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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Death Waits at Sundown (audiobook) by L. Ron Hubbard

Lots of fun in a small package.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Multicast Performance
Published by Galaxy Press

First published in Western Story Magazine in 1938, Death Waits at Sundown is part of a large series of books and stories that are being re-published by Galaxy Press as part of their Golden Age Stories series. In reality, they are a collection of L. Ron Hubbard's early works that were published in magazines and as pulp fiction books. Hubbard was a prolific writer and he wrote a lot of action stories that translate quite well into the multicast performance audiobook format.

This audiobook is actually three short stories. The first story is the title story of the collection. It features a wrongly accused man named Frank Taylor. He has been convicted of murder and robbery so that the new town sheriff can confiscate his land. But, the new sheriff never counted on Frank's brother, a famed gunslinger from Texas, comes to town to save his brother.

The second story (Ride 'Em Cowboy) is a love story that takes place during three rodeo events. I think it is the strongest of the three stories. Long Tom Banner (a national rodeo champion) has a crush on Vicky Steward, the most successful woman on the rodeo circuit. But, sparks fly as he tries to express his feelings while they compete against one another in three rodeo events.

The Boss of the Lazy B is the last story. It also features a frustrated man but the story is much more complicated and the ending was less satisfying than that of Ride 'Em Cowboy. Big Bill Bailey is the area's most successful local rancher. He leads a posse to arrest Spick Murphy, a well-known rustler who is rumored to have killed more than a dozen men - and nearly gets killed in the process. Bailey's love interest, Susan Spice, decides that Murphy has been wrongly accused, succeeds in helping Murphy defend himself in the trial and then hires Murphy as a hand at her ranch. But, can Murphy be trusted and will Big Bill Bailey get past this insult to his judgment?

This series is a great bit of escapist fiction.  The multicast performance sounds like an old-fashioned radio drama. Lots of fun in a small package.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on May 17, 2012.

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