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  • gilwilson 1:43 PM on February 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , reading,   

    “The Devil — With Wings” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    devil with wings

    “The Devil — With Wings”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Full cast production
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

     
    Originally published in the pulp magazine, “Five Novels Monthly” in November of 1937. This story is one of the reasons that pulp fiction magazines were the father to comic books. In actuality I would relate this story to many of the heroes created in the Marvel Comics universe. Marvel Comics is responsible for many superheroes that have ordinary problems but extraordinary powers. Take Peter Parker for example, high school nerd picked on by bullies and just trying to make it through life, when he gets bitten by a radio-active spider his new super powers are great for fighting crime, but he can’t let anyone know his secret so the bullies continue to dish it out and he continues to take it. In this story we have a hero who can’t cut a break. He is feared by the Japanese as he has waged his own personal war on behalf of the Chinese.

    The setting is 1930s China and the Chinese have launched attacks against the Japanese. Many of these attacks are attributed to a British airman named, Forsyth, “The Devil with Wings.” Some of the stories my be propaganda and hype but some are true and Forsythe doesn’t do any thing to stop the rumors, if anything he propagates the propaganda by the costume he wears, the all black costume consists of, aviator hood with oval eye lenses, black gauntlets, black high boots. If you ask me, I’d say that L. Ron Hubbard created the precursor to the modern-day vigilante superhero.

    Forsythe gets the credit for raining down terror on the Japanese, but there is one credit he doesn’t want. That is the death of an American scientist. To prove his innocence he must seek the help of the scientist’s sister. If she doesn’t kill “The Devil” first he will not only prove his innocence but deliver a blow to the Japanese that will be another notch in the belt of “The Devil with Wings.”

    As is true with all of the audiobooks I’ve heard from Galaxy Audio, this one puts the listener smack dab in the middle of the action. The great sound effects and music keeps you on the edge of your seat and the superb voice work brings these over-the-top characters to life. For the most entertaining two hours in your life grab any of these Stories from the Golden Age from the master storyteller L. Ron Hubbard and Galaxy Audio.

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  • gilwilson 10:57 PM on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , reading, ,   

    “Gunman’s Tally” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    gunmanstally

    “Gunman’s Tally”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx: 2 hours

    Once again it’s time visit the thrilling days of yesteryear and listen to another great Western story from the master storyteller from the golden age of stories, L. Ron Hubbard. During the mid-20th Century the pulp magazines were a great source of some great stories. These magazines ran the gamut of genres for many writers. Hubbard was a prolific contributor to the pulps, and like the magazines he covered all genres. My absolute favorite genre from Hubbard is the Science-Fiction group of stories. However thanks to these superb audio productions of Hubbard’s short stories I’m really liking these westerns.

    The reason the westerns are growing on me is not a secret to anyone who has ever listened to the stories published by Galaxy Audio. Since 2008 Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press have been republishing the stories from the writings of L. Ron Hubbard that originally appeared in the various issues of those old pulps. With the paperback versions they have the look and feel of the old pulp magazines, even with a thicker stock of paper to simulate the pulpy pages that gave the magazines their nickname. Even better are the audiobooks produced. These audio productions are all full cast performances with the actors bringing to life the over the top and heroes and villains created by Hubbard. On top of the great voicework there are also sound effects that help push the story along and plunge the listener into Hubbard’s Old West. The westerns are even more effective in that all of the effects surround the listener with the sounds of horses, guns and dusty trails. So realistic are the sounds that at the end of each story you may have to dust yourself off.

    This latest audiobook includes two short stories which were originally published in the late 1930s.

    The first story is the title story, “Gunman’s Tally.” This story was originally published in the November 1937 issue of “All Western” magazine. It is the perfect western story that tells of a normally peace-loving landowner willing to do whatever it takes to protect is land and defend his family name. When “Easy” Bill Gates, finds out that the outlaw, Fanner Marsten has killed his brother, Bill sets off to seek revenge. After killing the number one gunslinger in the area, Bill now has a reputation of being the fastest and the best. George Barton, owner of a nearby Ranch wants Bill’s land and hires another gunslinger to take Bill out. Bill manages to kill this guy and soon the fastest guns pretty much get in line to take Bill out. Will Bill’s luck hold out?

    This story had me interested not only because of the great action and suspense but also because of the use of two names in the story. First the obvious, Bill Gates. While this was originally written in the 1930s, Hubbard couldn’t have known of the future computer guru with the same name, but it was a nice representation of the little guy (Microsoft) having what the big guy (IBM) wanted. I guess if we were to continue the story of Easy Bill Gates, we’d see him overpower his competitors and become the monopoly in the area.

    The other name that intrigued me was Fanner Marsten. Hubbard would later use that name in the 1943 story “The Great Secret” seeks the secret that should make him the ruler of the universe. Throughout this story, whenever Marsten’s name was mentioned I would picture an astronaut walking through a desert planet dying of thirst. (Read or listen to that great sci-fi story from Hubbard for more information.

    The second story is “Ruin at Rio Piedras” and was originally published in the December 1938 issue of “Western Story.” This is the story of Tumbleweed Lowrie and his exile from a ranch. He was “exiled” because he was in love with the ranchowner’s daughter. Tumbleweed manages to capture rustlers that are stealing the cattle from the ranch and win the trust of the owner. The fun part of this story is all in the “how he does it.”

    Once again another great release from Galaxy Audio.

     
  • gilwilson 3:00 PM on December 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , bbc 4, , , , , , , j.r.r. tolkien, reading, the hobbit   

    “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien (a radio performance from AudioGo) 

    300x300

    “The Hobbit”
    by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Full Cast Performance
    Published by AudioGO Ltd
    Running Time: 4hrs

    Okay, first off the first thing that will come to many of my loyal readers’ attention is the length of this audiobook, 4 hours. 4 hours for “The Hobbit”? that’s insane. I know, I know, but this isn’t simply “The Hobbit” audiobook. This is a performance originally aired on BBC 4 radio. The audiobook runs 11 hours or so and this one I am reviewing has been abridged to fit on a radio series format and is now being released as an audio performance by AudioGo. The movie that is about to be released is just under 3 hours, so you know some abridging is being done there as well.

    This performance originally aired in 1968 and features some special effects that are very typical of BBC effects, the voices of the goblins and trolls are very similar to the voices of the Daleks from the Doctor Who TV series, and add a bit of charm to the production. The rest of the performance is very nice to hear. I will have to admit I would have preferred cutting out the music in and music out between each half hour, but that was the original intent in this weekly broadcast so to remain historically accurate it is kept in this audiobook.

    I have read “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Ring” series numerous times in my life and love the adventures and found this audiobook/performance a great addition to my readings. In fact with the movie released I found this to be the perfect refresher before going to see the movie.

    So, if you keep in mind that this is an abridged radio series performance of “The Hobbit,” you’ll be set for an adventure with Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves to battle the Dragon, Smaug, and simply enjoy the performance. The fun part of this performance is that for the radio production the producers/writers added in what could be taken for an extra character of “The Tale Bearer” or simply put, the narrator. The fun part is that as he is telling the story Bilbo is constantly interjecting with embellishments to the story.

    The story is still the same; Bilbo Baggins a Hobbit from the Shire is unwittingly recruited as a “burglar”, a title which Bilbo is not comfortable with at first. Bilbo is needed to assist the Dwarves on a journey to reclaim their ancestral lands and treasures under a mountain. Other than the long journey, the hazardous part is that the treasure is guarded by a dragon named Smaug and many other races from Middle Earth also wish to possess that treasure. The journey, the battles and the variety of mythical creatures all combine to make this a classic fantasy, and this performance is a great addition to the story.

    So if you are looking for a refresher in the fantasy created by J.R.R. Tolkien, a brief introduction to the story, or just a fun time, give this audiobook version of the radio performance of “The Hobbit” from AudioGo a listen.

     
  • gilwilson 3:40 PM on December 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , john shea, jonathan tropper, , musician, , , reading   

    “One Last Thing Before I Go” by Jonathan Tropper 

    onelastthing

    “One Last Thing Before I Go”
    by Jonathan Tropper
    read by John Shea
    Published by Penguin Audio
    Approx. 8.5 hours

    I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into when I picked this audiobook to be my next to hear. Sure the synopsis on the cover tells of Drew Silver, a drummer formerly with a one hit wonder band, who is struggling to get by after a failed career and a failed marriage, is confronted with a life or death situation opts out of the life portion. I thought really I was going to hear an audiobook about a former rock star’s romp through his days as if they were his last. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. What this book turned out to be is an emotional romp through life and its many surprises.

    Let me start out by talking about the reader, John Shea, his voicing of Silver, subject of all this life affirming novel, is beautiful. Silver is pretty much a laid back person, who knows he’s screwed up a good chunk of his life and is ready to move on, but Silver has a deeper part of his psyche that John Shea is able to bring out in this performance. Shea not only brings Silver to full three-dimensional life but is also able to deliver the audiobook and all its characters to the listener in such a dynamic that pulls them into the story and won’t let them escape. All the emotions in this book, which pretty much runs the gamut of human emotions, are brought to life through the expert vocalizations of John Shea.

    The surprising part of this book is the use of wit and humor to get through some of the toughest events that are emotionally trying. While the humor is not laugh out loud funny, although, there are some of those moments, it is just the right amount to make these characters come to life and be much more real and, well, human. Jonathan Tropper is able to create the dialogue that never seems fake or contrived. All conversations are very real and when dealing with the situations the characters are put through feel very natural.

    Some examples of the emotional ups and downs are when one of Silver’s friends admits he’s been going through chemo without telling anyone for weeks and then wishing he had a relationship with his son, Silver and friends take him on a road trip to try to take amends. On the road trip they find out the reason the friend is estranged from his son is that he slept with his son’s fiance, now wife. All the twists and turns in the story come out to an ending that leaves you guessing and yet feeling fulfilled.

    The gist of the story is that Silver, former drummer for the Bent Daisies, is struggling through life. The Bent Daisies had one hit, which Silver wrote, and then the lead singer strikes out for a solo career and becomes very successful. In the meantime, Silver gets by, barely, on his royalty checks, playing in wedding bands and for bar/bat mitzvahs, and by donating sperm for scientific experiments.

    Silver also has failed at being a husband and father and after 15 years of living as a divorce in an apartment full of mopey older divorced men, he’s become pretty cynical. His wife is about to marry a man who Silver can’t seem to make himself hate, he tries, but he knows this guy, a Surgeon is good for his ex-wife and daughter. His daughter, Casey, who has never really been a part of his life, due to his own fault, comes to him in a time of need. She’s 18 and pregnant. She tells him before she tells her mother, because she cares less about letting him down. After some heartfelt discussion, he agrees to be there for her no matter what decision she makes.

    Casey decides on an abortion and Silver takes her to the clinic, just as they are filling out papers and waiting, Silver suffers a stroke. Before I talk more about the story, I have to say that Jonathan Tropper’s description and all of Silver’s inner dialogue are pure genius in giving an outsider a view of what is going on in Silver’s mind at the time. In fact all through the book Silver’s inner dialogue (which due to the stroke become accidentally spoken aloud) are beautiful descriptions of the past present and future for Silver.

    Silver wakes in the hospital with Casey worrying over him. As he awakens the doctor, who also happens to be his ex-wife’s fiance, explains that he has a tear in his aorta and that the stroke was caused by the clot from this tear loosening and hitting the brain. Silver needs an operation to repair the tear or he will die soon. Silver says that’s all fine, but he won’t be taking the surgery. This is when everything goes haywire. Silver begins voicing all his thoughts aloud, constantly stating his fears and regrets aloud. Silver decides to make the best of the rest of his short life, but the rest of his family are set to convince him to get the surgery. Silver’s father, a Rabbi, asks why does he choose death, to which Silver replies, “It’s not that I choose death, it’s just that I don’t choose life.”

    Through some strange misadventures and life affirming events Silver finds what in his life he’s been missing, and not until the very end do we find out whether or not he will take the surgery and even then it’s an insightful end. Poignant, witty, heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time is what makes this book a great read.

     
  • gilwilson 2:37 PM on November 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , no man's land, reading, the joker   

    “Batman: No Man’s Land” by Greg Rucko 

    “Batman: No Man’s Land”
    by Greg Rucko
    Full Cast Performance
    Produced by Graphic Audio
    Total Running time approx. 11 hours (separated in two volumes)

    It never ceases to amaze me as to how GraphicAudio brings audiobooks alive. Their thrilling sound effects, outstanding voice actors and incidental music truly create what they call “A Movie in Your Mind.” I’m an avid comic book reader and I have read novelizations of comic books. The thing with comic books is that you have great artwork helping to push the story along and when reading a comic based novel the reader has to use that imagination to fill in the graphics. It can lead to some great adventures because the imagination has no boundaries. However, some of the best features of comic books are the beautifully drawn panels of the heroes in action. When reading one of the novels I miss those features. GraphicAudio has produced many different genres of full cast production audiobooks, but my favorites by them by far are the comic book based productions.

    Through the great acting, sound effects and music, GraphicAudio fills in the gaps left behind by not having that stunning artwork. For example, in this novel when the Joker slaps a victim with a rubber-chicken filled with a hard substance you not only get the slam of the impact that is so real you nearly feel just listening, but you also get the sound of a cracked jaw and some comical sound effects that would naturally have to occur when the Joker is involved. Very realistic sound effects are not the only thing that keeps this (and other GraphicAudio productions) aurally stunning, there are also the great actors doing the voice work. Each actor playing their part is able to fully engulf the character whether it is Commissioner Gordon, Huntress, Oracle, Nightwing, Robin or the Dark Knight himself each character is portrayed by an actor that is able to fully represent the full impact of the character through audio only. Everything is represented in the voices in this production, emotions, the back story of each character and the thoughts behind the words are all brought to life through the extremely talented voices.

    My favorite from this story has to be the actor portraying the Joker. One of the difficulties in bringing to a performance a well known character that the listener/fan already has a preconceived notion as to how that character sounds. With the Joker many great actors have brought the Joker to life through television or the movies, Ceasar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and in the animations Mark Hamill a dedicated fan will probably have their favorite and will always compare that voice to any newcomers. Richard Rohan the actor who portrays the Joker in this production captures all those great Joker performances and wraps them up into one superb package that has now become my favorite Joker. To top that off Rohan also does the voice for Bruce Wayne/Batman and at no time in the performance can you tell it’s the same actor.

    So what’s this book all about? I will say it is one of the most interesting Batman storylines I’ve read. It contains a huge mix of Superhero action, loyalty, friends and family. This story mixes in some great Batman villains such as, the Joker, Harley Quinn, the Penguin and Two-face, some great heroes Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, the Oracle and even a bit of an anti-hero in the Huntress. So yes, this book is pretty much a who’s who of Gotham City. Putting all those characters together and then throwing in an appearance of Superman’s arch-rival, Lex Luthor, and you have an awesome story of crime and community in “Batman: No Man’s Land.”

    After an earthquake hits Gotham City, leaving thousands dead and millions more wounded, the U.S. Government decides it cannot throw away anymore money at the crime infested city. What happens is all bridges connecting Gotham to the mainland U.S. are destroyed and the city is declared No Man’s Land. Upon leaving Gotham someone at Arkham Asylum left the doors open. Now Gotham City is run by gangs led by the baddest of the bad villains. The Penguin has staked out his territory and has actually a nice black market business of bringing food and supplies into Gotham City. Poison Ivy has set up camp in Gotham’s version of Central Park and pretty much stays to herself (and her plants) while Two-face has carved out his niche. One other “gang” is in place calling themselves the Blue Boys. This “gang” is led by Commissioner Gordon and consists of the Gotham City police that were dedicated to their city. Gordon is trying to tame Gotham back into a civilized city by using some tactics that he would not have used when officially serving as the police commissioner. All this is going on while the Batman seems to have gone missing.

    Gordon manages to reclaim lots of territory just as Batman comes back, but by this time the anger toward the Dark Knight is enough for Gordon to no longer want his help. Batman finds that this “new” Gotham is a bit more to handle than planned for and having to battle his own ego, finally calls in Nightwing and Robin and enlists a new Batgirl. Just as the battle is being won Lex Luthor comes in and starts buying up parts of the no man’s land for his own purpose, but under the guise of goodwill and charity. Bruce Wayne begins his battle of paperwork to fight Lex and just when the Government looks like it will allow Gotham back into the nation the Joker begins his most hideous Joke and the fate of Gotham’s future will be battled between the Joker and Batman.

    Awesome Batman story performed in a larger than life production that every comic book fan must hear. Whether you are a Marvel or DC fan this will rock your world.

    Speaking of Marvel, in 2013 GraphicAudio will begin releasing some audiobooks based on Marvel storylines. Being a HUGE Marvel fan, I can’t wait for those releases.

     
  • gilwilson 9:11 PM on October 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , hurricanes, , Michal Friedman, , , north carolina, , reading, Sheila Turnage, southern hospitality, Three Times Lucky,   

    “Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage 

    “Three Times Lucky”
    by Sheila Turnage
    read by Michal Friedman
    Published by Penguin Audio
    7 hours 57 minute

    Every once in a while I get a book that I have no idea what I’m getting into but I feel I must read or listen to it. On rare occasions I strike out and end up not listening to the rest of the book or reading it. This time, however, I hit a home run, actually a full clear-the-bases-grand-slam home run. I had originally planned on listening to this audiobook while on my vacation, which was pretty much one week of full driving, but the family had other plans, so my audio book time was limited. I should have vetoed them on this one because I know my 12 year-old son and my wife would have loved this, I know I did.

    This book was filled with humor, sadness, adventure, mystery and even some great lump in the throat while laughing at the same time moments. The main character of Mo’ was a great outlet for some superb metaphors that kept this story a constant adventure in the English language. The reader, Michal Friedman, performed this book more than read it. Her voice as 11 year-olds Mo’ and Dale was spot on. The various other characters were represented to their full extent as well from the excellent performance of Michal Friedman’s voice. The combination of the wonderfully written story and the enthralling vocal performance will keep you glued to this audiobook until the surprising end.

    This story would be appreciated by anyone who has loved the experience of stories like “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Second Hand Lions,” or even “Holes.” The life through the eyes of an 11 year-old, who never knew her real family, but runs the risk of losing the ones she calls family is full of happy, sad and anxiety-ridden moments is full of ups and downs and Sheila Turnage has created one of the best stories telling this one right. With characters you’ll want to visit over and over again, “Three Times Lucky” should be on the reading list of anyone from 12 to 120. While the story is fitting for a young adult reader in middle school, the story is written so that even as an adult reading it everyone will come out having read a great story and seem like it is a young adult novel.

    Mo’ LoBeau came to the town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina on the waves of a hurricane 11 years ago. Actually the town of Tupelo Landing received 3 new citizens on that fateful day. The Colonel, who was found holding Mo’ in his arms after having a car crash in the hurricane and floating in the creek saw a baby secured to a floating billboard, Mo’ whose “upstream mother,” in order to save her baby, secured her to the floating debris, and Miss Lana. Miss Lana and The Colonel have since opened the only cafe in the town of Tupelo Landing and with the help of Mo’, who the Colonel calls, soldier, run a nice service that seems to be the center of the town. Everyone stops in and when an out-of-town Detective stops in to investigate a murder that occurred in Winston-Salem, the whole town is there to know about it.

    Before the Detective, Joe Starr, leaves town one of Tupelo Landing’s own is found murdered and the mayor asks Starr to investigate. In a series of twists and turns and sometimes humorous events, the town is put on edge and appears to be the target of a bank robber out for revenge after not getting his loot from a heist he and others did 11 years in the past.

    All this time Mo’ and her friend Dale are investigating the murder while Mo’ is trying to track down her “upstream mother,” thus forming the Desperado Detective agency. Mo’ and Joe Starr are out to find a murderer that may be after more of the towns folk and may even be one of their own.

    To put it simply, great fun and mystery in a book that everyone should read and read now, or as in my case listen in audiobook form. In fact, I would recommend highly to grab the audiobook and get started because of the superb performance.

     

     
  • gilwilson 10:42 PM on October 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , reading,   

    “While Bugles Blow!” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “While Bugles Blow”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    I never get tired of these Stories from the Golden Age releases from Galaxy Audio. Not only do they bring back the old pulp fiction stories from the mid-20th century, but they are so professionally produced that they bring the stories to life and leave the listener feeling as though they are taking part in the story as it is happening.

    I know that anytime I want to escape in a fun story I can always count on Galaxy Audio’s productions of the pulp fiction stories from L. Ron Hubbard. With superb acting, realistic sound effects and an original music score to match each story and genre, these productions put you in the middle of the story and you have no choice but to listen to the very end. Matching all that with the stories written by Hubbard guarantees a good time with a good story.

    While a good part of the publications contain two or three short stories in the two-hour audiobooks, this time around it was one story for the entire audiobook. This story, “While Bugles Blow,” was originally published in the December, 1936 issue of “Five Novels Monthly,” and is a far-flung adventure involving an American serving as a Lieutenant in the French Foreign Legion.

    In the middle of a war between the Jeppas and the Berbers, the commandant of the Legion fort is tricked into buying a slave girl. When either side captures women it is common politics for the Jeppas and Berbers to auction them off as slaves. When the commandant of the Legion fort is tricked into buying a golden red-haired female Jeppa Warrior, the local Berber leader wants her for his own and attacks the fort to get her.

    The lieutenant defends the fort with only 60 men under his command against 3,000 Berbers. The American finds himself using all his expertise in order to protect the woman and the fort. This gives the Jeppas the chance to win their side of the war. Is this all a trick to get the Legion to fight their war? The answer comes in this exciting tale from L. Ron Hubbard with the typical twists and turns and even some good humor thrown in to make this story the perfect action story.

     
  • gilwilson 11:34 PM on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , five-novels monthly, , , , , , , reading, , , the battling pilot   

    “The Battling Pilot” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Battling Pilot”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    approx. 2 hours
    I have been listening to the releases of the L. Ron Hubbard pulp fiction stories from Galaxy Audio ever since they first started releasing them back in 2008 and have enjoyed every new release. The quality in these audiobooks is above and beyond what is expected. The storytelling by Hubbard already keeps you on the edge of your seat, but with Galaxy Audio they take the story to an even higher level. With original music score, great sound effects and superb voice talent acting out the over the top characters, you don’t just listen to the story, instead you are thrown into the story completely and once the story is done you may find yourself dusting off the remnants of whatever battle or adventure you’ve just experienced. These audiobooks are very reminiscent of the old-time radio dramas, except you don’t have to wait until next week to find out what happens to the hero, it’s all incorporated into two-hour packages that will fly by from the fun.

    Hubbard wrote for the pulps prolifically during the mid-20th century. He covered pretty much every genre covered by the pulp magazines, Westerns, Far-Flung Adventure, Air Adventure, Sea Adventures, Science-Fiction and Fantasy and more. At first I was only interested in the Science-Fiction and Fantasy stories, but after listening to all of them I had to have more, so I tried the other genres and found out they are all just as good, in fact I even listened to a genre I was never interested in before, Westerns, and found myself enjoying those stories as well. So, as long as the books keep coming out I’ll keep listening.

    This time around I listened what seems to be a new favorite of mine from L. Ron Hubbard, Air Adventures. Hubbard was a pilot and knew what he was writing about in these stories. Keep in mind these are not your modern jets and such, but rather prop planes from the early to mid-20th century he was writing about. While some of these audio releases from Galaxy Audio can contain more than one short story, this two-hour adventure was the single story of, “The Battling Pilot.”

    “The Battling Pilot” was originally published in the March, 1937 issue of “Five-Novels” monthly and tells the story of a day when pilot Peter England’s hum drum job of flying for an airline on the Washington to New York and back again route.

    To start things out he gets a rookie co-pilot that has a love for flying. Peter has done the job so long that not only does he know who the regular passengers are and why they are taking each trip, but he no longer sees the excitement in flying. This flight, however will change all that.

    Peter’s normal passengers are all bumped and in their stead a woman and her elderly assistant board the plane. It seems the two purchased all the seats in the plane for double the ticket prices, to make this trip. Why they are the only ones becomes clear when the assistant refers to the young woman as “your highness.” But that is only the beginning of the danger and adventure.

    Along the flight path, Peter’s plane is shot at and ordered to land by a black plane that is determined to shoot them down. When the plane lands it is discovered that the dame is a princess and she’s trying to protect her country by delivering a check to an arms dealer. The pilot of the black plane is her country’s enemy and will do everything he can to stop that deal. Peter then becomes a man of action and does every thing HE can to protect and save her.

    As with all of Hubbard’s pulp-fiction stories, the hero gets the dame, but this time around Hubbard throws so many twists and turns in the story (again, as with all of Hubbard’s stories) the dame (the princess) is not all she appears to be. Enjoy this mystery and air adventure story from the golden age, I know I did.

     
  • gilwilson 8:53 PM on July 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , metrocles house, political humor, , , reading, , , ,   

    “Raise the Gipper” by John Barnes 

    “Raise the Gipper”
    by John Barnes
    Published by Metrocles House
    213 Pages

    With the birth of the Kindle the readers of the world have been treated to a plethora of Independent authors and publishers. No longer having to pay the high printing costs a writer can get his work out into the public’s hand faster and cheaper and sometimes to readers that would probably never get the chance to read their works. The other aspect of that same trend is that authors can get their works out faster. The latter is more of the case here.

    While I probably would have gotten around to reading something by John Barnes having the ability for him to send me this book and immediately load up on my kindle made it a sure thing I would read his work. According to his wikipedia page he has been publishing since 1987 in the science-fiction and Young Adult reading realms. This book is perfect for the Kindle because it is very timely, involving this years Republican National Convention, and the faster readers can read it, the funnier it will be.

    I have recently not been able to sit down and read, but when I did, I couldn’t wait to get back to this book. This is the first ever book that tackles head-on today’s politics and runs it through an industrial mixer with some sci-fi, and some horror and instead of getting a pink slime meat substitute, you get a hilarious zombie/alien invasion of the G.O.P.

    The story revolves around the idea that this election year (and the last one, if you really look at it) the Republican party cannot find someone worthy enough to adequately represent their values. The last Republican really worthy was former and the late President Ronald Reagan. According to Barnes; the pledged delegates are refusing to vote for Mitt Romney on the first ballot, because of three important reasons:

    1) they don’t feel he adequately represents their conservative views,
    2) they feel that a dull gazillionaire has no real chance in November,
    3) they’d rather work at an old folks home cleaning underwear by chewing it.

    In steps Dr. Bayle Brazenydol, political guru deluxe and extreme, who presents them with an alternative … their dream candidate … a man who is perfectly what they want except for three little problems:

    1) The candidate has already had two terms as president
    2) The candidate happens to be very, very dead
    3) Dr. Brazenydol himself is secretly controlled by a monstrous alien bent on taking over the Earth and devouring every living thing.

    Is the Republican party evil enough to make a pact with the Undying Faceless just to get a good candidate? In short, and really no spoiler here, yes they are. But in order to save the world a group of four must team up to stop the brain-eating/body-snatching evils. Those four are 2 witches, one a liberal protester, a right-wing blogger, and a carpenter who happens to always be at the right place at the right time and has a knack for feeding many with nothing.

    This hilarious political zombie romp will take you through the adventures of Reagan eating Gingrich’s brain (he wasn’t using it anyway), Rick Santorum becoming pregnant and Sarah Palin becoming the V.P. nominee, and the debates from Fox News as to how great it will be to have Reagan again and anyone who thinks otherwise is merely hating the Temperature challenged.

     
  • gilwilson 11:05 PM on July 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , dirty cops, eoin colfer, , irish, john keating, mistaken identity, , mob boss, , reading, steroids   

    “Plugged” by Eoin Colfer 

    “Plugged”
    by Eoin Colfer
    Read by John Keating
    Published by AudioGo
    8 hours 27 min.

    You never really know what will attract you to a book. The saying goes, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” and for the most part that is true. But, no, it wasn’t the cover that attracted me to this book, in fact, I had not seen the cover until I received the book in the mail. Sometime ago I heard mention of this author, Eoin Colfer. I had heard that his “Artemis Fowl” series was a great sci-fi/fantasy series for young adults, and I was going to start reading this series. I love Young Adult fiction, and as I was looking for information on the series I saw a blogger had posted a contest for this book, “Plugged.” The tag-line on the book says, “If you loved Artemis Fowl…It’s time to grow up.” Now that intrigued me, so I entered the contest (I never win, but entered anyway).

    Also looking for more information on this author, I found he was commissioned to write the sixth novel in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “And Another Thing…” Well that pretty much sealed the deal. Douglas Adams and his “Hitchhiker’s Guide..” series is my all time favorite fiction. Now I had to read this Eoin Colfer’s stuff, I was going to get “And Another Thing…” but to my surprise and amazement I won the blogger’s contest and got a free copy of “Plugged.” Well it took a while for said blogger to finally mail out my prize, but eventually she came through, yeah I could have gone to the library or bookstore and had it read by the time she mailed it, but hey, I won it…I would wait. Once I received the book I put it up on the shelf of audiobooks where I put all the new books publishers send me and I forgot about it.

    I was cleaning shelves and moving things around recently and found this book and was shocked that it was still unopened. So I put it on my list to be listened to next, and once I started listening I was kicking myself for not putting this super fun book on my list sooner. The book is a fun romp in the crime world of a small town in New Jersey that all happens because of events that seem to be tied together are not but create a domino effect of problems for Dan McEvoy.

    Dan McEvoy is a form Irish soldier who served in “The Lebanon,” and is now a bouncer at a small time casino in Cloisters, New Jersey. The trouble all starts when an attorney licks the backside of one of the hostesses of the casino and Dan shakes the man down and bars him from the casino. Dan then heads to his friend and the doctor that has done the hair plug transplant for him, Zeb’s place of business. When Dan enters the door of the office in a strip mall, he notices that it is extremely quiet but dust is settling (soldier training coming through for Dan). As he steps in he sees Zeb is missing but a well-known knife man who is a hired thug for the local mob boss is sitting in a chair in the room. When the thug makes a move for Dan, the thug finds himself dead and Dan finds himself sliding down a path that leads to the death of a bad cop, a “romantic” night with a good cop, the murder of a casino hostess, being misidentified as the husband of a schizophrenic Cyndi Lauper fan, taking part in a poker game where the stakes are his life or the ownership of the casino, numerous deaths and itching hair plugs, all while being haunted by the ghost of Zeb which is probably just in his head.

    Dan McEvoy battles Rottweilers and mob bosses and yet each time it is not for the reason or result he’s expecting. Talk about mistaken identities, Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” didn’t have this many twists and turns. To top it all off Colfer throws in the humor in nearly every scene, making this fun and puzzling.

    The book is read by Irish actor John Keating. Keating does a superb job of reading and performing this book. His voice alone is enough to keep you listening but the emotion he puts in really makes this audiobook a definite must listen.

     
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