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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Jagdlied by Dolly Gray Landon is a multifaceted novel about a wealthy heiress, socialite, and trust-fund diamond-digger debutante named Melody. Intending for Jagdlied to be acted out and enjoyed with the accompanying illustrations and musical scores, Landon's alter egos - Gary Lloyd Noland and Lon Gaylord Dylan – contributed to Landon's satirical and (aptly) self-described “chamber novel” with symphonic compositions and comic-strip style images. Throughout, Landon writes a narrative that follows Melody, the protagonist and anti-heroine, as she navigates everything from business to broken hearts, and courtrooms to carnivals.
In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to state that I used a text-to-speech feature and had Jagdlied read to me so I might take in this book the way that Dolly Gray Landon intended, and follow along with the illustrations. The links to the author's original music compositions on YouTube are also provided and having the narrative read to me made the scores easy to play on cue. My personal favorite song was Mumbo Gumbo (Op. 71, No. 1), which gave me the biggest smile ever with a Ragtime meets Flight of the Bumblebee rhythm. Jagdlied is everything it sets out to be and the creative genius of Landon is delivered at full throttle. In short: I loved this book. It's a wholly unique concept but I was able to grasp it easily and look forward to any opportunity to act this out with my most open-minded friends; those who have the same scruples as myself...which is none. No scruples, whatsoever. Highly recommended!