Loot of the Shanung By: L. Ron Hubbard

19084267Loot of the Shanung
By: L. Ron Hubbard
Narrated by: R. F. Daley, Jim Meskimen, Robert Wu, Christina Huntington, Tadao Tomomatsu
Length: 1 hr and 54 mins
Release date: 08-12-14
Publisher: Galaxy Audio

Once again it’s time for some fun from
the Golden Age of Stories. It’s another pulp fiction story from L.Ron Hubbard, who I think was the king of the pulps, he at least was one of the busiest. This time we have the story “Loot of the Shanung,” which was originally published in 1936 in “Smashing Novels” pulp magazine. Here we have an American reporter in China, and the heiress daughter of a missing American oil magnate, combining forces to find her father.

Hubbard wrote several stories that take place in the mysterious “Far East.” Asian countries prettsmashing_novels_193605y much were the thing of mystery, imagination and mysticism to us in the Western Hemisphere. Hubbard was well experienced in that portion of the world having spent a few years there. His stories that take place there always relay the social, economic, and political struggles of the area. These super action stories always featured a hero who was there to save a damsel in distress. Hey it was the ’30s, misogyny was a way of life.

Billionaire George Harley Rockham appears to have been abducted from the Shanung, a coastal steamer, when that ship comes up missing. Rockham has his hands in oil throughout China, and if he doesn’t show within four days his stock will fall, and his oil rights will be up for the taking. Jimmy Vance, a reporter who goes after any story till it’s been solved, has been working on the story since the ship went missing. Rockham’s daughter walks in his office offering a big reward if Vance will find her father. Vance refuses the award, but smells a good story and joined the girl in her search. She’s abducted by crooks, but Vance turns the table on them, then they had for Kowloon, an island near Hong Kong, where he suspects pirates may have boarded the Shanung. The hero being a writer is a common occurrence in Hubbard’s adventure stories. Write what you best know about.

Pirates, Gangsters and Military all create an adventurous atmosphere that will allow you to get lost in a pulp fiction story. The best part is if you were to get the audiobook version, like I did, you get a full production. Galaxy Audio puts these together as if they were old fashioned radio dramas. The actors all create fun, believable character that are worth rooting for or hating.

Publisher’s Summary

Stop the presses! One hundred thousand dollar reward offered for the return of George Harley Rockham! That’s more than enough to turn Shanghai newspaperman Jimmy Vance’s head. Throw in the gorgeous dame who’s offering the reward – Rockham’s daughter Virginia – and he might lose his head altogether. As fast-talking as Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story, Vance jumps at the chance…the money…and the girl. But as Jimmy quickly discovers, there are several billion reasons to watch his back. Because that’s how much Rockham is worth, and there are some very hard cases out there willing to kill to separate the old man from his money. Next thing Jimmy knows, Virginia’s tied to a chair, and he’s got a couple of guns pointed at his head. But it’ll take more than a little rope and a couple of firearms to keep this reporter down. The truth is tied to the mysterious fate of a steamship named Shanung – and what Jimmy finds could be the biggest story of his life…if he lives to tell it.

In the issue of Smashing Novels where this story first appeared the editor wrote: “‘Loot of the Shanung’ is a soul-stirring tale of the China Sea, a story of modern piracy set in the Far East. L. Ron Hubbard wrote it. He knows China. He has been there. He traveled through the country and met the people and observed their customs. Smashing Novels will have other stories from him – stories of far-off places and little known people. He knows of what he writes.”

©2014 Galaxy Audio (P)2014 Galaxy Audio