Jumat, 14 September 2012

All Frontiers Are Jealous - A Pulp Fiction Story

During the pulp fiction era, the 1920s to the 1950s, writers churned out stories from all genres, such as fantasy, science fiction, romance, hard boiled detective, spicy detective, westerns, air and sea adventures and tales from the orient etc. "All Frontiers are Jealous" falls into the category of "far flung adventure," something that was dear to the heart of L. Ron Hubbard.

Hubbard was quotes as saying, "Adventuring is a state of mind. If you adventure through life, you have a good chance to be a success on paper." I think this is so true. In his story, "All Frontiers are Jealous," you experience the flavor of the country and its people and adventuring is an understatement!

The story, originally published in June of 1937, takes place in Africa in the south west portion of the Sudan. American engineer, Dan Courtney, is attempting to survey the route of the Sudan railway in its first attempt to connect major cities together. If surveying through the harsh jungle is not tough enough, he soon finds himself in tremendous danger. Of course there is an alluring American woman involved whom he must save from the terrifyingly fierce "Dinka Tribe." (An ethnic group believed to be some of the tallest men in all of Africa, who herd cattle during the warm dry season and grow grains in the rainy season.) Not much was known about these people in the early nineteen hundreds other than they were fiercely protective of their people and lands.

In true Hubbard style, he creatively weaves the story from an avenue you believe the story is going, and then he throws a curve ball you did not see coming. In this story, as if Courtney wasn't already in deep trouble, in his attempt to save the girl, he inadvertently kills a "Diamond Cop," who is part of an international police force that fights the lucrative but dangerous diamond smuggling business.

The pulp fiction era, (named such because of the cheap pulp paper they were printed on) had its own unique style but remains a great read none-the-less. Galaxy Press Publishing in addition to recreating the books in their original format and illustrations has produced the audio book version of "All Frontiers are Jealous."

In reading the book you create in your own mind how the characters may look and sound but the audio book gives a whole new experience with the story. The full-cast audio version is professionally done with cinematic quality sound effects and music. The voice talents of Richard Rocco, R.F. Daley, Christina Huntington, Jim Meskimen, Enn Reitel and Thomas Silcott, all give their characters the realism and life that carries the story right to the very end. It's refreshing to have the options of reading or listening to the stories.

This book is one of sixteen far flung adventure novels that Hubbard wrote but by no means his only style. He contributed stories in most of the genres of that time period but I found this particular book a fun read! I also learned a little history of Africa that I may not have known if not for the book. Check it out!

Fred Duckworth is working to reintroduce Stories from the Golden Age, a line of 80 books and multi-cast, unabridged audio books, featuring 153 stories written by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1930s and 1940s. Click here to view the "Spy Killer trailer;

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