Molly's Reviews

Toe TagsToe Tags & TNT
Rolland Love
Dog Days Publishing Co

Entertaining Read Highly Recommended

"I wished I had a video camera to film our little group of social rejects. I thought Randall and I had had reached the pinnacle of weirdness in traveling companions with the trio of Harley, Moon Love and Long Dog. But I was wrong. Anyone who looked like Ms. Shadow, lived out of a 1958 Edsel parked in a rest area, fell in love at first sight with a snaggle toothed, scraggly looking escaped convict and agreed to climb onboard a big rig with a bunch of strangers and a disease ridden dog definitely won the contest."

Two weary engineers Mark and his childhood friend Randall are heading home for Mark's wedding. After stopping for a bite to eat in a 'greasy spoon' the pair come in contact with an assortment of some of the funniest, seediest characters ever penned. Harley a camel smoking ex-marine is determined to get even with someone, and he isn't real choosy just who that might be. Before long the RV Mar and Randall are piloting east is filling up. Mangy Long Dog is added to the assortment of scrufty humans before the unlikely group meet up with a woman with the CB handle 'Little B.'

Dr. Pollen does his best to explain the incredible transformation of a well known academic into ex-con Harley.

This is not the first of Rolland Hand's books that I have reviewed. Each one I declare to be my favorite as I am reading and this was no exception. In his offering "Toe Tags & TNT" Writer Rolland Hand has produced another in his Mark Twain type fun romps filled with captivating players and marvelous detail. The scene is set from the outset when we meet the weary, bickering twosome of old friends and is carried on through out the narrative to the
end.

From the argumentative childhood buddies to the psoriatic obsessed Harley each of Hand's characters are caricatures of what we all suspect may be out there just beyond the bend. The various folks introduced to the reader are funny to the max and nicely fleshed out. Hands eye for peculiarity is put to good use as he describes the settings, people and minute details filling
his entertaining work.

The quote at the beginning of the review offers a taste of writer Hand's unique talent.

Entertaining read as perfect for a lazy summer afternoon spent in the porch swing as bees are buzzing nearby, as it is for a cold winter's evening when the reader sits wrapped in a quilt with book in hand before a roaring fireplace.

The Blue Hole
Rolland Love
Crossroads

Highly recommended

Strange happenings are taking place in the Ozarks. Doc Barnes and his hound Lucky are missing, The Conner Brothers are strange beyond belief and frightening as heck to kids in the area, and Buzzard Thompson has sure enough killed his whole family with a shotgun. Fifteen year old Tommy Benson is determined to face down his fears by going camping with younger brother Dub down at Blue Hole. Blue Hole is where Tommy got bitten last year, 1949, by two cottonmouths when he and Pa and Uncle Ira were camping there. Dub is a real pain in the neck of a 12 year old brother. Tommy and Dub run into the Conner Brothers, manage to locate both Buzzard and Doc Barnes and find Lucky tied to belt of the drowned body of the corpse stuck down in Blue Hole before their frightening campout comes to an end.

Think Mark Twain and a whole lot of Southern humor a la Lewis Grizzard and you have The Blue Hole. Rolland Love has really captured the flavor of 'two not quite adult' brothers out for a campout and the scare of their lives. Reminds me of my own two kids at this age. The Blue Hole is a fast paced, page flipper of a read. Writer Love captures the interest of the reader right from the start, and while this book is listed as Young Adult, it is a 'not to be missed' by those who savored and continue to savor every moment with Tom and Huck and Grizzard's Catfish!

Writer Love fills his pages with engaging characters, absorbing situations and enough mystery and inexplicable to keep the reader engaged. Tommy's worry about finding family friend Doc Barnes is touching. Dub's stumble foot behavior is something every parent who has housed a twelve year old knows and loves. Writer Love has really captured the essence of both striplings as he weaves his tale of two youngsters who know they must rely upon themselves when they are confronted with fearful situations and frightening people. The boys' behavior, reactions and ultimate decisions are so very typical of kids this age.
Excellent Read!

 

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2005 by Molly Martin