Thursday, February 4, 2016

Told By An Idiot, by K.J. Parker

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(Historical Fantasy) In Elizabethan London, an entrepreneur skilled in identifying legitimate antiquities ends up with a bottle that happens to have a demon in it. (11,000 words; Time: 36m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended
Recommended By: RHorton:5

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 192, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The copious references to Shakespeare are entertaining. The narrator's cynical attitude towards everyone he deals with makes for fun reading too.

Con: There's not much of a story here. For most of this novelette, we're just reading about how the narrator goes about his business. The inversion of the Job story at the end is just a fraction of the wordcount and feels tacked onto the first part.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 192)
K.J. Parker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This story is like one of those jokes with a big, long setup and then the punch line is a silly little pun. Entertaining enough, but I wasn't very impressed with the conclusion.

  2. You already know I liked this story a lot -- and of course I allow that tastes differ -- but I think you really missed the boat on this one. It's one of Parker's very best stories. But again, as they say, chacun a son gout!

    (I do really appreciate this site, by the way.)

    1. I appreciate the kind words. I'm not sure you remember your conversation with Eric and me at the Sasquan Business meeting, but you're the one who convinced us that we should create this site. We've had great fun with it, and we appreciate your encouragement.

      If I were rating this one today, I'd give it three stars, not two. It's a fun read, even though it doesn't have a coherent plot.

    2. Oh gosh, I remember talking to you, but I don't remember particulars, and not convincing you to make this site! But I'm glad you did!

      (I sometimes thing coherency of plot is overrated. :) Although Parker is known in his novels for really intricate clockwork plots ... )