Book Jacket


rank 118
word count 56254
date submitted 03.06.2010
date updated 22.01.2011
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, ...
classification: universal

The Freel of Streel

Ian Kraft

John winds up in the backwards, illogical land of Streel through which he must journey to battle the Freel that rules the land.


A con man in the midst of a failed swindle is forced to sleep in one of the townsfolk's houses next to a wine cellar. He wakes up in the land of Streel, where the Freel has rule. As he journeys through Streel to fight the Freel, led by a talking prairie dog, a scribe with two left arms and an outcast fox who changes his name constantly, he is introduced to the formalized (although infrequently used) language of Streel known as Romsportalfretag. His journey continues and he must overcome losing one of his dimensions, escaping lexically picky ants, people who speak with audibly multiple punctuation, the studious, armless Mister Arveltras, and spending time on the strangely diverse streets of the town of the Gredules, all while searching for the love of a woman that he has seen in a way that feels right to him. As John continues through Streel, he goes about inventing his own language and earning his armor and a sword with which to fight the Freel all whilst trying to understand his own mind and earn the love of a woman that he meets in the strange land.

rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login



action, adventure, beast, christ figure, conman, crazy, creative, creatures, dream, dream-like, fantasy, fiction, interpretive, language, languages, l...

on 149 watchlists



To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
KarlV wrote 1331 days ago

A complicated piece of writing that demonstrates how skilled the writer is. The sentences are like sections of a painting, carefully constructed and very effective. While not my genre of story, this found a way of holding onto me, which is the most important thing in writing.

Iberian Bird wrote 1357 days ago

WOW.... what a fantastic and unusual imagination you have! This is simply a brilliant piece of work... completely original in every way. I am surprised you haven't got an agent already. I would think it won't take long for you to find one with talent like this.
Good luck, Ian.
Backed, with absolute pleasure.
Best wishes
Suzy (Raven)

Deseaux wrote 1359 days ago

In the right hands, literature can transcend storytelling and become art. So it is with the Freel of Streel. Something uniquely between “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the stories’ parts slowly coalesce and begin to take shape, much like an abstract painting. And like those painters, Ian does not always paint his narrative with the clear, short prose of linear story telling. Rather, his images challenge the imagination and deliver their message in circuitous fashion. Take for instance the sentient, talking arm that lectures our protagonist (John) after he calls it Mr. Arm instead of by its proper name, musing that putting mr in front of a word does not make it a name. A cautionary note; like all art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some will love this, and others will not. For my part, I found it intriguing and refreshingly original. What I especially liked was the circuitous manner in which Ian provides poignant lessons. It is one thing to tell someone something that they may soon forget. But when the lesson is taught in an abstract manner that cause the mind to decipher it like a hidden message, the lesson becomes the property of the reader, which is to say, understood and internalized.


Light Between Shadows wrote 1382 days ago

Flawless writing - very impressive. And a wonderfully told, smart tale. I love that the con man is getting conned. Reminds me of Garcia Marquez - magical realism. I often feel like Ms. Negative dishing out critiques to fellow writers on this site but I have nothing else to say here but that I love this.

MillieC wrote 1382 days ago

Hey Ian,
And so welcome to another lover of words, a lexiconographer recognises one's own!
'Freel of Streel' a sure sign of a playful mind, and then BAM!, the first paragraph, such banter, such fun! I am in awe, I may have changed the relish for reggae reggae sauce (of Dragon's Den fame) but then it would not have rhymed, would it?
And so enters Mr Gareel.
I would laugh, but actually it all works. This is skillfully written.
I will return, I love the thought that a conman can be conned, a player played and am positive everything will come right in the end and our MC will become the hero, in spite of himself!
Love it, backed it
Millie x

Seringapatam wrote 413 days ago

Ian, This is a million miles away from what I would read but I have to say that I enjoyed it. The first thing that hit me is the way your writing belongs to this genre so that is really good. I noticed how you use the words to describe so well and the way you matched that with the pace of the book. Its that which I feel gets your readers so hooked into your book. I enjoyed this so much and wish you luck.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

Karen Collins wrote 588 days ago

I have started reading your book. Backing and rating very high for now. I will try to comment more when done with the reading.

Shelby Z. wrote 710 days ago

This story has a lot of mystery to it as you open it up.
There are a few things I would suggest fixing. A few of your sentences run on and I can't figure out what time you're trying to tell this story in. Is it modern or like other? It has no real time for the reader to grab the imagination of the setting.
Otherwise your descriptions are good and your story plot is perfectly creative.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

Rosalind Barden wrote 915 days ago

I'm watching your YouTube & I comes to me what your book reminds me of. The Little Prince. I hope you go far with this one. It's really different, in the best possible way.
Rosalind Barden

Rosalind Barden wrote 915 days ago

Wow, mind trip. And I understood it. This expands the consciousness to a whole new dimension. A crazy wild journey. Backed & then some. Good luck. (sorry I took so long to accept your friend invite - I've been in my own Streel for awhile)
Rosalind Barden
American Witch

Beatnuki wrote 950 days ago

From one chapter - one magnificent, twisting, writhing, engaging, utterly loquaciously beguiling chapter - I'm more than happy to put this book on my bookshelf... my first EVER bookshelf backing since joining the site not so long ago!

This has the potential to go far. I'd wax lyrical and sing praises more, but then that means I'm typing rather than reading the lovely thing, so I'll stop this now. Can't talk. Reading.

Sue50 wrote 991 days ago

I am happy to re-BACK your work! Hope you get a chance to take a look at Dark Side by CC Brown.

Laurence Howard wrote 1037 days ago

Masterly, majestic and mind blowing. This is quality. A damn good novel that must get published.
Backed with pleasure.
The Cross of Goa

Liam Jay Brown wrote 1050 days ago

This looks good, have w/l i and will read it in the next week :)

rashnae07 wrote 1101 days ago

I will have to agree with Karl. Talent, that is what you have and that is what I respect! I am glad to be reading this piece of art! It grabs you, it keeps your attention unlike so many works I have read. Continue the wonderful writing and I will continue to read.

Away To Freedom

VictoriaPendar wrote 1117 days ago

I still have so much to read here but I'm enjoying this so much that I backed it. I don't back most books that I read, but yours had me smiling. So hats off to you.

ivanawright wrote 1125 days ago

Wow! Very gripping and unique story. I proudly back this novel.

Tom Bye wrote 1128 days ago

Hello ian ' the freel of steel'
i was impressed with this book many months ago and backed accordingly. i had no doubt then that it will reach the top, and my mind had not changed after glancing at it again, it deserves the six stars i have given it ;
good luck
tom bye ' from hugs to kisses'

Cristy DeLange wrote 1146 days ago

An extrodonairy introduction,but I like it. You have a bulk of talent.

DirogEX wrote 1166 days ago

You have done well, Ian. you will have no problem getting to the ED in the upcoming months.

Kaimaparamban wrote 1210 days ago

Apart from the usual style of writing, you selected a particular way of creativity to make real. An experienced writer like you can be taken this kind of challenges.

Joy J. Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

Karen Eisenbrey wrote 1211 days ago


I took longer than I thought it would to get to this, but I was very pleased to sample a few chapters of this ambitious and imaginative work. Naming the horse "Sir Vantes" is a good hint as to what kind of trip we're on. This feels like Alice in Wonderland or Phantom Tollbooth territory, but not a kids' book. The hero is far from heroic at the outset, and the humor is pretty surreal and sophisticated. The convoluted language is mostly a lot of fun, and the way Streel operates is both dreamlike and hilarious.

My one big nitpick would be to watch the passive voice: "a verb is done by a noun", rather than "a noun verbs." It sounds like a small matter, but it tends to clunk and leads to wordiness that is not as fun.

Here are my comments on the first 3 chapters:

Ch 1
I was looking for a truth about life, but it seemed that I was, as a product of being me, the outside.
I can't make any sense of "I was the outside." Did you mean "on the outside" or something like that?

Ch 2
John relates that it is dark in the wine cellar. If this is so, how can he see the rainbow-colored bottle caps, or the odd round door, or the bottle opener? Did he take a light with him? It isn't clear.

"it's lock" should be "its lock"

Ch 3
"it's label" should be "its label"

"I did!! Said a voice. . . You want, "I did!!" said a voice. . .

you're small pocket You want "your" (By the way, I liked this bit a lot, where the "small pocket" turns out to be the ear.)

"it's eyes" should be "its eyes"

brlue stripes I'm sure you meant blue stripes.

Good luck with this project!

Karen Eisenbrey

Tom Bye wrote 1213 days ago

Hi Ian.
The Freel of streel'
Read the first 4 chapters, and found myself engrossed in the 'Conman's story'
Very original and descriptive writing that make it an enjoyable read.
backed with pleasure
Tom Bye' From Hugs To Kisses'
If you have time please look at mine thanks

J.S.Watts wrote 1222 days ago

This is a revisit under the new arrangements. This remains an intriguing work and less impenetrable than I recall from my previous read: either the language has been simplified or my brain has adjusted to fit - worrying thought. It remains a distinctive and original story, however.

I like the opening, the conman riding in to town to con its inhabitants and getting caught in a trap himself and then there is the surreal craziness of Streel itself. All good stuff. Stars allocated.


Wilma1 wrote 1240 days ago

Great imagery and an ingenious mind get us all hooked into you very good book. Its a pleasure to revist and refesh my memory of it and star it accordingly.
Knowing Liam Riley

RonParker wrote 1244 days ago

Hi Ian,

This is one of the better stories I have read on this site and I can see why it's doing so well in the ratings. I've only had time to read the first few chapters but I will be back for more when time permits.

There are a few minor things that need to be sorted out, though. First, and this is always a problem with first person stories, we need to know the name of the narrator. It isn't mentioned in any of the chapters I read. I know it's in your pitch, but that won't be part of the book.

Next, in chapter one, refering to Garbeel, the narrator says 'recalling that name from earlier', but it hasn't been mentioned earlier.

When he goes to see Gabreel, he ties up the horse. Does that mean it was left to run loos on his earlier visit to Agatha, and when he does finally have his meeting with Garbeel and then stays, he seems to completely neglect the horse as he he has not returned to it since he tied it up.

A very unusual concept. Good luck with it.


Ley-Line Controller wrote 1246 days ago

Good luck with smashwords
(if my first attempt of leaving a comment didn't work).

Ley-Line Controller wrote 1246 days ago

Good luck with smashwords.

Bobbee wrote 1252 days ago

I understand you are on the ED, and assume another backing won't assist you? If you need one, let me know.Yoiu book is great!
Kali's Daughters

celticwriter wrote 1256 days ago

Hi Ian, hope you're doing well. Just wanted to let you know I'll be re backing your book. Just trying to catch up with this new system.


Howard Matthews wrote 1258 days ago

It's an excellent idea and pitch. The pace is great as the story moves along from the first page. Absolutely no hesitation picking this up to read the whole thing.

Constructively: I know it is a stylistic piece and you will have strong views on every word.... I found some of the sentences where I would add commas - right before I knocked and her eyes, "right before I knoced, and her eyes"?

Also some passive voice in there - truth is that the heart that thinks too much... "truth is the heart that thinks too much"? Not to mention that the glass itself was mud splattered, "Not to mention the glass was mud splattered"

A published author told me to do 'find delete' on the word "that" from the whole novel. Then read it again and only put them back if the sense is lost...

Would the possessive of Sir Vantes be Sir Vantes's hooves?

All small points though

good luck

Heretics of Death

clutzattack wrote 1268 days ago

Your pitch definitely reflects the tone and style of the writing, but I wasn’t prepared for how surreal and eclectic it was actually going to be. Almost stopped reading at the second paragraph because it was nonsensical.

Clee, Freel, and Streel are very similar in spelling and are confusing me already. It’s clever how you rhyme with them, but differentiating freel from Freel just based on the capitalization is giving me headaches.

Even though I have not read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass, I would have to agree with the comments posted by others that this has a Wonderland or Mad Hatter tone to it.

Roman N Marek wrote 1285 days ago

I can’t decide whether I like this or not. It’s different, it’s clever, it’s well written. It’s like Lewis Carroll for grown-ups, bursting with highly imaginative ideas and imagery. Perhaps I admire it more than I like it; one surreal thing after another. But I didn’t give up on it and read it all ... so it must have something that held me! The best of luck with it.

psychenoxx wrote 1287 days ago

Wow. You had me hooked with the horse's name, and I'm jealous of this work here.

Backed, and read!

Regards~blah, blah, blah~

Freeman wrote 1294 days ago

Chapter 9
This is an interesting novel with plenty of new ideas. I was not sure how anyone could spend hundreds of days cutting down a tree and guessed this was some sort of dream world since there was no mention of sustenance during this time, then the thousands of numbers… a nightmare for sure. This is very Alice in Wonderland’ style.. It is well written and has good descriptions. Happy to back.

Life Bringer

CamilleClasse wrote 1298 days ago

Reading the pitch I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy this piece...but to my suprise it was amazing. You have an amazing grasp of the English language. Your writing is mature and strong, and your syntax and diction is flawless.
Good Luck
Camille Classe
Life (As Told by Camille)

Battle Knyght wrote 1298 days ago


paxie wrote 1324 days ago

He wakes up in the land of Streel, where the Freel has rule........The Freel from Steel, sounded a bit ‘Once Upon A Time’ to me.

I was looking for a truth about life, but it seemed that I was, as a product of being me, the outside. (read this out loud, what are you saying/?)

Is this it:-

I was looking for a truth about life, but I was, as a product of being me, an outsider.

Times were hard and so was the sky above me...(what does a hard sky look like?)

You use 'as' over often....

as I rolled onto the first dusty street and as I looked......
vis a vis
I rolled onto the first dusty street and looked.

I felt a strange, eerie bleakness in my heart if (the world was about to swell up from beneath me and inhale everything)...this conjures no imagery for me at all...I still don’t know how he feels....suffocating, overwhelmed, scared...just use the relative description and dump all the flowery prose.....

I looked into his big, brown eyes that gave off a glow of intelligence
Vis a vis
I stared at his intelligent brown eyes....

defense,” UK spell check.......defence

would flee to it and escape as the flee from something not to it.....

made more than a living doing it. .......made a good living...(say what you mean)

When I finally reached the door, with its deep, dark lines and dry exterior, I knocked at it several times and was almost instantaneously met by an old woman’s five-toothed smile.....(does this mean she answered the door, because if it does, then just say that).....

with a fake, salesman’s smile. .....this means nothing to have to describe it :- sinister smile, hardened look, etc

Why must you always...’begin’ to do something, why not just,,,,,do it...?

I began to speak with Sir Vantes,...I spoke with Sir Vantes

and began to make my way across the town..... I made my way across town.

I began to ponder how my fate......I pondered my fate

I began to approach the door...I approached the door....

I looked at him perplexedly for a moment and began to wonder. ...... I looked at him perplexedly and wondered.....

Can you begin to die ? I think not, so why must your characters 'begin' to do everything....

You have a good premise and plot, and I had no problem with your dialogue...I would not have been so honest had you not asked, but I think you need to read this out loud, there is much here that could be chopped out.

Let me know if I have said anything you need me to explain more.

Best of luck with it.....I did enjoy the read.

Faybles wrote 1326 days ago

I stumbled on this accidentally, I like that, I didnt feel obliged to read; i wanted to read and I did.

This book, to me, doesnt make sense. The pitch and the short passageways at the front didnt make sense. It was awesome and refreshing to read something that really makes you think and you enjoying thinking about it. The sentances are so well constructed that they have to be admired.

Onto the story; good writing style, fluent and not jolty, I read like it was a story and that is a buying factor for me. I felt sorry for John, despite being a con man he only wants to sell guns and he winds up being dragged under a sea of trouble. He is likeable and believable which can be a hard feat.

No wonder its high up the chain, it deserves it place. I dont say this often but I'll come back to this. :@)


Strayer wrote 1327 days ago

It is unusual and sci fi readers will adore it. You have a whole world here and i di enjoyed reading about it.

acmlee wrote 1328 days ago

Just checked out the first few chapters of 'The Freel Of Streel' as promised. Must say that this isn't my usual choice of read but, that said, this looks like good work. Its a very vivid story, well constructed and well told with good dialogue and characters - well, the humans anyway! Backed.
Adrian Lee

Freddie Omm wrote 1329 days ago

the voice speaks in simple words to articulate complex and playful ideas.

sometimes the effect of this is one of compressed concision, sometimes charming, sometimes oddly germanic, or saxon, at any rate:

"i found that i had much more hopped than i wanted to."

the odders' rules have a quirky nonconsequentiality which is rather appealing. this is mixed with some truth, too, not entirely distinct from the sentiments expressed on greetings cards (incidenually, a series of surreal greetings cards would make a good tie-in for this book):

"love is not a choice, but something you choose to do."

lewis carroll meets heidegger, perhaps. you certainly have a voice and it is good to listen to.

backed and wishing you well with it.


S.C. Thompson wrote 1329 days ago

It's Charles Dodgson, right? Is that you, old boy? Is that you in there?
Gracious my, you've outdone yourself this time - poured a beaker full of fun-house-mirror relativity and semantic Escherism down the rabbit hole to add to the mix of clocks that tick backwards and Jabberwockys . . . it's a psychedelic modern incarnation of Through The Looking Glass; not an easy or even conceivable accomplishment, but Ian, I think you've done it. You have a nimble grasp of the paradoxical, and a way with words that serves your effort here to a T.
I'm simply amazed.

rab14 wrote 1329 days ago

I thought I'd backed this but I've read the first chapter and find I don't recognise it. It's a well-written story with an unusal theme and Title. A good example of Science Fiction/ fantasy novel - Good Luck K.J.

Mitch Kelly wrote 1329 days ago

Quirky & clever.... I think that's all that needs to be said.

Good work.

KarlV wrote 1331 days ago

A complicated piece of writing that demonstrates how skilled the writer is. The sentences are like sections of a painting, carefully constructed and very effective. While not my genre of story, this found a way of holding onto me, which is the most important thing in writing.

StaKC wrote 1333 days ago

Brilliant. If Lewis Carrol and Jonathan Swift had collaborated, it might have looked a bit like this, at least if you threw a little Douglas Adams in there too. Love your imagination and you style. This is awsome.

Kid A wrote 1333 days ago

This really is an acid trip. I backed this on the strength of your pitch and the strange title alone. I like your lilting use of language and your descriptions. I've read the first three Chapters, and so far so very Alice in Wonderland. This is a good thing. In direct comparison, I like the idea of a swindler with loose morals falling down the rabbit hole as opposed to a cookie-cutting sweetheart.
The only (slight) issue I have is that I think narrative is too verbose at times and not clear enough at others. Here's an example: John is talking to the Prairie Dog after waking up in Streel. During this time they discuss small pockets, punctuation, Freel and freel, being a (possibly trans dimensional) seamless sheet (again with the lovely language; this really could have come from Wonderland), the Clee being the key. Suddenly, John and the Prairie Dog come to a dense wood. Throughout all of your exposition you don't really touch upon whether they're just talking or walking. Were they moving? Or did the wood just appear before them? This might sound pedantic, but you've set such a high benchmark for yourself in other areas that I can't help but notice this.
In closing, this is like nothing I've ever read (in spite of the Wonderland comparison), and I wish you luck with it.

thebobster wrote 1333 days ago

A captivating tale that walks the line between reality and insanity. The word play was terrific and it was strange - there were times when I could basically understand the point of some monologue without really understanding every detail. It was a very strangely poignant book and I think it really deserves a look!

I wish you the best with this and hope it goes all the way!
Bob/ Rob/ Bobby/ Robby/ Robert/ Roberto/ whatever

Giulietta Maria wrote 1334 days ago

The writing is enchanting, and infused with poetry. I find your description mesmerising. The only comments I can think are to watch cliche's "Big brown eyes" made me jump out of the story- it's so overused, and your writing is so much better than that! Also, I didn't like "moment, a moment" (also in the first chapter) but I am just being picky now. A beautifully written work! Backed.

Stark Silvercoin wrote 1335 days ago

Author Ian Kraft is either a brilliant genius or a troubled madman. Perhaps a bit of both? The Freel of Steel is a book that is simply fun to read. The witty descriptions of this strange world are delightful. Its actually fun to read, a sort of Cat In The Hat for adults. Definitely this is different than anything else out there right now. And good too.

Jedah Mayberry wrote 1335 days ago

Happily backed. One minor comment. Back in chapter 1, you say "He wore an eye patch over both eyes." I think you mean to say over each eye or either eye. Otherwise, nice work.

Jedah Mayberry
- Slow Train Comin'

L.W. wrote 1335 days ago

Imaginative and original. Draws the reader in. Backed!

Matthew Munson wrote 1336 days ago

A very unusual book, but one which does intrigue me. I will be reading more to get "under the skin" of this strange land!

Ron Mitchell wrote 1336 days ago

What an imaginative tale. It has a compelling opening and draws the reader into the story. Best of luck with this book and your future writing. Thanks for any support for December Gold.