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Chasing the Dragon

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Centuries ago, St. George fought and killed a dragon or so the legend goes. The truth is somewhat different. George failed in his mission, and the Dragon still walks the Earth, protected by an undead army, hiding in the shadows and slaughtering men, women, and children for its prey. Each of George's descendants through time has been tasked with killing the Dragon, and each ...more
Paperback, 133 pages
Published March 15th 2010 by ChiZine Publications (first published January 1st 2009)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  198 ratings  ·  53 reviews


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Stephen
Not being sure what the acceptable macho equivalent is, please pardon me while I unleash a high-pitched squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and before I proceed to heap praise on this outstanding, very impressive novella by Nicholas Kaufmann. 5 big, enthusiastic and gush-filled stars.

Here are the details (aka the deets according to my daughters):

1. A modern retelling, reimagining continuation and expansion of the legend of St. George and the Dragon, complete with a secret history exposing that events did not t
...more
Liz* Fashionably Late
Simply brilliant.

The coolest dragon, the creepiest zombies ever, abussive drug dealers and a flawed heroine whose story is told in such a clever way is what you've got in this too-short novella and you won’t get enough of it.

Chasing the -metaphorical and actual- Dragon is a creepy, action-packed and guts-and-blood-on-the-floor story worth reading.
Nikki
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read a couple of friends' reviews of this, and downloaded a sample chapter, and it just sort of got under my skin -- the whole idea of it. It does something pretty original with the mythology it uses, with dragons and with zombies -- something I've certainly never seen before, anyway. It's a novella, but it got me as involved as if it were a full-length novel: I held my breath for much of the last two chapters.

It's full of guts 'n' gore, so descriptions of that kind of thing gross you out, the
...more
Eric
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of mythology, urban fantasy
Recommended to Eric by: Stephen
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Due to this book's length, it is hard to properly review it without revealing any spoilers. It's either a novelette or a novella (it's hard to tell which, as I can't hold my Kindle copy sideways and analyze the thickness properly), but I don't say this as a detraction, rather as an accolade. After reading so many fantasy authors who are wordy and/or endlessly serialize their books, reading a stand-alone work of this length with so much depth and detail is an incredible breath of fresh air. Also, ...more
Daniel
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Chasing the Dragon" is a fabulous and fantastic novella. Nicholas Kaufmann brings dragons and the modern world together with superb plotting and surprising brevity, answering all of the questions that arise from his premise--such as: how does a dragon rampage across modern America and escape notice? What connects the slayer to the dragon? How can the slayer hope to fulfill her quest? He conflates the traditional phrase "chasing the dragon" with modern metaphor, and steers this linguistic feat p ...more
Mike
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Chasing the Dragon is yet another fine bit of fiction released by the folks at Chizine Publications. This short novella features a modern twist on the heroic legend of St. George and the Dragon. The title character of Chasing the Dragon is Georgia Quincy, the latest and potentially last, in a long line of ancient dragon slayers stretching as far back as the Summerian Marduk (slayer of Tiamat) and including other such luminaries as Sigfried (slayer of Fafnir) and Thor (slayer of Jörmungandr), amo ...more
MB Taylor
Feb 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Finished reading Chasing the Dragon (2009) by Nicholas Kaufmann a couple of nights ago. It’s a novella packaged up as a short novel & it’s a pretty decent read. It’s the story of the current, of a long line, of George’s who fight Dragons. It seems a thousand years ago St. George didn’t really kill the dragon & it’s been wreaking havoc ever since.

Georgia, the current George and the first female dragonslayer, has some serious problems. Not only is the dragon destroying road side diners and
...more
Bracken
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tight and lean, this book is a good quick read. Because I was so invested in the main character, Georgia, I would have liked to have seen a couple of the themes involving her expanded upon (the dual meaning of the title and how dragon-chasing impacts Georgia, for example), but it works wonderfully as a novella. There's no filler or bogging down in ponderous garden paths here. This book is as direct and fast as a crash-test.
David
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dragonslaying heroin addicts
Recommended to David by: Stephen
This was a high-octane thriller well worth the quick read. A kick-ass heroine in the urban fantasy mold is the Chosen One destined to hunt dragons, or more precisely, one dragon, as she is the latest in a long line of dragonslayers. But our heroine has a few problems. PTSD. Heroin addiction. Homelessness. Basically, she's a mess.

This novella works fine at the length it is at; a full-length novel would have dragged on too long (though I was a little disappointed at the full-length-novel price for
...more
Benjamin Ethridge
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting take on a medieval tale that manages to include zombies, heroin and a dragon, which comes in many wicked forms. Not to put down the story or concept, because I really liked both, but Kaufmann seems too good of a writer for this action-driven material. I like the fantasy and action he incorporates in his work (General Slocum's Gold), although it would be interesting to see his handling of deeper emotional complications in the story, something he only touches here. It is a shorter writ ...more
Lynda
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Normally I groan at the trend to characterize books as "a cross between X and Y" but Chasing the Dragon is dragging this comparison out of me: a cross between Supernatural and the metaphorical drug-addict journey. With a dash of the Walking Dead. I liked the take on zombies as the "meat puppets" of the Dragon. And the mythology. The interesting take on addiction works for me as metaphor. Pleased by the conclusion, especially how a very ordinary and unassuming minor character becomes important be ...more
Karl
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chizine_own
The book deserves to be much longer than it is. The writing is quite good and the book contains gangs, exploding cars, shotguns, the undead, dragons, drug addicts and more.




This is copy 3 of 65 signed numbered copies.
Laura Dragon
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Georgia Quincey is the last of her line, a direct descendent of the medieval St. George who, according to Chasing the Dragon's author Nicholas Kaufmann, failed in his mission to slay the Dragon. As a result, the mantle of dragonslayer was passed onto George's son, and his son after him, all the way down the line. When Georgia's father too is slain by the Dragon, it falls to Georgia to take up her father's gun and go after the Dragon herself.

But defeating the Dragon is no easy task. The Dragon i
...more
William M.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, thriller
4 AND 1/2 STARS

This book was truly a pleasant surprise. I've read Kaufmann's "General Slocum's Gold", but "Chasing The Dragon" is even better. Author Nicholas Kaufmann melds various themes and genres together into a seamless and very suspenseful action/horror tale set in an urban landscape. Kaufmann strategically drops clues - little crumbs -- along the way, feeding the reader's hunger like the drug addicted heroine. And like all great storytellers, Kaufmann weaves those pieces of the puzzle in
...more
Nick Cato
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Hot on the heels of the creature that killed her parents, Georgia Quincey battles incredible odds to fulfill her destiny: her ancestors go back to St. George himself, he of the legendary dragon-slay myth (well, apparent reality). She becomes the first female to go after this ancient dragon in its evolved form (also forced to face gang bangers, zombies, and creepy motel managers) while dealing with her addiction to heroin. For such a quick read, DRAGON is quite layered.

Kaufman's short & sweet
...more
Andrea Blythe
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
The legend goes that Saint George fought and killed the dragon, but the legend is wrong. Saint George failed and the dragon still walks the earth, feeding and killing and raising the dead for her own personal army. The charge of battling the dragon has passed down through the family line all the way to Georgia, who is torn up by her own internal demons, dealing with her addiction to heroine. While she hunts the dragon, the dragon also hunts her.

This is a good old fashioned horror story, the kind
...more
Bill
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
An okay novella, but this kind of thing really isn't my bag. It has great action and an interesting concept, but it came up short as far as investing me emotionally, and having that can't-wait-to-pick-it-up-again quality.
I'm just not that big on action first when it comes to reading.

But that's okay, this novella will appeal to a lot of people who would
enjoy this action filled story. And it has a pretty good ending as well.
So a strong three stars for integrating generations of dragonslayers and
a
...more
Robert Davies
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Chasing the Dragon is a compact, clever story about a strong female protagonist chasing the titular dragon (in more ways than one). Woven through the present day story of meat puppets, blood, violence, heroin, and lovable gangstas, there is an engaging history of the dragon hunter’s strange family, and a further mythological layer reaching back to the very foundation of the world. Everything comes together in a blockbuster, if sudden, ending that was brilliantly executed. I highly recommend this ...more
Doungjai
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, fast paced quick read. Georgia Quincey is the last of her bloodline who can slay the dragon that has wandered the Earth for centuries, leaving destruction in its wake. Georgia's quest to chase the dragon (which has dual meaning here) brings her to New Mexico for the final showdown.

I've been a fan of Kaufmann since I read his short story collection WALK IN SHADOWS, and he certainly didn't let me down here.

Highly recommended.
Brian Taylor
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
A rather enjoyable read, although only 133 pages. The narrative felt effortless which really pulls the reader along and before you know it, you've finished the book. I also enjoyed the flawed heroine. Well done on pretty much every front. I'll be looking for more by this author.
Marc
This was a fun and quick read. I also enjoyed the spin on the strong female lead who chases, and is chased by both her personal demons and dragons.
Porovaara Fisher
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a random pickup off the library shelf, mostly because of the title and how out of place it looked next to all those hardcover books. Small; it promised to be a quick read, with the comments on the back furthering this belief. While this book was billed as Horror, it seemed more of an adventure to me, with some pretty graphic violence. Perhaps this is because of my own personal saturation with zombies and the works of Barker. This was pretty tame stuff in comparison.

The title is a clever
...more
Geoff
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Chasing the Dragon takes on double meanings, but the one you know at the start is Georgia Quincey, who is a female Dragon slayer. The story starts out at a diner where the dragon just slaughtered everyone inside the diner. Georgia arrives after she sees this slaughter in a vision, it's how she tracks the dragon. And, the dragon has left behind some zombie like dead bodies, to take care of Georgia, who they are controlled by the dragon. This is a typical day in Georgia's life.

Georgia's life is tr
...more
Maureen
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novellas
This is a good book fora rainy morning. Clocking in at only 133 pages, it’s a book that you can read in a single sitting, but is no less enjoyable for its brevity.
Reading this story, you can feel the questions that spawned it - what if the true story if St. George wasn’t the one we’ve all heard before? What if it wasn’t the dragon’s blood that was poisonous?
Kaufman weaves a tale that is equal parts mythology and modernity, told through the eyes of a damaged but sympathetic heroine. She is cont
...more
Maggie Gordon
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, novella
Kaufmann takes the story of St George and the dragons and decides that zombies and heroin would be good additions. Surprisingly, he is correct. Set in the modern day, St George's line continued and has been fighting dragons for centuries, though the dragon proves to be frustratingly immortal. Cue Georgia, the last of the dragon slayers, a heroin addict, and a woman ready to give up. But somehow she survives her encounter with the dragon, kills its current body, and ensures that future dragon sla ...more
William Freedman
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Taut, well-told horror.

In this update of the legend of St. George and the Dragon, Nicholas Kaufmann combines two elements that are usually mutually exclusive: breathless pacing and vivid word pictures. Throw in zombies, dispatch them artfully in single combat and through conflagration, and what's not to love?

I bought into the story completely, enough to let pass the parade of flat characters and a denoument you could see coming from Chapter 2. So it's a four-star book, not a five-star book.

I ful
...more
Mrs. Ho Jr.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
There was definitely action from the get go. With only 133 pages the author needs to hook the reader right off the bat. only four stars though just because I didn't quite get the lore behind their family. So what took Georgia's generation so long to kill the dragon? Just multiple failed attempts that left them with dead ancestors and a dragon to roam around and regain her memory? Even though the dragon is killed in each generation it is reborn again? Viscous cycle and hazardous occupation.
Brent
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
The second book I've finished by this author, and it--too--was an excellent read. The hero of the story was an antihero that, for nostalgic reasons, reminded me of Stephen King's earliest (and best) work. This may not be a novel-length story, but that doesn't mean that the story skimps out. It felt like it was exactly as long as it needed to be.
Andrew Little
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. It is a very short book, which doesn't allow for a good review because it would contain a lot of spoilers. One thing I can say is that there is such a clear relationship between the dragon that Georgia is chasing (and is chasing her) and the drug she is pursuing (and seemingly pursues her). Such a good book.
Kimberly Kei
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even though this book was a short read, I still found it very entertaining. I felt the rush of adrenaline as Georgia, our protagonist, was up against her worst nightmares and it was beautiful. At points I wish the author was more clear with their writing, often doing flashbacks without properly transitioning it, but I still found the book throughly enjoyable and an easy read.
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Nicholas Kaufmann is the Bram Stoker Award-, Thriller Award-, and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of numerous books and stories. He has also written extensively in non-fiction, including monthly pop culture columns on horror and dark fantasy for the popular websites Fear Zone and The Internet Review of Science Fiction, and a chapter on plotting short stories in the Writers Digest book ON WR ...more