“Destiny’s Drum”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast Performance
Produced 2010 by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours.

Recently I’ve been listening to the Galaxy Audio releases of the old L. Ron Hubbard science-fiction stories from the days of the pulps, 30s-40s.  As I would do the research and find out more about these writings I found that they are also releasing other genres of L. Ron Hubbard’s multitude of fictional short stories and novellas.  The other genres are; westerns, tales from the Orient, far flung adventure, air adventure, sea adventure, mystery and fantasy.  I have read some of the fantasy and they were just as fun to read, or listen to, as in this case.  So I decided to try another genre.  The far flung adventure caught my fancy so I picked out the title “Destiny’s Drum.”  And once again my commutes were fun, while listening to this novella.

Before I get into the meat of the story, once again I would like to spout a little praise on the production of these audio books.  Galaxy Audio mixes just the right amount of sound effects to keep the listener lost in the story, yet not too much to overpower the production.  The acting in these stories, as well as the narration, really keep the feel of the time in which the original stories were written.  They come across as old radio serials, with moments of urgency and humor mixed in with just the right amount to not sound hokey.  I almost expect the end of each chapter to end with the narrator booming in, “Tune in next week for more daring adventures…”  No matter what genre the stories, Galaxy Audio makes listening fun and exciting.

The story behind “Destiny’s Drum” is that a renegade by the name of Phil Sheridan lands on the shores of the forgotten Indonesian island o f Kamling.  He’s captured by a primitive tribe (could they be cannibals?) and taken to their camp to meet their leader.  It turns out the tribe’s leader is Jose Emanuel Batista, slave trafficker, murderer, con-artist now tyrant.

Portuguese Joe, as Batista is otherwise known, knows of Sheridan’s past and decides he doesn’t need him meddling in his island paradise, so he sentences Sheridan to be killed in front of a firing squad.  Sheridan cons the con-man and makes his escape into the jungle on the island.  Where he runs into the island’s true King, and another con-man turned gold miner.  In order to get off the Island Sheridan has to get past Portuguese Joe and his tribe of Muslim cannibals, so he recruits the help of the miner and the king to overpower Batista.

This is a continuous island adventure that keeps you waiting for the next chapter, in fact I found myself taking the long way a couple of times just so I could listen for a little longer.  One thing to keep in mind, this is an L.Ron Hubbard story so expect some very interesting twists and turns in the plot and the story may go a direction you aren’t expecting.  Just when you think you got it figured out and you’re having fun listening to the story, it turns out you’re still having fun, but it’s not what you think.

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