Point and Counterpoint # 05 – Sizzle & Eger
Review of: Kronkheit! by Al Sirois
Eger: I love the names Chit and Teeth—perfect for creatures that live in a sewer. And any time something isn’t normal, it grabs my attention. Especially when a big rat-like thing is drinking from a flask. If he’s anything like my grandfather, I thought, then this ought to be good! I was particularly impressed with how the rats often found themselves searching for just the right human word to describe something. It reminded me of real life.
Tension rises as the underlings notice the bigger rat has the advantage of opposable thumbs even before he begins to explain how he came to be created . Those things, thumbs, are always a deal breaker as in: “Nah, nah, I can do something you can’t do!”
This story is riddled with scientific manipulation, time travel, advanced technology, and the process of mating aimed at two bumbling imbeciles until the bad guy mentions a family member. All seems lost until one of the little rats has an idea. But will it work? Only if they press the right button!
The idea of rat is huge when it comes to metaphor in this story, as I believe there’s a little bit of rat in all of us. Some more than others as we go about what we call our daily business. They’re programmed to do certain things, built to be a certain way, appear to be special, bigger and better than some others as the big bad guys set out to control the little guys. But in the end, we all die, and not even as the bigger ones intended as their target, and that what they target isn’t always right. That’s up to something bigger than us which this story shows very well.
To me, this story says that even if you don’t think you know very much you really do know more than you think you do, and it pays to stand up to a bully.
I do give a rat’s ass about this story, in fact, I’d give five of them! Good job!
Sizzle: Al Sirois has delivered a delightful tale which added some fun elements bringing about a chuckle to the reader. You won’t be disappointed.
Enjoyed this story, and its phraseology. The term “mousehole” made me laugh out loud. Kronkheit, the name alone tipped me off this would be some kind of time travel story.
Traveling through a sewer system seems like it couldn’t get any worse but that isn’t the case. Chit and Teeth, local rat brothers, find out Kronkheit the rat they have met in the sewer system is out to get their cousin to prevent the birth of Algernon, another experimental rat created as a result of mixing rat and human genes.
I loved the interaction between the two brothers. The rat named Teeth is inexplicably drawn to Kronkheit, and the other, Chit, is more aware of the shortfalls of following the large rat but together the brothers decide how to save their cousin after discovering Kronkheit can time travel with the aid of a device. The brothers try to trick Kronkheit, resulting in a fur turning white experience, and proving that time travel in the wrong hands can be dangerous to your health.
I loved the twist at the end which shows you that even if you are from the future and have opposable thumbs, it does not make you smarter than the average rat.
Eger is correct about the task given to two bumbling imbeciles. You would think that is the big conflict here but due to their attempts at trying to best the big rat, they have created an even angrier Kronkheit and will be left to deal with the aftermath.
The author ends this story on what could be a continuation of these vivid characters and an ongoing adventure, which I hope is the case. 5 Sizzles, and a slice of cheese.
Point and Counterpoint: Story Reviews by Sizzle and Eger – Where magic is pulled from a hat, and during the luck of the draw, your story could be chosen for a unique review. Keep in mind our goal: Levitating Stories and Those Who Write Them.