A Friend of King Neptune

A Friend of King Neptune…A Brief Synopsis

1991 ST LOUIS — Leo Kraszewski aka Dingus has come to visit his old army pal, Francis Lenihan, now a busy process server. It’s been 18 years but Dingus is still the same—impulsive, foolish, quick with a wisecrack, uncouth yet worldly.

Dingus leans on Francis to accompany him to Southern Illinois, the town of Bunting, where spoils from World War II—the Speer Collection—may lie hidden in a peculiar private museum. Francis declines and soon, after causing trouble in Francis’ ribald world, Dingus finds himself hitchhiking in the Illinois cornfields—an odyssey which has him nearly sucked into a tornado, having to deal with a suicidal Indian, a malevolent sheriff’s deputy, and a crew of wastrels who inhabit an old general store.

The story has legs as Dingus aka Hercules is given a task by Anselm, the museum’s curator and a stand-in for King Eurystheus of yore, to retrieve a stolen historical artifact. Dingus does Anselm’s bidding, at a dear price, and of course it’s never enough. Meanwhile Dingus’ court date for cannabis distribution looms. Will Francis wrangle a lawyer for his penniless friend? Will Dingus sort through various confusing clues and get his mitts on the treasure? And more importantly, when will he stop itching?

An eclectic cast of characters join in—a high school detective, the next Nancy Drew; a raffish voodooist; a scholarly recluse whose solitude is rudely interrupted, a bawdy masseuse, an angry rapper and his entourage, and the beer-soaked regulars at Murphy’s Tavern in Dogtown St. Louis. The usual suspects in an unusual story.

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A Friend of King Neptune

A Friend of King Neptune by Wm. Stage

Book Reviewed by Rahul Gaur

A Friend of King Neptune by Wm. Stage” is a story that revolves around the experiences of Francis and Dingus’s journey and their encounters with different people. Despite the unique plot, the story captures various aspects of the duo’s work life, friendship, and personal lives, making the characters relatable and memorable. Along the way, Dingus encounters several eccentric characters, including a suicidal Indian, a wicked sheriff’s deputy, and a crew of offbeat characters who inhabit an old general store. The interactions between the characters add depth to the stories, and the well-developed plot and well-paced story keep the readers engaged. The discovery of the treasure incited a series of comical deliberations among the group, including proposals to sell it for monetary gain, donate it for charitable purposes, and even consider its destruction, all of which I found amusing.  Purchase Here.

Although the book becomes mundane somewhere in the middle, Stage’s ability to infuse humor into even the most ordinary moments is truly remarkable. One of the strengths of the book is its ability to convey the strong bond between Francis and Dingus. Their friendship is the backbone of the stories, and the banter and camaraderie between them add humor and warmth to the tales. The story highlights the value of long-lasting friendships and the unique perspective that comes with experience. It implies that the author of the book has a deep understanding of the complexities of human relationships and the importance of maintaining strong connections over time.

Wm. Stage’s writing is witty, with clever dialogue and quirky characters that keep the reader engaged from start to finish. The author’s writing style is descriptive and engaging. The dialogue between the characters is so well-crafted that it immerses the reader in the scene, providing a vivid and realistic portrayal of the characters’ interactions. If you’re looking for a lighthearted and humorous adventure, look no further than this gem of a book.