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The Dragon and The George [Mass Market Paperback]

Gordon R. Dickson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 1977
Through no fault of his own, the once human Jim Eckert had become a dragon. Unfortunately, his beloved Angie had remained human. But in this magical land anything could happen. To make matter worse, Angie had been taken prisoner by an evil dragon and was held captive in the impenetrable Loathly Tower. So in this land where humans were edible and beasts were magical--where spells worked and logic didn't--Jim Eckert had a big, strange problem.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc. (Feb 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345253612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345253613
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,579,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
At 10:30 a.m., sharp, James Eckert pulled up in front of Stoddard Hall on the Riveroak College campus, where Grottwold Weinar Hansen had his lab. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humour and Fantasy in a nice combination 5 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This rather early venture by Gordon R. Dickson in 1976 into the fantasy field has since been followed by a whole series on this theme, but this is the first and original. The story begins in a small town where Jim Eckert is waiting for a teaching assistanship, together with is girlfriend Angie. Rather rapidly, they are both transported into a medieaval world of talking wolves and dragons. In fact Jim is transported into the body of a dragon, Gorbash by name. The story rapidly turns into the usual fantasy trek towards the dark powers dominium... The characters are nicely conceived, if somewhat stereotypical today. The dialogue is always on an ironical, witty level, which makes you smile if not actually laugh outright. Had it been published today, it would presumably have been at least twice as long - and advertised as the first of a trilogy... Personally I believe that the characters and the storyworld will bear much more exploitation, so I am looking forward to reading the (at this time) 7 sequels! One thing that should be clarified, the Dragon Knight-series is of a totally different kind than Mr. Dicksons' other work such as the Dorsai/Childe Cycle series. It is more akin to a cross between Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), Raymond E. Feist (Riftwar) and Harry Harrison (Stainless Steel Rat).
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable if rather standard Fantasy Novel 10 July 2012
By Killie
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I was looking for books to read as part of a Year of Fantasy Classic Challenge I discovered the "The Dragon & The George". At first I wasn't sure about reading but as I was looking over the synopsis on Wikipedia I noticed that "The Flight of Dragons" which is one of my all time favourite movies as a child was actually based on the book. At that point there was no stopping me and I was off the mark to track down a copy.

The story is based around Jim Eckert, a regular guy living in the modern world who has become rather discontent with the life that he and his girlfriend, Angie are being forced to live in. However, when an experiment in astral projection goes wrong and Angie vanishes. Jim makes a quick decision and uses the same experimental machine to send himself after her into the unknown. What he discovers is that both he and Angie have been sent to an alternative medieval earth where magic abounds. Unfortunately for him, his transfer went slightly askew and he is trapped in the body of a dragon named Gorbash. When Angie is then kidnapped by the Dark Powers, Jim is forced to join forces with a range of characters including a wizard, wolf and knight in an attempt to rescue her and find a way to return them both home.

Now, those who have watched "The Flight of Dragons" you may have noticed that the above synopsis only sounds loosely similar to what occurred in the film and you would be right. About the only thing similar is that a 20th century man is sent to a historic fantasy novel and trapped in a dragon's body. Other than this, the only other similarities are in regards to the use of various character names and in regards to some of the evil creatures they are forced to fight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the Fantasy reader 7 Dec 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a wonderful tale that has a nice level of self awareness but not to the detriment of the narration. Non-fantasy readers should find enough real world grounding to enjoy it and fantasy genre readers should get enough subtle nods to the format to feel suitably smug. I originally brought the book because I found out it was one of the sources for the `Flight of Dragons' cartoon. After reading `The Dragon and the George' I wish they'd followed it closer. It far, far surpasses the cartoon. I shall now embark on the sequels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval Magic 9 Dec 2001
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jim Eckert is living in an ordinary modern world, waiting for Angie on a bright September morning while Grottwold is keeping her busy as his lab assistant. They are on the verge of proving astral projection is possible and believe they can set the spirit free to wander outside the body.

Jim's obvious discontent with the situation is overly apparent and when he has to wait for Angie again he becomes incensed and decides these delaying tactics have occurred for the last time. Just as Jim bursts into the room, Angie disappears from under a helmet-like hair dryer.

Unfortunately, Angie has apported in an experiment that should have only caused astral projection. Both Grottwold and Jim have absolutely no idea where she has taken off to, however it is revealed that she was concentrating on dragons. With a single heroic decision, Jim is thrust into a medieval world as he takes his seat to project his spirit in the same direction as Angie is thought to have gone.

As fate would have it, he forgets to think about Angie and ends up thinking about dragons. This lands him in the body of a dragon and his first thought of wanting to tear Grottwold to shreds brings him to the awareness of his less than human self. Jim awakens to the reality that he is now a talking dragon who everyone knows as Gorbash.

Overall, there is a subtle humor, which now and then catches you unawares. The conversational style changes at times and flows more into pictures painted with words so you really enter a medieval land filled with adventures and moments of brilliance.

Angie's character is not at all fully developed in this story and I am hoping she will evolve more fully in the rest of the series. Once she disappears, we learn very little about her and only know she is trapped in the Loathly Tower, a place of pure evil. Jim has to fight his chivalrous urges to save her immediately and fears she may be in mortal danger. When he meets up with a magician, he is told not to worry about her until he can find companions to help save her.

"Far ahead to the west, the sky was on fire with sunset. It lighted all the fens, the meres and the causeway with a red glow which lay bloodily on earth and grass and stunted trees; and it pooled just ahead, around a low hill, at a rise of a hundred feet or more above the seashore where, touched but uncolored by that same dying light there loomed over all, amongst great, tumbled boulders, the ruined, dark and shattered shell of a tower as black as jet." pg. 231, a description of the Loathly Tower

Gordon Dickson presents each character so you are very aware of their presence in the story and then once they have your heart, he puts them in mortal danger one after the other. Each character (besides Angie) has such a personality, you can literally hear their voice. Aragh the English wolf is so very independent and yet he ends up proving that beneath the growl and bite, there is a much more caring creature just waiting for the opportunity to show his ultimate loyalty.

The romance is mild and is far from the main point of the story. If you are enchanted with the thought of what it would be like to be a dragon and fly above a medieval landscape, this will be less of a consideration. At some points in the plot, Jim/Gorbash looses his focus and just seems to enjoy being a dragon.

There is never a moment when you wish Jim would turn back into his human form. Glimpses of dragon life are interwoven with modern thought and a touch of philosophy in such a creative way, Jim is never fully an animal and yet never fully human. He takes on the best of both worlds and approaches each challenge in a thoughtful manner.

Thank you to my favorite dragon person for
sending me this exciting gift. It was an enthralling
cerebral retreat!

Onward to The Dragon Knight.

~The Rebecca Review
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction meets Sword and Sorcery 29 Jun 2000
By George R Dekle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many sword-and sorcery writers use a formula plot which goes something like this: 1. Hero languishes in a mundane workaday world. 2. Hero, by magic or science, is fantastically transported to a wondrous world where magic works. 3. Hero encounters strange situations and remarkable characters. 4. Hero embarks on quest, rescues the damsel-in-distress, defeats the forces of evil, and saves humanity. One example of this formula is DeCamp and Pratt's "Incomplete Enchanter" series.
"The Dragon and the George" follows this formula to a T, but the result is one of the best examples of the type. One nice touch is that the magic in this new world is treated in a most non-mystical way: It must follow laws as strict as the laws of physics, and it can never run afoul of the Accounting Department.
Dickson uses this vehicle to explore the nature of courage, friendship, and loyalty, and each of the protagonists displays these attributes in varying degrees and varying ways. To save his friends, Aragh faces the hordes of sandmirks alone and with two broken legs. Weak and cowardly Secoh screws his courage to the sticking point to help the crippled Smrgol face the powerful young Bryagh. Dafydd the archer calmly assumes the near-impossible task of shooting down a horde of harpies. Jim Eckert recovers from the blue funk induced by a near-death experience to lead his friends into the almost certainly fatal final battle.
Dickson writes a story in which the most fantastical of characters seem as real as your next door neighbor, and you come to really care about them. Dickson brings new life to a tired old scifi formula and tells a fine swashbuckling story in the process.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jim Eckert, Baron de Bois de Malencontri et Riveroak 4 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ah, yes. Just the name, "Jim Eckert" brings back whole fleets of nostalgic memories. I first read The Dragon and the George way back when, when my dear father bought me the entire set, in hardback. It must have set him back a bundle, but I could see that he knew I enjoyed it. As I was perusing the archives of Amazon.com, then, I called up those abovementioned nostalgic memories and just had to write a review up. If you read just one more book this year, make it The Dragon and the George. If you read seven or eight more, make it the entire series! Gordon Dickson is, without a doubt, the most enticing fantasy writer I have ever had the privelige to read the work of. His research is impeccable, which is a rare thing in fantasy writers---authors, I should say---and the way he spins the fabric of the story is a true mark of a Master in his trade.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaged couple are thrust into a magical medieval world. 22 Oct 1997
By Alan T. Haley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book because I had already read "The Dragon at War" (not knowing that there were any others in the series), so it was kind of neat to see how Jim (the main character) meets each of his companions. Each of the characters has his or her own little personality quirks, making them all stand apart from one another.
One thing that I really didn't like about this book was that the very beginning, when Jim and Angie are in the 20th century, seems rushed. This is probably because this part of the story has very little bearing on the rest (and is less interesting), but it was enough to notice.
I have the next book in the series, "The Dragon Knight" and can't wait to get into it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE 27 Feb 2001
By kaitlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The dragon and the george allows the reader to get "into" the book its self, and the become the character! Jim, goes after he beloved wife (soon to be) after she is thrown into another world, the world where dragons rome, and logic is the last thing that would make sence. He is forced (by natural dragon instinct) to eat like a dragon and act like a dragon. But how long would he have to be one!?! Well If it's for angie he would do anything! But how would he get both he, and Angie back the earth together? he wasn't sure, he knew how to get Angie back but not himself! If you want to know more about The Dragon and the George purchace it here...!
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