Reviewed: 2008-10-19 - (Review Updated: 2008-10-19)
Texrep wrote a wonderful story, a complete, joyous, developed, meaningful story. His SOL blog (and his self-description elsewhere) says he is new to writing stories and does so with some trepidation. However, A Girl Called Len ably demonstrates skill to craft a well-designed, engaging tale of love, loss, romance, worry, and satisfaction.
I enjoyed A Girl Called Len from the beginning, a beginning that toyed with my voyeurism by following Danny into his first strip club ever. It's scary doing something for the first time when everyone around you seems to know what they are doing and you are fumbling along. Danny found the strip club not as exciting as his imagination had told him it would be, but then it changed his life.
A Girl Called Len is a gentle story of a fumbling Danny told with patience, an unsure Danny told with patience, an event-whipped Danny told with patience -- and yet a decisive Danny told with (again) patience. The story was never boring, always growing fuller and deeper and wider. Intriguing and inspiring.
Danny met Len after many years of separation; they had been best friends as children, and now their friendship renewed itself as adults. Many chasms made pursuing their friendship difficult, but despite the obstacles they became friends again. Psychological, marital, geographical, and occupational barriers tried to prevent their friendship -- but that's part of the story for you to read and enjoy.
Characters were developed into real-seeming persons. Events seemed to take place in a similar time-frame to the real world's. The story seemed to be about real people in real, ordinary lives. Except it was extraordinary and hard to believe and populated with unlikely happenstances -- and that's where the value of the "ordinariness" of the story shines like a beacon, making the extraordinary believable.
I've read all three stories Texrep posted on SOL; the first two were very good but this one is excellent.
There is some explicit sex later in the story. The movie version of A Girl Called Len would be R-rated, but could easily be edited to PG-13 -- so a stroke story it is not. But an engaging, romantic, love story it is.