Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Shadows from Boot Hill" by L. Ron Hubbard

"Shadows from Boot Hill"
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast Performance
produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours

No matter what genre of audio book from Galaxy Audio's Stories from The Golden Age by L. Ron Hubbard I choose, I am never let down. I've stated before, I've never been a fan of Westerns, but with the professional quality behind the production of the audio books makes these books fun to hear. Great sound effects, great voice acting and music between stories and chapters all combine to keep you charged in the story.

From the days of pulp fiction (the mid 20th century), these stories all are fun to hear. Galaxy Press has taken these stories that were published in various magazines at the time and have recreated that pulp magazine feel with short stories in one edition, some are a short novella but most are 2 or 3 stories in one edition. I've seen the books at bookstores and have been tempted to pick them up, but I just keep going back to the audio books. Galaxy Audio takes these stories and produces them into 2 hour audio pulps that are reminiscent of the old time radio dramas from around the same time period.

This audio book contains three stories from the Western genre:

"Shadows from Boot Hill," originally published in June, 1940 tells the story of a hired gunman who acquires sinister shadows. The outlaw, Brazos, has skipped town before collecting his blood money for killing a local banker. With the law hot on his tail, he escapes to Los Hornos and his "friend" Whisper Monahan. The last time they parted ways, they weren't exactly on good terms, but Brazos is on the run and is desperate to rid the posse on his tail. Whisper greets Brazos with orders to kill a local named Scotty Brant that has poisoned over 4,000 acres of his land by sitting on the headwaters of a rare stream using cyanide to extract gold from oxide ore. But this time, Brazos bites off more than he can chew when he learns Brandt's hitched up with a witch doctor out of New Orleans. So to kill Brandt he must first take out the Witch doctor. The witch doctor's last words as Brazos kills him is, "I'll get you white man." Brazos leaves the witch doctor's funeral and finds he now has two shadows, Brazos doesn't put any faith in any myths so he goes on to finish the hit on Brandt, but the shadows haunt him in his task.

"The Gunner from Gehenna," originally published in April, 1949 is a fun cat and mouse/ good guy bad guy story. The renegade “Gunner” returns with plans to steal the miners’ gold but the local Sheriff has other plans. He and the Gunner have a history, in fact the Sheriff used to be a "bad guy." The Gunner plans on recruiting the sheriff to distract the miners while he steals the gold. The Gunner then vanishes into the desert with the deputy sheriff in angry pursuit. But the sheriff seems to have his job made easy, was it all pre-planned?

"Gunman!" originally published February, 1949 is the story of the last days before the railroad takes over the town of Deadlight. With three days left to save his badge, the marshal of Deadlight Brazos Kincade has to prevent the the bank from being robbed. With the town full of railroad shysters and banditos Marshall Brazos has his hands full. But the surprise is who is trying to rob the bank and who gets deputized. I found it odd to include two stories with characters named Brazos, but it was a nice contrast with one good and one bad. This story has the good one. Would it be too much if they had a 3rd that was ugly?

Once again Galaxy Press, Galaxy Audio and L. Ron Hubbard deliver an exciting collection of Western stories to make reading or listening fun.

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