My sister owned a series of maybe 3 -4 books, written in the 80's, maybe? It starts out that a middle-aged alcoholic meets a startled lizard guy in his seedy apartment - the lizard guy accidentally opened a portal between their worlds? The guy is taken to their world, sobered up and ... my memory fails me after this. There were names with lots of S's - like Jassa? Jurssa? Tessa? Does this ring a bell with anyone? It's been driving me crazy for years trying to remember, and track the series down! Any help would be SO appreciated! Thanks!!!

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    Super Mario Brothers? Feb 17, 2014 at 11:14

2 Answers 2


Ward Hawkins's Red Flame Burning is one of the titles in the Guss series. This is a summary of the book:

Harry Borg is an aging alcoholic who is waiting for death when one day a nail appears in the middle of his apartment sticking out of an invisible wall. When the hole caused by the nail is enlarged (from the other side)a nice guy named Guss pops in. Guss is a reptilian humanoid who seems to find Harry VERY interesting. One day Harry wakes up to find he is now young, handsome and about to go on an adventure that is out of this world. It seems Guss's people need help. While they are very advanced they have been fighting a war for thousands of years and are starting to lose it. They figure the aggressive human's courage and strengths can help them win it. But what happens when the Hero finds out that some of his 'Allies' look at him like we would look at a good T-bone steak? Lizard-people with flying cars, giant bugs used as guard dogs and Grade "A" humans that go great with barbecue sauce, what more could you ask for in a sci-fi book?

Book cover

It was followed by Sword of Fire, Blaze of Wrath, and Torch of Fear.

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    Can you please explain why you think this is the series in question?
    – Wad Cheber
    Apr 17, 2016 at 6:19
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    Well lets see - 1. It about an aged alcoholic 2. He goes through to another world with lizard man. 3 the lizards are named Tessa. Besides that I see nothing in common. Have fun here folks I'm out......................
    – BobL
    Jun 17, 2016 at 2:07
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    none of which was mentioned in your answer. Someone else had to add it.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 17, 2016 at 2:09
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    It looks like the summary might have come from the Amazon page, but the same one is repeated word-for-word on other pages as well.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 22, 2016 at 14:21

At the Narrow Passage by Richard Meredith?

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    Hmm, I wonder are we going to be a community that welcomes in-put or one that discourages it.
    – user22778
    Feb 17, 2014 at 16:06
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    In general, if you get downvoted on a suggestion, it's because you don't provide any details as to why the book would match. Looking at the summaries I can find of "At the Narrow Passage", the only matching elements I can find are that there are lizards and it's a trilogy. Can you provide other reasons this might match up?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 8, 2014 at 15:16

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