Friday, October 14, 2011

"The Chee-Chalker" by L. Ron Hubbard

"The Chee-Chalker"
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multi-cast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio (2008)
Approx 2 hours.

It's time once again to go on an adventure with the master story teller, L. Ron Hubbard.  Once again we turn to the stories from the Golden Age, and this time explore the wilderness and outlaws of the Alaskan territory.  Hubbard wrote many stories in many genres that were published in many of the pulp fiction magazines in the mid-20th Century and Galaxy Press has been releasing these stories in their own "pulp" form and have created audio pulps from these releases.  What I call audio pulps are short books (usually around 2 hours in length) that are produced with an excellent multi-cast of performers, special effects that place the listener in the middle of the story and original music that matches the story perfectly.  Each production is reminiscent of old time radio broadcasts with over the top characters and voices to match.

This time I go back to 2008 (the year when Galaxy Audio first began releasing these stories) and listen to the audio pulp of "The Chee-Chalker" which was originally released in "Five Novels" monthly during the months of July and August of 1947.  This story takes you to the Alaskan Territory where FBI agent, Bill Norton and his assistant Chick have been sent to investigate the smuggling of Heroin into the United States via Alaska and Canada and the missing agent that preceded him in the territory. 

Norton is considered at first a "Chee-Chalker," local slang for a newcomer by the locals, but that's their first mistake.  Norton finds not only the smugglers but a string of corpses which are dismissed as "accidental drownings."  Norton doesn't buy it and when a dame gets in the picture the twists and turns in clues abound.  This time the dame is a heart-stopping heiress to the halibut trade, and seems to be behind the murders and smuggling, at first.  But through the typewriter of L. Ron Hubbard things are never what they seem. 

With hard hitting punches and excellent detective work, Norton will get to the bottom of it all,but at the expense of whose lives?  Yet another fun adventure that will keep you guessing until the very end.

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