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Eldot, a nom de plume, is a simple cipher: the author’s first initial, followed by a period, spelled phonetically [ L. = Eldot ] Why? Two reasons: in 2011, when his first novel was published, the subject matter was more sensitive and controversial than it is today. The concern was that one or more “conservative” groups might choose to make a fuss about the content. Lest relatives, friends or former colleagues be inconvenienced or victimized, the nom de plume was adopted to serve as a shield. Secondly, the author didn’t want opportunistic individuals in the media to distort what the book was seeking to achieve. In fact, media treatment of the subject was the major motivation to write Julian’s side of story in the first place.
Four years have gone by; the novels have been well received. All five print books have positive critical reviews. It makes sense to pull back the curtain and let the reader get a peek at the culprit. The potential for controversy still exists, but the extremist groups have lost their clout. It’s harder to be a pioneer nowadays: social media and the cell phone have changed the landscape; the Julian novels are not weakened, but made more topical than ever.
Eldot has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of his life. In order to dodge the draft and avoid the Viet Nam war, he took an occupational deferment to teach high school Drama and English. The interminable nature of the war and the draft lottery kept him in that occupation so long that he stayed there afterward, having been quite successful. Why change a good thing? The refuge had morphed into a career. He became a local and state leader in his profession. After thirty terrific years as an educator, he retired. Now he’s taken up writing. The novels are not autobiographical.
Leland Alan Hall
1960: Emperor Commodus Prompt Book: Use of Masks in Drama
[Honors Thesis, a translation from the Greek, housed at U of O Library]
2011: Little J and Roger [eBook only]
2012: Barr’s Meadow
The Poker Club
The Shooting Gallery
Thunder and Lightning
2013: The Champions
Inside Eldot’s World: a literary gazetteer [eBook only]
2015: You’re in High School Now
Additional information is available at http://www.diphra.com or http://www.littlejandroger.com
on Feb. 21, 2011 :
What a wonderful surprise this book is. I'm not sure what I expected, but this went way beyond whatever that was. The characters are so well drawn and engaging, I feel that I have known them all my life. The maps and index make it easy to keep everything clear. This way there is no bogging down the story with too much information.
As an erotic novel, I was expecting the first sex scene to come much earlier. I'm glad it didn't. It was much more believable and intense as a result. No pulp language gimmicks, either. Each erotic scene is carefully and lovingly constructed, and each is unique. That makes this book very hot where it counts.
The writing style is original. It is smooth, artful, yet simple. Nowhere did I feel that I'd read this before. I felt drawn into the scenes as if I had been there. It seems spontaneous, but it is cleverly and invisibly engineered. There is a lot of good humored fun, and surprises. The title itself is a rather daring joke.
I was sorry it was over, in a way. But the prospect of reading part two takes care of that. It's better to do that instead of having it too long. This way I get a break, and I really want to get started on the second volume. If the others are as good as this one, WOW.
This is not a pulp fiction throwaway. It's a quality work, one that I want my own print copy of. This is one of those I want to read again and again.
Two thumbs up, certainly. Five stars. Hurry up and release the second book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)