“Hell’s Legionnaire” by L. Ron Hubbard

“Hell’s Legionnaire”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multi-cast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio (2012)
Approx. 2 hours

Another month flies by and it’s time for another release of a story from the golden age from Galaxy Audio/Galaxy Press. In April (2012) they will be releasing the L. Ron Hubbard far-flung adventure “Hell’s Legionnaire,” featuring three stories from the days of pulp fiction magazines. The three stories in this new release were all released in 1935 and each one tells a tale from the adventures of the French Foreign Legion.

I remember when I was a kid and seeing on television some kid threatened to run away and join the foreign legion. I became intrigued and looked up the info at the time and realized that while I liked the kepi (the cap worn by the Legion) and the exploding fleur-de-lis symbol, I was not about to follow the kid on television and become an elite fighting force which allowed all nationalities a chance to fight for France. However, Hubbard has written several stories involving the Legion I can live out these adventures, even if only in my imagination.

Once again Galaxy Audio has produced an audiobook that not only brings to life these classic tales from the master story-teller, L. Ron Hubbard, but also recreates the whole pulp-fiction experience into an audio format. They achieve this by creating a performance of the book that is very reminiscent of old-time radio shows from around the same time of the original printings of these stories. The voices, from the separate actors for each character all the way to the classic old timey feel of the narration keep the story realistic and yet over the top with each performance. The sound effects place the listener right in the middle of the shootouts between the Legion and the Berbers. The music between chapters and stories is superb and with the bugle calls of the Legionnaires as the building point for the original music, the listener can charge along and fight the Berbers or seek out the gold.

The three stories in this collection are:

“Hell’s Legionnaire” originally published in the July, 1935 issue of “Mystery Adventures” tells the tale of an american who is sentenced to a penal colony for killing an officer, even though it was self-defense, as he runs from the Legion but only to find he’s run straight into a Berber camp, the enemy. In this camp he discovers a beautiful American woman who is just about to be tortured by the Berbers. He can’t just leave her behind so using his cunning and skills learned in the Legion he fights to find away for them both to leave the country, while trying to not only escape the Berbers but the French Foreign Legion, as well.

“The Barbarians” originally published in the December, 1935 issue of “Dime Adventure Magazine” tells of Captain Jack Harvey, an American in service of the Legion who is sent to avenge the death of a comrade. He flies behind enemy lines to confront the Berber tribal chief and after talking with the chief sees the war in an entirely new philosophical view.

“The Squad That Never Came Back” originally published in the May, 1935 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” tells of a corporal in the Legion who, threatened with death, leads a group of fellow legionnaires to a lost treasure in the Moroccan desert.

Each story is a great escapism story that will give you the chance for some great adventure while staying within your own comfort zone.