Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Under the Diehard Brand" by L. Ron Hubbard

"Under the Diehard Brand"
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multi-cast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I never thought I'd enjoy reading a Western novel or story. In the past these just never interested me, actually I'm still not all that interested in just any old Western story. A friend once tried to get me to read some Louis L'Amour, but I just couldn't get past 10 pages without becoming utterly bored. But here I am reading yet another Western story from L. Ron Hubbard.

I think, no wait, I know what it is that keeps me interested. It's the great production that goes into these Stories from the Golden Age produced by Galaxy Audio. The sound effects are perfect and keep you trapped in the story. The incidental music, between chapters and stories, just screams the "old west." But most importantly is the actors. The characters in the stories by L. Ron Hubbard are always super real and over the top and the characterizations provided by the voice actors in these productions represent them perfectly. Whether it's an outlaw named Holy George who speaks as though from a pulpit or a cantakerous gold prospector left alone in a ghost town, the actors let you know every aspect of the characters in these stories by superb acting and vocal expertise.

Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press have been releasing the short stories from the master storyteller, L. Ron Hubbard for a few years now and continue to do so. These releases are from the mid-20th century writings which were originally published in the "pulp" magazines of the time. These works of "pulp-fiction" proved some great escapism fiction for the American readers and the pulps represented almost every genre of fiction. Hubbard wrote stories for nearly every genre and this time around I jumped into another collection of Western stories from the Stroies from the Golden Age. Each release from Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press are issued to closely resemble the pulps of the time. This release contains the following three stories.

"Under the Diehard Brand" was originally published March, 1938 in "Western Aces" magazine and tells the tale of the Lee Thompson, son of the sheriff of Wolf River, coming back to his father after being away to help his father. When he arrives in town his father, Sheriff "Diehard" Thompson, doesn't recognize him and tells the young boy to keep on drifting or get a job. The son finds his father has gotten older and some local ruffians and cattle rustlers have over run the town of Wolf River. Lee then comes up with a plan to build back up his father's reputation and rid the town of the criminal element by joining up with the rustlers.

"Hoss Tamer" was originally published January, 1950 in "Thrilling Western" magazine.
An ex-circus horse trainer finds himself out of a job when the circus folds and sells off all its property in a foreclosure. The trainer tries to find a job as a bronc buster, after all he could "train" horses. But he gets injured and maimed the first time he tries and is forced to work for the town's livery stable. The Gopher Hole gang, the band responsible for his bronc busting disaster attempts to rob the Wells Fargo Train town, can a circus horse trainer foil the Gopher Hole Gang's attempt to rob the Wells Fargo train through their horses?

"The Ghost Town Gun-Ghost" originally published August, 1938, in "Western Action" magazine is a humorous story of an old prospector that seems to have lost his wits after being abandoned in a town when the gold ran out. A young fellow arrives in town and is shown about the town by the prospector who acts out the role of everyone in town from the mayor, to sheriff down to the the man running the Wells Fargo. When a few unsavory characters arrive in town it seems the prospector and young man may meet their end in a battle over stolen money hidden in town.

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