by Gordon R. Dickson
The Dragon and the George is a fun, adventuresome fantasy. The hero, Jim Eckert, finds himself accidentally transported from modern times back into medieval history, where he is trapped in the body of a dragon and his girlfriend has been kidnapped by the bad guys. Of course he sets off to rescue her, collecting a motley group of companions in the process. Several of them he doesn't really want to have along at first, but they are very convincing (and stubborn) about being part of Jim's quest. Things go wrong with Jim's plans, but his new friends help him out and in the end they pitch themselves into a battle of good against evil. When it's all over Jim finally gets his human form back and has to decide if he wants to stay in this fantasy land or go back to his old life (where he had a boring job at a college).
Some of the things I really enjoyed about this book were the humor, how Jim experienced being a dragon (he had to struggle against the instincts of dragon nature, and learn to control the body) and the fact that the fantasy world had rules. As in Ariel, magic here worked by rules just like laws of nature, and Jim has to learn to understand them and work within them. There is also a bit of philosophy thrown in. One of my favorite scenes is where Jim and a knight companion have to battle some creatures that make gibberish noises to drive them crazy. Jim and his companion each had to find a mind-trick to keep their concentration and sanity: one used prayer, the other recited mathematics.
There are eight other books in Dickson's "Dragon Knight" series. I tried to read the second, The Dragon Knight, but got bored with it pretty quick, so although I really enjoyed The Dragon and the George (enough that I've read it several times) I'm not planning to continue with this series.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 244 pages, 1976