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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stories From The Golden Age

"Branded Outlaw" by L. Ron Hubbard

(Originally published in the October 1938 edition of Five novels Monthly.)


When Lee Weston's father writes him that an old enemy, Harvey Dodge, is back in town, Lee rides out in a hurry from Wyoming to Pecos, New Mexico only to find his father murdered and the family ranch burned to the ground. Certain that Dodge is to blame, Lee sets off to settle the score but gets into a fiery Colt showdown in the town of Pecos. Severely wounded, he flees into the mountains just before passing out.


As fate would have it, Dodge's beautiful, yet headstrong, daughter, Ellen, finds Lee's unconscious body and secretly nurses him back to health. But when Lee insists on continuing his plan for revenge, he gets himself into a heap more trouble—false accusations, a near lynching at the hands of an angry mob and the scorn of the only girl he ever looked at more than once!


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This book is full of gunslinging, death, sneaking around, betrayal, romance, and honor and I loved every minute of it! When I first started playing it in my car on my way to work I didn't know what to expect. I was soon swept into the Old West and I was worried for Lee throughout all his adventures.


I love the twists and turns in the story, the fact that it was short, and the brilliance of Hubbard's writing. He is so descriptive yet he leaves plenty to the imagination. I think that is what I like most about his novels.



"Under the Black Ensign" by L. Ron Hubbard

(originally published in the August 1935 edition of Five novels Monthly.)


Tom Bristol's career as first mate of the Maryland barkRandolph abruptly ends during shore leave when he is press-ganged into serving aboard the British HMS Terror.

Toil under the cruel whip of England is merciless: Crew members are treated as little more than chattel—barely fed, made to work past the brink of exhaustion and kept in line with a cat-o'-nine-tails. Fate finally smiles on young Bristol when the vessel is overtaken by pirates and he gladly turns coat and joins them.

Yet Tom's new pirate mates desert him quickly after he's found guilty of killing a mutinous pirate and unwittingly harboring a woman on board. Marooned on a deserted island, Tom has nothing but a small supply of water, a gun and just enough bullets to kill himself. But Tom dreams up a devious plan that will return him to the high seas and make his past adventures pale compared to what he has in store for his many enemies. . . .


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I absolutely loved this book!! I listened to it on the way to work and then finished it coming home from work as the audio book is only about 2 hrs. I found myself captivated by the story, wincing, cheering, booing, and anticipating what was going to happen next.

I loved the voices on the CD especially the narrator. The description of the ships, sailing, Buccaneers (Pirates), stow-aways, and even the Nubian African slaves, were all so exciting, realistic, and entertaining. I felt like I was there amidst the battles.

I also enjoy that the novel was only 2 hrs and could be completed in one day. It was a short, yet completely captivating, was to enjoy a masterful story. I would venture to guess that listening to a story like this was much more entertaining than reading it (though I think the brilliance in writing comes through either way.

If you like adventures, sailing, ships, swords, cannons, fighting, death, Pirates, and so much more than this is book for you!

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