Tales From Gundarland

Fiction - Anthology
326 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2010
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boiling for Readers' Favorite

"Tales From Gundarland" is a science fiction satire. Hank Quense begins his anthology of short stories by introducing readers to the planet Gundar. Gundar was created during the Big Achoo. The planet seems fond of snot and sneezing. They even have snot festivals.

The second story is aptly named 'Romeo and Juliet'. As the title suggests, the story is about two lovers kept apart by family and social status. Dwarfs and Elves do not mix. Dwarfs may be short, but they are also smart.

Most of us have heard of Zorro. Quense brings us Zarro. In this rendition Zarro rides a donkey named Belinda.

Princess Gerhilde has been held captive for three weeks. Burga, a warrior cook, scales the castles` wall to rescue her. The ungrateful princess would rather be captive than face the embarrassment of being rescued by a peasant.

"Tales From Gundarland" could be called “Fractured Legends.” I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading this book. What I discovered was a lot of humor. I was caught up in the numerous short stories. The connecting thread is the planet Gundarland. The stories each reminded me of a traditional story. Quense has managed to re-tell them with more than a bit of satire. Often we take ourselves too seriously; Quense’ sense of humor forces us to laugh.

The stories are well written, easy to read and entertaining. I’ve read other books by Hank Quense and I believe this is his finest.

Fran Lewis

Fran Lewis's review as posted on Amazon: 5 stars

Welcome to Gundarland, a unique place filled with humans, dwarfs, Yuks, elves. Enter this world created by a god who sneezed. You read that right He sneezed with such force caused by snorting an overdose of His favorite recreational powder. Gundarland is the largest land mass of planet and you'll want to read this outstanding, hysterical, humorous, creative and wildly funny novel by author Hank Quense. Buy the book and you'll get your very own gold passport to visit this wonderful place.
Hank Quense is the master of humor, satire and hilarity in this great book filled with magic, wizards, humans, and many races and, of course, some zany characters that I hope he brings back in his next book.

Doc Finch

The Queen’s Hero turned out to be my favorite story. The plotting is intricate enough to catch and hold the reader’s attention, and with enough scope and detail to generate new interest at most every turn. The battle scenes in Part 4 are some of the best I’ve read since Agincourt [by Bernard Cornwell] no small feat. This story alone is worth the price of admission.

Jan Clark

Hank Quense is at it again. He’s sharpened up his satirical pen to let the hot air out of the greedy, the power-hungry, and maybe the rest of us. And therein lies a tale…or several. These action-packed, exciting adventures are laced with humor that will have you snickering, if not falling off your chair laughing.
What delicious fun.

Brian Knight

Tales from Gundarland is an action packed, comical roller coaster. This wonderfully developed land with its inhabitants is a refreshing get away from the world we live in. All of the multiple characters are both believable and unique which is a testament to the author’s talent.
Each of the eight short stories deliver a fresh, humorous spin on some of the classic tales such as Romeo and Juliet and Zorro; while poking fun at political greed and social aspects of life. Action and adventure keeps the pace moving at a steady pace; when combined with the humorous aspects the stories take on a vivid presence in the readers mind. The common denominator that holds them all together is Gundarland.

“Tales From Gundarland” delivers nonstop action and laughs with an intriguing pinch of romance. The unique stories, strong characters and multiple plots carry from story to story and page to page. This book is a must have for those seeking action, adventure and comedy bundled in short, deliberate stories.
Gundarland is sure to become one of your favorite places to visit after reading “Tales From Gundarland.”

Lynn Coyle

Tales from Gundarland is a magical escape into a world of quirky and colorful characters. The author, Hank Quense, writes satirical spin-offs from traditional tales and cleverly blurs the archaic gender stereotypes. Romeo the Ballet-Dancer, Burga the Warrior-Cook, and Gerhilde the Independent Princess are just a few examples of the author's innovative and humorous characters. Tales from Gundarland is filled with lots of laughs, adventure, & wit -Don't miss out - Buy your ticket to Gunderland today! (= :

Lois Henderson

This delightful collection of six short stories and two novellas is set in the mythical realm of Gundarland on a planet named Gundar, which, according to Quense, was named after “the omniscient god who accidentally created the universe with an explosive sneeze caused by snorting a larger-than-average dose of His favorite recreational powder.” As you can gather, this work is only for older kids and their insightful parents…

Gunderland itself is populated by such diverse races as “dwarfs, humans, elves, half-pints, yuks and a few lesser races…[that]…live cheek-by-jowl in many cases and get along with no more than the usual interracial hostility”. And, don’t worry, you definitely don’t have to be a geek to enjoy their adventures, despite two of the pieces in Tales from Gundarland being satires of two of the Great Bard’s (i.e. Shakespeare’s) most popular works: “Romeo & Juliet” and “Merchant of Venison” (a send-up of The Merchant of Venice). A few of the tales are under ten pages, while the others vary substantially in length. All of them, however, are side-splittingly funny, and, if you enjoy the writings of Terry Pratchett, you should enjoy these too. Quense’s irreverent take on the world of fantasy is most amusing, I find, when he describes the relationships between fellow characters and between man and beast. Mind you, the characterization of the yuks is also a key source of humor, and reminded me somewhat of the trolls in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Their poor grasp on the English language is most evident in the verbal spats between the yuk brothers, Rolf and Ralf. Quense promises to return to these two characters in other stories, as he likes them too much to ignore them.

In “Chasing Dreams”, a hilarious spoof on The Mask of Zorro, and a number of other westerns, the showdown at Okidoky Corral is accompanied by cheer-leading molls, who raise some dust linking arms and performing multiple high leg kicks. In fact, one might say that the women tend to be a feisty bunch throughout the tales, including one princess who refuses to be rescued from a tower by a Warrior-Cook, for fear that she will never be able to show her face at court again if she is saved by anyone other than a nobleman (“Boggerts Blue”). The pages teem with loads of swashbuckling adventure, both on land and sea, with heroes and villains aplenty—just don’t expect them to be archetypal!

Quense acknowledges the help that he received from an international group of critics known as the Critters, who helped him to shape the stories. Another group of writers who also provided input into the stories was drawn from as far away and as diverse locations as the Canary Islands, Greece, Britain and Ireland. Further details of the author are available on his website: http://hankquense.com, and you can follow his “antics, rants and occasional snippets of wisdom” on his blog: http://hankquense.com/blog. Tales from Gundarland is an enjoyable read, and thoroughly recommended as light relief from the more serious stuff.

Crazy Bookworm

The idea of this book was unique and creative. The book starts up with the introduction to "Gunderland". Planet Gunder was created accidentally by an omniscient god who sneezed after snorting his favourite recreational powder. The "effects" of the sneezing is what created their universe, Scientists called it "The Big Achoo". I haven't read anything like this before, it was refreshing to read takes on classic stories with a fun twist to them. My favourites were "Gunderland", "Romeo & Juliet" and "The Queens Hero."
I am glad I read this book because I did find most of it funny and entertaining. It is a great book to read in between book's or on the beach.0