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Red Death Over China (Stories from the Golden Age) (edition 2012)

by L. Ron Hubbard

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157647,891 (3.94)None
Member:Elliot1822
Title:Red Death Over China (Stories from the Golden Age)
Authors:L. Ron Hubbard
Info:Galaxy Press (2012), Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Untitled collection
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Red Death Over China (Stories from the Golden Age) by L. Ron Hubbard

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Red Death Over China is not a typical pulp fiction story and that's why I enjoyed it so much. The second reason I enjoyed this 1937 tale reprinted from the pages of War Birds magazine is due to the fact that all of L. Ron Hubbard's pulp fiction is immensely exciting. Hubbard demonstrated an acute understanding of genre writing and during his long career he mastered them all - air adventure, westerns, fantasy, science fiction, crime suspense and many more. Red Death Over China falls into the air adventure category, but naturally it's much more than that. This remarkable tale is a character study of a man that has lost his way. And when he finds a new purpose it comes as a surprise to him, and he realizes the true nature of sacrifice. American pilot John Hampton cares for no one and believes in nothing. He wants a paycheck, and so he signs on with Mao Tse-Tung's army and brings along his Bristol, an aging slipshod airship. But after a particularly nasty battle where he saves an officer, Hampton is told the story of the Red Pagoda. Now, pondering life and death choices, Hampton's attitude slowly changes. The final line of the story is a piece of dialogue that will resonate with readers long after they set the book down. Red Death Over China is American pulp fiction at its best. This volume includes two bonus stories: The Crate Killer, a brilliant suspense air adventure classic; and Wings Over Ethiopia. I love Hubbard's air adventure stories and this book is highly recommended. ( )
  TPMCNULTY | Jun 16, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I collect old pulp magazines. This story was written for the 1937 issue of War Birds. I also listened to audio tapes from the past for the old radio shows. They're a hoot to listen to since technology has changed so much. I was looking forward to listening to this audio book, and I wasn't disappointed.

Galaxy Press and Library Thing allowed me the opportunity to review this audio book (thank you). It is for sale now and is two hours long and unabridged. It has two other short stories as well as the main novella.

I could tell from listening to the stories that Mr. Hubbard had been in the far east and had experience with flying. Looking up his biography on the internet confirmed that.

Mr. Hubbard's tales are full of action and danger in foreign lands. Death is a partner with the people in his stories.

Each tale has to do with war in some way. The first is tale of fighting in China, the second is about a pilot testing planes, and the third is a war in Africa. They were all good, but the highlight was the first tale. We meet a soldier who cares about nothing: not danger, not war, nor the deaths of his fellow soldiers. He just takes the plane where he's instructed and returns, with uninterested eyes and an apathetic attitude. Until one day things change...

The voices and sound effects were done well and you don't have to listen to those old commercials from the radio days. If you enjoy listening to audio books, you'll like this one. If you haven't started listening to them yet, this is a good place to start. They're short, they're well written and you can sit in chair and visit another land. Why not give the audio book a try?

Happy reading. ( )
  bkfaerie | Jan 23, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a pretty good recording of a pretty good story. It’s apparently an audio version of a pulp fiction story from the thirties. I’m not overwhelmed by it, but I much prefer print to audio for this kind of escapist literature. ( )
  WaltNoise | Jan 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was just a few short stories with a full-cast audio on 2 CDs. I had been wanting for awhile to read some of L. Ron Hubbard's novels, as they've been heavily promoted and I always enjoy reading or listening to things that were popular decades ago. It is especially interesting as I am also reading a book on Scientology (Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion), so having read this book lends a new perspective to Hubbard' biography.
Anyway, about the recording itself. I must say, in the end, I didn't like it. But nonetheless I choose not to give it a low rating because I think it has a lot going for it and seomeone else may enjoy it.
For one, I found it hard to listen to. Over the years, I've found that some audiobooks--maybe 1%--are just impossible to listen to in the car while driving. Usually I find audiobooks calming and help me better focus on driving. Occasionally a book is impossible to focus on while driving. Sometimes it's because of unusual accents; sometimes it's because of the depth of the content; sometimes it's for no reason I can fathom. I wouldn't say this book was impossible to listen to while driving, just more difficult than average.
I also found the full-cast audio distracting. To each his own, but I think I generally prefer one narrator, or if you must, a couple narrators but without the sound effects.
The stories themselves were simple, as would be expected from short stories. But the characters also are very one-dimensional. They sort of had a "going out in a blaze of glory" theme. It's definitely interesting to examine them in a historical perspective. But it's not something that would hold my interest long.
So, for the right person, I think these audio books would be highly enjoyable. For me, it's really not what I was looking for. ( )
  cleoppa | Dec 7, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story, "Red Death over China," which was first published in October 1937 in an issue of "War Birds" magazine. There’s this American Pilot, John Hampton who is just kind of floating through life. He stands for nobody but himself and his own interests. He feels there are no causes worth sticking his neck out for and he’s in it just for the paycheck. He’s hired to deliver a plane to Mao Tse-tung because the pay is good but sees that now he’s going to fly a mission that he could die doing. John Hampton up till then had always felt that nothing is worth dying for. Hampton sees the courage of an army defending an undefendable location and it gets him to really think about whom he is and should be as a man. This is a well-written story for all times and I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to all others. ( )
  Elliot1822 | Dec 6, 2012 |
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This breathtaking tale is set against the backdrop of China's civil war on one side is Chiang Kaishek and, on the other, the army of Mao TseTung. An immense and deciding battle is about to take place, but its outcome oddly lies in American pilot John Hampton's hands.… (more)

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