Friday, 21 September 2012

Review - Cargo of Coffins

Cargo of Coffins
By L. Ron Hubbard
Director: Jim Meskimen
Starring: R.F. Daley, Keli Daniels, Lori Jablons, Jim Meskimen, and Tait Ruppert
Studio: Galaxy Press
ISBN-13: 978-1592121700
Release Date: July 14, 2009
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours

During the 1930s and 1940s struggling writers would make some extra cash by writing fiction for the many pulp magazines that were on the market at the time. Pulp magazines didn't have to rely on fancy glossy paper with expensive artwork or the superior production values. What they did rely on was the well plotted stories from real storytellers with crazy villains, plot twists at every corner, and adventures set in faraway lands. The authors didn’t get paid much, mostly a penny per word, so many of them wrote like crazy and had their stories appearing frequently. Some of the most popular pulp writers of the time were L.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury and L. Ron Hubbard.

Galaxy Press has been releasing the short stories written by L. Ron Hubbard to paperbacks and audiobooks under the Stories from the Golden Age, in which they nicely sent me a free audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Cargo of Coffins first appeared in the November 1937 issue of Argosy Weekly and is set on the high seas. The story centers on two bitter rivals Paco Corvino and Lars Marlin, and by chance, they both end up on the same luxury yacht. Paco is the smooth-talking, con man that sent Lars to a penal colony in the French Guiana. Lars escaped prison and wants revenge, but now a twist of fate has lead him to Paco.

Another twist of fate leaves Lars as the Captain of the yacht where Paco is working as a steward. Paco over hears a group of passengers that want to meet someone that is royalty. Paco fakes his death and leaves a letter informing the crew that he is actually royalty, but it is just one of his cons as he eventually shows up alive. Now everyone is treating him as if he was royalty. Meanwhile, Lars cannot do anything about the situation because Paco is blackmailing him to make a stop at the penal colony island to retrieve some coffins. Paco has a devilish plan in store for the passengers and crew, but Lars has plans on stopping him once and for all.

Cargo of Coffins is a fast-paced intriguing tale of revenge. It’s the best plotted story from L. Ron Hubbard that I have listened to so far. The voice cast and sound effects are top notch! I actually felt like I was right there on the yacht with bullets flying at me. If you are looking for an adventure tale, I recommend Cargo of Coffins.

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