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Friday, January 3, 2014
BRANDED OUTLAW (Stories from the Golden Age series) by L. Ron Hubbard
Originally published in 1938 in "Five-Novels Monthly" magazine
Re-published by Galaxy Press in 2011.
I read this as a kindle e-book, which seemed sort of appropriate considering L. Ron Hubbard's standing as a world class science fiction author. When this story was originally written in 1938 my standard-issue Kindle HD tablet would seem to be nothing short of science fiction.
You may not be aware that Hubbard wrote plenty of westerns back in the days of pulp serial magazines (and long before his name became synonymous with Scientology). His familiarity with western life came from his childhood in Montana when Montana was still only a few steps away from its rough-and-tumble cowboy past.
Branded Outlaw is an all out Western adventure with all of the familiar elements fans of Westerns are readily familiar with. Lee Weston is coming from Wyoming after being summoned by his father to his ranch in New Mexico. When he arrives he finds his father dead and a smoldering ruin where his father's ranch had been. He is sure that the biggest rancher in the area is the source of this trouble and he is determined to get his revenge.
When he arrives in town he finds himself in a gunfight with the hired hands of this rancher and he is forced to flee town and nurse his wounds. While hiding out he is discovered by a beautiful, headstrong girl who patches him up. Lee falls for her only to find out she is his enemy's daughter...
While none too subtle, this book is about as action-packed as a book can be. It is followed by an interesting biography of the almost unbelievable life of L. Ron Hubbard.
I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on January 3, 2014.