Molly's Reviews

 Bob the Dragon Slayer
Bob the Dragon Slayer
Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.

Entertaining Read ... Recommended ... 4 stars

The adventure begins long ago in a place far away when orphaned, supposed, peasant boy Bob sets off to locate a fearsome dragon terrorizing a village. Bob had been roaming about, doing odd jobs and hoping for handouts. As Bob crawled forward intent upon his quest to see the dragon albeit from a safe distance a voice sounded. "I can grant you power to slay to slay the dragon …" Thus Bob and Stephen, a new graduate of wizard school AND perhaps cousin of Merlin of yore, who appears only to Bob and when no one else is about, begin an adventure. Before long Bob and Stephen find themselves slaying fiery dragons, searching for damsels in distress, outfitting Bob in armor, rescuing Lady Katharine, and embroiled in a battle. Castles, an evil king, lawyers, fair ladies, lofty knights and a reneged reward all help to propel the narrative forward to an agreeable conclusion. And even lawyers step in to assure that Bob is given his just and promised reward. Damsels in Distress who refuse Bob’s help because he is not an official knight are a bit of set back for Bob. On the other hand, a sword named Bruce, talking Ravens and trusty mount Spot and advice about how to go about killing dragons figure prominently as Bob and his exploits become well know throughout the land. Bob sets out to not only gain fame as the slayer of dragons, but to also lobby for the righteous treatment of the poor and downtrodden. A ring Bob has carried in his pocket will prove to be a surprise to the evil king ruling the land with an iron fist.

If you enjoy insouciant and indubitably engaging, then ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ is the book for you.

Author Gilleland had composed a zany yarn filled with all the usual suspects for the telling of an old-time legend type narrative : there are an orphan boy on a quest, fiery dragons, a meddlesome wizard, cavalier knights, fair ladies, evil kings, civil strife, true love and a true friendship . The writer’s handling of Bob's maturation as the lad attains an understanding of the challenges facing him is excellent. As an added bonus is Bob’s reliance as he learns to depend on and draw strength from his friends, Willie and Kate. Playful raillery scattered throughout the story adds to the flavor. There's just enough humor to make ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ a pleasure to read, but not so much as to overpower the underlying virtue issues of devotion, integrity, brotherhood, and obligation.

The narrative of ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ is an uncomplicated telling of inevitability, hope, and devotion. Writer Gilleland does not try to encumber the anecdote with unnecessary details or peculiarities. Neither does Gilleland make the yarn pretend to be more than it is; a short and focused theme of right will prevail by centering on Bob much of the time. The story flows, the reader remains focused and doesn't get distracted.

Audacity, renown, duplicity: This frolicsome anecdote is just plain fun to read. Composed with drollery and witticism, ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ will entrance readers venerable and adolescent alike. Sprinkled with whimsical colloquy and delightfully goofy characters ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ is sure to tickle the fancy of those searching for a good, fun read.

Not for everyone; some sexual innuendo causes the book to not be suitable for younger middle grade readers. I found the sexual references especially unnerving since the book opens with a grandfather gathering the ‘youngins’ to tell them a tale and then find him babbling about things best left to another time and place.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend. Good book for an afternoon read.

Gilleland Poetry : Storoems and PoemsGilleland Poetry : Storoems and Poems
Harry E Gilleland Jr

Enticing Read ...Highly Recommended ... 5 stars

"Gilleland Poetry : Storoems and Poems" consists of 195 pages of poems and storoems. Storoems are explained by the poet : -I am a 60-year-old Southerner, now living in Louisiana, who is a retired scientist with a passion for writing poetry. I write mostly 'storoems', which are hybrid story-poems. - I read through the Table of Contents to locate especial pieces to read: of particular interest were several works entitled ‘Wandering Warrior’ ( II, III and so forth) a storoem detailing the adventures of a wanderer who comes to a valley menaced by a fearsome foe. ‘Wandering Thoughts Gleaned Walking My Dogs,’ ‘Cats and Dogs,’ ‘In Memory of Coco, A Red Dachshund,’ and ‘On Armadillos,’ all caught the eye of this animal enthusiast. ‘An Idea To Die For’ is a verse composition extolling the Freedom we cherish while ‘America’s Indians and Hitler’ leave the reader with an unsettling realization of the antithesis of that Freedom. ‘Rick and Mick’ and ‘A Visit With Grandma’ offer two succinct, poignant reads portraying the reality of life. ‘Old Blue’ is poem beginning ‘When I was a lad of ten, my great granddad once told me a tale that left me out of breath.’ The composition goes on to bring the reader to tears with ‘a tale of love, of danger, with an end that’s sad, about a boy, his dog, and a savage death’ as we read of a boy and his dog and the dog’s faithful, boundless love.

Poet Gilleland includes an ethereal Haiku entitled ‘Spring Rains,’ along with a touching, poignant work detailing how love sometimes causes us to do what we would not. ‘Alfred Must Die’ will leave the reader saddened. ‘Granddad Did His Best’ touches on the bond of familial love that transcends time and space. Beginning –My Linda, my darling wife, my soul mate … ‘For Linda’ is a loving tribute to a wife offered by her husband of many years. Poet Gilleland ends his loving tribute with these words –You make my life worth the living, cause my heart to soar. Sweet Linda, I’ll love you today, tomorrow … forevermore.’

Within the covers of "Gilleland Poetry : Storoems and Poems" lyrist Gilleland offers the reader a wide variety of style, subject and feelings to fit any reader want or need. I enjoyed the wide variety of themes from the heartfelt to thoughtful, tribute to merry. There is truly something for everyone, and something for every occasion included in the work. "Gilleland Poetry : Storoems and Poems" is one man’s life’s journey presented in thought and notion through his insights, notions, understandings and words.

Poems are not grouped by subjects, rather the table of contents is used to stimulate readers toward searching for engaging titles and subject matter. That poet Gilleland loves and understands words, their flow and meaning is obvious. His works are filled with meaning, feeling and charm without sounding stilted or ‘poetsy.’ "Gilleland Poetry : Storoems and Poems" is an excellent addition to the home reader pleasure library, the school library as required reading for students and for the home school curriculum to be used for introducing young people to interesting, worthwhile poetry.

"Gilleland Poetry : Storoems and Poems" is a volume to be reached for often. It is as an excellent a choice for a lazy afternoon spent sitting on the porch, swinging, reading while sipping lemonade as it is for a cold wintry evening spent before a cozy fire with a good hot cup of chocolate.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.




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© 2006 by Molly Martin