Jagdlied - Book Review

Book Review of :  Jagdlied


Jagdlied a Chamber Novel by Dolly Gray Landon (pen name for Gary Lloyd Noland) is a monumental 546-page farcical story evolving around the adventures of a spoiled Teenage entitlement princess named Melody. Landon’s work is a huge undertaking that consists of 240 fascicles with virtually everyone associated with a specific piece of music that is hosted on Youtube. Noland hopes that as you read the narrative in each fascicle, you would accompany it with the indicated musical piece he notes within the narrative. Noland also composed all of the music and masterfully performs the majority of it. Jihye Chang plays at least one of his compositions.

Melody’s adventures take place in the Pimpleton megalopolitan area. The tales of Melody’s adventure remind me of the Perils of Pauline on steroids -modernized, more exaggerated, highly extravagant, and decadent with a sadomasochistic twist.  There are scenes of spankings and even one of pounding nails into Melody’s wrist and ankles, “Thereupon, the he-woman forcefully hammered a second set of galvanized nails into Melody’s wrists and ankles (nails made out of hardened zinc that had been purchased, along with the industrial cleaning agents used to absterge our little butterfly’s dreck, at the Home Cheapo Outlet”

The book is also lavishly illustrated with drawings that have a sixties Haight-Ashbury summer of love feel to them. The drawings are rendered by Lon Gaylord Dylan who is also another pen name of Gary Noland.  He proves himself a master cartoonist that can create a tapestry of masterfully detailed and storytelling images with an astonishing diversity of style and creativity. There is a satirical edge to most of his drawings that profoundly help convey the harrowing, tragic, and juicy stories.  The book's inherent drama is expressed vividly in the multitude of graphics that show the characters with unique faces, attitudes, and emotions.  Some of these illustrations are very sexual in nature.

The book is full of villainous cut-throats who masquerade as Melody’s friends, but to her dismay, they are not. It contains many comic scenes and eccentric personalities, which play an integral part in both the plot and the theme.

Much of the dialogue is copiously enriched with words that are inventions of Noland's. The vernacular often sounds and used in the fashion of what you would hear and experience at a renaissance festival, words such as Forsooth, albeit, fick-facts, fancies, aforetold , thee , whilst, thuswise , etc.  He also peppers his work with words that are of his invention such as kazzardly beserkumstances, snubsequently, stupinion, prezactly or eavestroopers. And there is also a smattering of German sounding words that are also used throughout the book. An example of the vernacular used is: 

Caught with her pantalettes down (if the eavestroopers would kindly excuse this author his application of said turn of phrase for lack of anything more meet that comes to mind),  Melody felt a pair of iron feelers grasping her shoulders from the rear, whereupon she was stiffly escorted (against her conscious will) square back to front and middle of the clustering circle of scrutators that had, in the speentime, formed a perilously tight and pulsing coagulation of touchy-feely (and by no means unwayward)  grappling hooks and muck-forks all about her.

Jagdlied, a Chamber Novel, has a colorful cast of characters consisting of eccentrics, beautiful damsels, the unsophisticated and everything in between. There are sexual fantasies of all types woven into the novel.  Noland’s narrative sweep is so great and so strange that it lends itself readily to graphic depictions and to the musical accompaniment. His work is masterful, stylistic and complex. This is a huge book, but it is uniquely entertaining and truly worth experiencing.

About Gary Noland


Gary Lloyd Noland (AKA Dolly Gray Landon & Lon Gaylord Dylan) grew up in a crowded house shared by ten people on a plot of land three blocks south of UC Berkeley known as People's Park, which has distinguished itself as a site of civic unrest since the late 1960s. As an adolescent, Gary lived for a time in Salzburg and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where he absorbed many musical influences. Having studied with a long roster of acclaimed composers and musicians, he earned his Bachelor's in music from UC Berkeley in 1979, continued studies at the Boston Conservatory, and transferred to Harvard University, where he added to his credits a Masters and a PhD in Music Composition in 1989. Gary's catalogue consists of hundreds of works, which include piano, vocal, chamber, experimental, and electronic pieces; full-length plays in verse, "chamber novels," and other text pieces; as well as graphically notated scores. His "39 Variations on an Original Theme in F Major" for solo piano (Op. 98) is, at two hours duration (give or take), one of the most challenging (not to say voluminous) sets of piano variations in the history of the genre. His compositions have been performed and broadcast (including on NPR) in many locations throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia. He founded the Seventh Species concert series in San Francisco in 1990 and has, since, produced multiple concerts of contemporary classical music on the West Coast. Gary is also a founding member of Cascadia Composers, one of the premier composer collectives on the West Coast. Gary has taught music at Harvard and the University of Oregon. His musical scores are available from J.W. Pepper, RGM, Sheet Music Plus, and Freeland Publications. Six CDs of his compositions are available on the North Pacific Music label at: www.northpacificmusic.com. He has over 300 videos of his music and narratives available for listening on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJt_eNyJqOZBErG9McQ51nA and https://www.youtube.com/user/Geltschmerz and on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/user25315384. Other miscellaneous videos of his music can be found in various corners of the Internet. To read more about Gary Lloyd Noland, go visit his not-updated-in-nine-years-though-in-high-hopes-of-doing-so-in-the-not-too-distant-future website at: www.garynolandcomposer.com.

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