score down to an A (8).
For personal appeal, this was a tougher read for me than some other works by the same author. As mentioned earlier, part of that was probably due to the fact that I did not read it through in one sitting, including finishing the last several chapters weeks after having read the rest of the story. That is the one downfall of not waiting for the entire story to have been posted. Weekly updates are tough to wait for, and I typically wait until there are several chapters I can group together. The result is that I am struggling to recall all of the details of this story. Some of the characterizations seen in the story are personally off-putting to me, but that does not mean others won't like them. Without a more vivid recall of the entirety of the story, I will have to give the appeal score a B (7).
There are stories that shouldn't work, this is one of them.
Given the plot line (rich nerd hires women to make private sex videos) I would usually have given this one a miss but there is catch, it's written by Lazlo. That got it a second look and I'm glad I bothered.
This has all the hallmarks of an LZ story, an unusual set up, characters who are interesting and engaging, enough plot twists to make you wonder what is coming next and enough thoughtful content to make you think.
As ever the writing is clear and fairly concise containing enough information for you to picture scenes but leaving enough room for your imagination to work. Given the set up it could easily have degenerated into a stroke story but it hasn't, sex is there but not in great, graphic detail.
Technically it is pretty clean, certainly I haven't noticed any jarring typos or continuity issues. It reads well.
It's not yet finished and whilst I suspect it may be drawing to an end I could equally well be wrong, it's one of the hallmarks of his writing that you can keep getting surprised by twists and turns. In any event I'm pleased I gave it a second look and I think it's well worth spending some time with.
Reviewed: 2015-09-15 - (Review Updated: 2015-09-16)
This is hardly a review. How can it be a review after reading chapter 5 of 43 (was it 43?). But.
I can hardly wait for the next installment to get posted. This is weird, it is absurd, it is hilarious, I love it all to bits (well I also like Monty Python and Terry Pratchett - you have been warned). The characters that we've seen so far are crafted with love.
The nearest matter of Lazlo's I've read are the Donaldson stories and maybe "Magic".
If you like farce you might want to try this. Of course, I can make no guarantees as to where he's going with this. Did not get a sneak preview :-) Chapter 5 ("Bambi is getting an education") is certainly somewhat different in tone from the preceding ones. Patience, little grasshopper.