Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem that you might miss at your own risk!, 14 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Royal Factor (Kindle Edition)
The story in The Royal Factor is implausible, far-fetched and unlikely - if you hold a naive, rigid mindset towards politics and society that is. For the rest of us who might be a little more sceptical and worldly-wise, a lot of what goes on along the way does not seem that improbable.

The British Prime Minister is in trouble and needs a boost to his popularity. The usual short-term strategies (a.k.a. tricks) have not worked so a madcap scheme is launched to try and get rid of the Queen and the Royal Family, replacing them with an “Alternative Royal Family”. The method? That ultimate test of democracy in 2010s Britain - the telephone vote and a TV talent show.

What could possibly go wrong...?

Despite knowing that you are reading a work of fiction, your mind is being messed with as you recognise (or for the benefit of any libel lawyers you THINK you recognise) many “real life” characters along the way. Lots of bits of information appear to jump into place, adding to the overall credibility of the story and the leading characters. In keeping with other works of political comedy and satire, the grand master plan of the chief character tends to explode and fail to miss its target, leading to a bit of back-peddling and trying to revert to the status quo without anybody noticing that a major “cock up” has happened. Or should that be a major, strategic realignment has taken place to err, replace the previous major strategic realignment?

This is a book that you might not want to read with a glass of wine or similar beverage in hand. Suddenly and without warning you might expel liquids through your nose or start shaking with laughter. Balancing an iPad or Kindle in one hand and a glass of wine that is trying to jump out in the other whilst your body is shaking with laughter is a very difficult thing to do, as this reviewer can attest. Also don’t read this book whilst commuting as you WILL get many strange looks as you sit chuckling and snorting to yourself. Even “clarifying” to your seat neighbour that “they” are replacing the Queen by a telephone vote might get some worried passengers calling for medical help on your behalf.

Before reading this book, one was sceptical to its overall concept and storyline, after all there are plenty of fiction books that promise a wild story and subsequently fall squarely on their backside, whether due to poor writing, structure or just the concept/plot. No such worries here. If you have an open mind and at least a bit of scepticism to life then you are sorted - this will be a very interesting, humorous diversion of your time.

There are a few small errors in the book and at times it feels like an editor’s red pencil might have been necessary to tighten up things a little but it is important to remember that this is a self-published book and a damn good one at that. Many books from traditional publishing companies are far from being fault-free and many more pairs of hands and eyes have been fiddling with the text. After reading the book you’ll struggle to remember what those “little errors” were as this reviewer notes himself when trying to recollect them! It is a double-edged sword. If the book wasn’t so engaging one wouldn’t have read it so closely and thus noticed any small issues.

The author wrote most of this book during his daily commute and no doubt some of the people he has mixed with through his job in “public relations” has helped enrich a character or two. Eckhoff might be closer to the levers of power than what many may appreciate - keep that in the back of your mind as you read.

What else is there to say? For less than two pounds you are going to get an evening or more’s entertainment. A great, refreshing read and something that shows that not all self-published books are inferior as a “large publisher” has turned them down. If only more self-published books were like this!

The author has managed to leave a gap for further books featuring the same Prime Minister, whether in office, in opposition or in jail. Many books selling for ten times this price, albeit with a “name” behind it, could only dream of being this engaging and providing such an addictive read. A second book is currently being authored by Eckhoff and he has set a high standard to prove that he isn’t a one-hit-wonder.
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I. Darren
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