4 out of 4 stars
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This book has everything: classic Americana, vintage vehicles, British slang, theological theories, time travel, howling junkmen, and one-on-one conversations with Galileo. And that's only part of it. I wouldn't consider it an exaggeration to say, The Knucklehead & Other Stories by Lance A. Ealey is a little slice of nerd perfection.
The Knucklehead & Other Stories consists of 4 short stories and a novella. It's a fairly short book, only 166 pages, but it contains more information and imagination than many much longer novels. What I loved most about this book is the way the author manages to slide in archaic and arcane facts from history and science without making the book seem the least bit didactic. For a History and Science-fiction geek like me, the stories felt like little word-shots: not too difficult to swallow, yet long-lasting in effect.
The stories range from the discovery of a vintage Harley to the physics of time-travel. The tone fluctuates between humorous and slightly twisted. The characters in each story are fascinating, coming alive through their unique personalities with accents ranging from Southern twang to the Queens English. My favorite part of the book was the novella, which tells the story of the search for a time-machine built by Galileo. The author blends fact with fiction, science with theology, and history with myth to create a fascinating tale with just enough actual truth in it to seem completely plausible.
This book did have me doing searches on Google a couple of times. For instance, in the story "The Knucklehead" the author assumes you know certain facts about classic motorbikes, without which the story would make less sense. This may seem like a drawback to some readers, but I rather enjoyed the additional reading. Maybe it's because, in my world, you can never know enough useless trivia.
After reading this book I did an online search for more books by its author. I was very surprised to find that Lance A. Ealey does not have many published books. The Knucklehead & Other Stories reads like a book written by an established writer. The writing style is effortless, the conversations between characters are engaging, and the each of the stories ends with a sense of completeness that is often lacking in similar books.
Overall, The Knucklehead & Other Stories is a thoroughly enjoyable, quick read, especially perfect for readers who enjoy science-fiction and random facts. There was nothing I disliked about it. It does contain some profanity and sexual innuendo, but they are not overused, and the book would be suitable for older teens. It appears to be professionally edited. I wholeheartedly rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
The Knucklehead & Other Stories
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