Monday, 7 July 2014

Review - Shadows From Boot Hill

Shadows from Boot Hill
by L. Ron Hubbard
Directors: Jim Meskimen and Tait Ruppert
Voice Cast: Phil Procter, Corey Burton, R.F. Daley, John Mariano, Jim Meskimen, Tait Ruppert, Fred Tatasciore, Josh R. Thompson
Studio: Galaxy Press
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Retail: $9.98
ISBN: 978-1592123476
Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Buy Links: Audiobook, Paperback


Saturday, July 26, 2014 is the official National Day of the Cowboy, which is an official holiday in 8 states. To celebrate the holiday, I'm reviewing several western titles by the late L. Ron Hubbard. The audiobooks are produced by Galaxy Press using a talented voice cast and outstanding sound effects. These stories were published in the 1930s and 1940s, or otherwise known as the Golden Age, in Pulp magazines.

Shadows from Boot Hill first appeared in the June 1940 issue of Wild West Weekly and centers on the hired-gun, murderer and outlaw, Brazos, who bailed out on his payment for killing a banker, as lawmen were hot on his trail. He takes shelter briefly in Los Hornos, where his so-called friend, Whisper Monahan, offers him $200 to murder a man named Scotty Brant.

Scotty Brant has beeb using cyanide to extract gold from an oxide ore, which is located on the land owned by Whisper. Now all 4,000 of acres of his land has been poisoned. All Brazos has to do is kill Brant and collect the $200. It may sound simple enough, but Brant has a surprise in store for him - a witchdoctor, who happens to put a curse on Brazos.

There are two more short western tales, The Gunner From Gehenna and Gunman! 

The Gunner form Gehenna centers on Bill Maynard, a former criminal turned lawman, who gets an unwelcome visit from his riding buddy, Gunner. Bill is forced to go on one last ride with Gunner to steal some gold from a few miners, but Bill is a good guy now and he'll do anything he can to stop Gunner.

Gunman! centers on Brazos Kincade (a different Brazos character), a man on his final days as marshal of the town Deadlight; though he would like to stay on as the marshal, the citizens believe that he is a bit too old for the job. With only three days left on the job, Brazos will have his hands full stopping some bad guys from robbing the bank, which is holding a supply of gold.

Wild West fiction seems to be a dying breed, though there are a few writers still publishing paperbacks in the genre. I prefer the older authors, like Janice Holt Giles, Louis L'amour, Max Brand and Zane Grey, as their stories are always more nitty gritty compared to newer authors. L. Ron Hubbard wrote several western short stories and novellas during the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of them appearing in Pulp magazines that no longer exist. It is great that Galaxy Press is bring the stories back by releasing paperbacks and producing high-quality audiobooks. Shadows from Boot Hill is a western tale that would be perfect for an episode of The Twilight Zone, as it has a supernatural twist. The other two stories are the traditional good guy vs. bad guy tales. Overall, the three stories featured on the audiobook are well written with a great voice-cast and outstanding sound effects.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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