“The Black Sultan” by L. Ron Hubbard


“The Black Sultan”
by L. Ron Hubbard
multi-cast performance
produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx. 2 hours

I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I mean a lot. I’ve come to the point where I can pretty much determine whether a book is worth listening to within a few minutes of listening. This is based only on the quality of the recording and presentation of the cast of readers or single reader, when it comes to determining whether a book is any good based on the words put together by the author, sometimes that takes me longer. I have gone through up to eight hours of an audiobook before realizing it wasn’t worth my while, and yeah that gets me angry. So I’ve come to know some of my favorites in regards to readers. I really like to hear a book by Scott Brick, Ray Porter, Johanna Parker and Susan Ericksen, so when they are reading I know I’m going to at least get a good performance.

Another favorite I have are the multicast recordings produced by Galaxy Audio. In fact when I get frustrated with not finding a good book after a few tries, I immediately reach for an audiobook from Galaxy Audio. Even if it is one I’ve heard before, I know it will be a complete entertainment production. Galaxy Audio is the audiobook side of Galaxy Press and the two have been releasing all of the Pulp-Fiction writings of L. Ron Hubbard from the middle of the 20th Century.

These stories all feature over the top characters placed in adventures that will keep the reader or listener on the edge of their seat. Hubbard wrote short stories during this time and covered all the genres represented by the Pulp Magazines of the time. Westerns, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Adventures and more were all written about by the master story-teller. Every one of the stories has great characters and to make things more interesting each story has several twists and turns that will constantly keep the reader guessing what could possibly happen next.

Galaxy Audio produces these stories in a format very similar to the old radio shows of the same time period as the pulps. The voice actors are all superb and are able to bring the over the top characters to life in each and every audio release. Combined with the subtle yet superb sound effects and original music, these audio books will sweep the listener away on a two-hour adventure that will have them begging for more.

Those are all the reasons I turn to these stories when I can’t find a good book to fill my time. I can get swept away and I know every time the writing and production will be top-notch and won’t let me down.

This time around I listened to the audio release, “The Black Sultan.” This release features two stories, the first being the Novella of “The Black Sultan” and the short story “Escape for Three.” Both of these stories feature adventures with the French Foreign Legion and heroism. The adventure is brought to life through the unlimited voice talent and made even more realistic through the excellent sound effects. I was so swept away by these productions that I found myself trying to dump the sand from the Moroccan desert out of my shoes.

“The Black Sultan” was originally published in the November, 1935 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” and tells the story of American, Eddie Moran, who is about to be captured in Morocco by the French Foreign Legion. When bullets start flying at two gentlemen walking right towards him thinking fast Eddie saves the two men and learns that one is the US vice-consul, but the other is the recently deposed Berber leader, El Zidan. When a friendship forms between them, Eddie escapes the French with Zidan’s help. Eddie is then sent to try to find more info and try to defeat the Black Sultan, the cruel usurper of El Zidan’s throne. Eddie is captured by the Black Sultan and must find a way out, he’s also bent on saving a beautiful American woman kidnapped to join a harem as one of the Sultan’s many brides. The possible escape could lead to several outcomes, capture by the French, death from the Black Sultan or maybe a few other surprises. The actual outcome is even more fantastical and only makes for a great surprise ending of a great adventure.

The second story is “Escape for Three,” which was originally published in the June 1936 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” magazine. With Berber tribesmen on a rampaging killing spree, a hard-boiled trio of French Legionnaires raid the Berber camp and rescue a captive. This story was a bit of a humorous adventure which had some elements which could be compared to the Clint Eastwood classic, “The Good the Bad and the Ugly.” You’ll have to pick this one up for yourself to see what I mean.

If you are not yet listening to these great stories produced by Galaxy Audio, do yourself a favor and grab one and allow yourself some great adventures.