Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Carnival of Death" by L. Ron Hubbard (audio book review)

"Carnival of Death"
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast Performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio
approx 2 hours.

I would never really say L. Ron Hubbard was a horror writer, for the most part he wrote some great Sci-fi, but Hubbard did write a lot of fiction from various genres back in the golden age of pulp-fictions in the mid-twentieth century. In one of those genres, mystery, some of the stories tended to branch out into the horror realm. This book is one of those that branches out and adds a little of the horror genre of fiction into the mix.

Galaxy Audio has taken Hubbard's short stories that were published through various aviation, sports and pulp magazines and have created a series of somewhat audio pulps. These audio books are all about two hours in length and contain one or more short stories within a given genre. The production mixes subtle sound effects, original music and an extremely talented cast of voice talent to create a cinematic audio experience that provides the perfect audio escape from reality.

This book includes the following two stories:

"The Carnival of Death," originally published in "Mystery/Detective" magazine November, 1934, starts out as a bit of a horror story but with the twist and turn expert of Hubbard's typewriter becomes a spectacular mystery in which a drug ring is thwarted. A Carnival has recently imported four "Headhunters" from Darkest Africa to scare the audiences in America. When the 4 escape and headless corpses begin showing up US Treasury Agent Bob Clark working undercover as Security for the carnival must solve the mystery and before the horror of headless corpses continue.

"The Death Flyer," originally published in "Fantasy" magazine April, 1936, is a great ghost story that would be worth listening to around the campfire, especially if there is a train track nearby. Jim Bellamy, finds himself stuck to a train track where decades before a train crashed killing dozens of people. He cannot free himself from being stuck before a train begins bearing down on him. Suddenly the train stops and the engineer yells down for Jim to hurry aboard they've been waiting for him. It seems Jim has found himself on-board a ghost train, but for what reason? Give this one a listen and you'll never hear a distant train whistle the same again.

A couple of stories from the Golden Age, by L. Ron Hubbard that provide some nice chills of horror, nothing too scary.

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