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The Iron Duke (Stories from the Golden Age)…
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The Iron Duke (Stories from the Golden Age) (original 1940; edition 2009)

by L. Ron Hubbard, Michael Yurchak (Reader), R.F. Daley (Narrator), Lori Jablons (Performer), Jim Meskimen (Performer)1 more, Richard Rocco (Performer)

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Member:CatBooks
Title:The Iron Duke (Stories from the Golden Age)
Authors:L. Ron Hubbard
Other authors:Michael Yurchak (Reader), R.F. Daley (Narrator), Lori Jablons (Performer), Jim Meskimen (Performer), Richard Rocco (Performer)
Info:Galaxy Audio (2009), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Iron Duke by L. Ron Hubbard (1940)

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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Being a collector of pulp mags, I recognized the painting at the cover of The Iron Duke; I think it's from Argosy Magazine as I remember. I know that the company Author Services had a reprint project going on, but leather covers and expensive paper made a $50 a book subscription a bit expensive. Regardless, I collected a few of these books to get my Hubbard fix of fantasy and science fiction. Galaxy Press has been on a project recently of publications of Hubbard's old pulp stories.

The pulps had a lot going for them in the old days. It's really what kids were gravitated to. They were cheap entertainmnet and helped take the mind off The Great Depression and the Nazis. The Iron Duke is clearly attempting to do that.

For a rather cheap price (I got mine from the library, yay) I got a bit of light entertainment and recognized the satire regarding a charlatan who just happens to be the near twin of Archduke Philip of Ardoria. That other Philip is a drunk and a raving lunatic who is kept under close watch by the royal family and a discredit to the monarchy.

Blacky and his sidekick Stub (cute name) take advantage of a case of mistaken identity and the Duke's convenient departure to make riches off the monarchy of Ardoria, avoid the Nazis and make a deal with "The Sons of Freedom", that is, a Communist movement to take over the monarchy.

Only one thing stops him: the love of a woman, Countess Zita.

Tossing grenades, being self-assured to teh point of arrogance and somehow saving the day was typical plot of the Forties pulps. Taking a snide swipe at the Russians and Communism soon after WWII was daring to say the least.

Overall, not a bad book. Besides the story, Galaxy Press gave a short short of an upcoming adventure tale, a bit about the author, his list of pen-names, a short article on the history of pulp fiction and an invitation to read more.

Though I prefer Hubbard's horror (Fear) and his fantasy (Slaves of Sleep) and even his science fiction (Old Doc Methusulah), I have yet to check out further adventure and western tales. I may take Galaxy up on that offer! Critics to the contrary, Hubbard's science fiction output was quite low. Take a look at the biography!

Other books I recommend:

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 [the book, NOT the movie!:]
The Professor Was a Thief (Stories from the Golden Age) [Somewhere Hubbard said this was his favorite.:]
Fear [a Stephen King favorite:]
( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Pulp fiction, with its non-stop adventure, absurd narrative coincidences, and clipped, hard-boiled dialogue, can be grand fun. Unfortunately, The Iron Duke is a snoozer.

Hubbard is a competent writer, but he can't compete with the breeziness of Hammett or the grittiness of Chandler. This particular story also is cluttered with a plethora of adjectives and adverbs that should have been left in even a pulp editor's wastebin. Additionally, the male lead is obnoxious, the female lead is silly, and the Ruritanian setting quaint in the worst way. There is enough quippy humor and slapdash action to make me consider reading another of Hubbard's pulp stories, perhaps one set at sea or in the desert.

One can't escape the feeling that the whole enterprise is just trumped up noise for Church of Scientology recruitment. There's nothing overt, but the hagiographic tone of the foreword, and the hyperbole injected into the afterword, give one pause, as does the use of "Ron" in what is supposed to be a historical essay. To wit, Hubbard becomes the most legendary and most enduring (ix) author of this genre. Plus, while it may be true that pulp fiction exposed its readers to new ideas and cultural motifs, Hubbard didn't single-handedly save Aladdin in American culture (106).

The Iron Duke is recommended for pulp fiction or Hubbard completists only, but consider sampling other titles if you're a casual fan of pulpy adventure tales or quick, action-centered reads. Take the foreword, afterword, and essay with a grain of salt.

NB: This review originally was entered on LT on 3/29/14 and was reentered, without edits, on 8/16/16. ( )
  LibraryPerilous | Aug 16, 2016 |
I liked it. Flows well and a great look at the pulp of the period. ( )
  JohnFallows | Feb 2, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is pulp fiction. It's more of a short story than a novel, and would be good for a quick read at the beach. Although it's short, it does pack a lot of action in. ( )
  chgstrom | Dec 2, 2014 |
Being a collector of pulp mags, I recognized the painting at the cover of The Iron Duke; I think it's from Argosy Magazine as I remember. I know that the company Author Services had a reprint project going on, but leather covers and expensive paper made a $50 a book subscription a bit expensive. Regardless, I collected a few of these books to get my Hubbard fix of fantasy and science fiction. Galaxy Press has been on a project recently of publications of Hubbard's old pulp stories.

The pulps had a lot going for them in the old days. It's really what kids were gravitated to. They were cheap entertainmnet and helped take the mind off The Great Depression and the Nazis. The Iron Duke is clearly attempting to do that.

For a rather cheap price (I got mine from the library, yay) I got a bit of light entertainment and recognized the satire regarding a charlatan who just happens to be the near twin of Archduke Philip of Ardoria. That other Philip is a drunk and a raving lunatic who is kept under close watch by the royal family and a discredit to the monarchy.

Blacky and his sidekick Stub (cute name) take advantage of a case of mistaken identity and the Duke's convenient departure to make riches off the monarchy of Ardoria, avoid the Nazis and make a deal with "The Sons of Freedom", that is, a Communist movement to take over the monarchy.

Only one thing stops him: the love of a woman, Countess Zita.

Tossing grenades, being self-assured to teh point of arrogance and somehow saving the day was typical plot of the Forties pulps. Taking a snide swipe at the Russians and Communism soon after WWII was daring to say the least.

Overall, not a bad book. Besides the story, Galaxy Press gave a short short of an upcoming adventure tale, a bit about the author, his list of pen-names, a short article on the history of pulp fiction and an invitation to read more.

Though I prefer Hubbard's horror (Fear) and his fantasy (Slaves of Sleep) and even his science fiction (Old Doc Methusulah), I have yet to check out further adventure and western tales. I may take Galaxy up on that offer! Critics to the contrary, Hubbard's science fiction output was quite low. Take a look at the biography!

Other books I recommend:

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 [the book, NOT the movie!:]
The Professor Was a Thief (Stories from the Golden Age) [Somewhere Hubbard said this was his favorite.:]
Fear [a Stephen King favorite:]
( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
"This inspired and well-polished entertainment will immerse listeners."
added by Bruce_Deming | editPublishers Weekly
 
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Two men strode hurriedly through the black of the Aldorian night, shadows against the darker shadow of brush along the edge of the field. Beyond them, against the stars, loomed the foothills of the Balkan spur known as the Bauchist Range. A sweet tang of spring drifted on the wind they clove, belied by the sharp chill of the passing winter. Far off a train whistled three ghostly notes.
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"American arms merchant Blacky Lee is wanted by nearly every government in 1930s Europe --especially the Nazis. They want Blacky's head for selling them dud weapons, prompting his rapid (and illegal) escape across the Balkans to the kingdom of Aldoria with his business partner in tow. Aldoria is well chosen. Years before, Blacky discovered he was the spitting image of the country's Prince Philip, learned the archduke's speaking voice and memorized the royal family tree just in case. When Blacky brazenly impersonates the leader, things go surprisingly well . . . that is, until he finds himself caught in the middle of a Communist plot to rig elections and take over."--Publisher blurb.… (more)

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Galaxy Press

2 editions of this book were published by Galaxy Press.

Editions: 159212173X, 1592123198

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