Kenneth Tingle’s Strangeville

Strangeville– Kenneth Tingle

First in a series or at least a group of Kindle novelettes, Strangeville is only ok. I have learned with free Kindle downloads, that you should never judge the story by the beginning. Frequently, what starts out as a plodding narrative, catches hold as the author comes into stride with the story she wants to tell.

This was not that case. Kenneth Tingle’s story starts out with a very pedestrian telling of your basic “Office” episode becomes a story about getting lost on the back roads of WV, and stumbling on a town that time forgot.

You realize, however, this is not the case when he ends up at a diner and the clientele promptly declare him to be “one of them thar’ space aliens from that magazine that ol’ Lester foun’” when he attempts to use his cellphone. They ask him if he’s one of those Trekkies from outer space. They aren’t so much ‘from’ the past, as they just haven’t quite made it into the present.

You realize, however, this is not the case when he ends up at a diner and the clientele promptly declare him to be “one of them thar’ space aliens from that magazine that ol’ Lester foun’” when he attempts to use his cellphone. They ask him if he’s one of those Trekkies from outer space. They aren’t so much ‘from’ the past, as they just haven’t quite made it into the present.Unfortunately, at this point in the story, while you might wonder why, you probably don’t really care what’s going on here. You’ve been introduced to most of the town, you’ve seen our hero’s reaction to being introduced to most of the town, and you really can’t understand his failure to grasp the significance of the town’s name. Strangeville.

One thing that might possibly hold your attention is our hero’s unflagging interest in the one thing he will probably never get. The mayor’s daughter. I have an idea this cat and mouse game will be the one plot line that might sustain the series. As long as he can keep that believable, he’ll be able to keep a certain number of readers.

There’s just enough hint of future developments to entertain the notion of reading a second installment, but only if it were free, and the blurb sounded promising as a stand-alone tale.

A second book from Tingle, “The Girl In the Italian Bakery” is a memoir that may hold the reader’s attention a little longer.

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