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Under the black ensign by L. Ron Hubbard

Under the black ensign (1935)

by L. Ron Hubbard

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This review is for the multicast audio book I got free from LibraryThing in exchange for a review. This is first time I listened to/read a non-science fiction story from L. Ron Hubbard's pen, And I have to say: yeah, let's have some more pulp fiction here. The story was wildly fantastic, with Pirates, and the high seas, and people hiding their identities, and true love! What a ride. It's an old story, re-released by Golden Stories for a new audience. ( )
  susanbeamon | Apr 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have won several of these L. Ron Hubbard dramatizations through librarything.com and they are great. Excellent production values, sound effects and music.

Under the Black Ensign is set in the Caribbean. Tom Bristol was a junior officer on a US ship before he was shanghaied into the British navy. Now, as a simple sailor, he accidentally endangers the governor of Nevis and is unfairly sentenced to death for attempted murder. When the ship is taken by pirates, he gladly switches sides, as does Midshipman Jim, a teenager on the naval boat. Tom's time with the pirates does not go very well and he is soon cast ashore on a small island. Jim comes to rescue him and they begin a series of adventures together.

We can imagine that Galaxy Press, publishers of these dramatizations, is a Scientologist outfit, but there is nothing that points directly to a link.

I received the Galaxy Press audio dramatization of Under the Black Ensign (Stories from the Golden Age) by L. Ron Hubbard through Librarything.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Apr 18, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Multicast performance with music and sound effects. Another enjoyable tale from L. Ron Hubbard. The story involves pirates and romance. The performances are well done and reminiscent of a radio play. It is an action packed tale of romance combined with an adventurous on the high seas.
  papyri | Mar 29, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I dont really know what to say other than l ron hubbards pulp fiction books are great . This one has a great storyline and the charactors a great . Would highly recommend this book ( )
  mrdoan72 | Mar 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Review of the full cast audio recording ‘Under the Black Ensign’ by L. Ron Hubbard

Tom Bristol is the very definition of bad luck. This former first mate has been press-ganged into service aboard a British naval vessel, sentenced to 100 lashes with a cat-o-nine-tails (a certain death sentence) for what was merely an accident, had that sentence interrupted by a pirate attack, and then seen his brief new career as a pirate end with marooning on what is essentially a sandbar in the ocean for killing a mutinous fellow pirate in self defense. Sometimes luck turns simply because it can’t get any worse. Will Tom find a reversal of fortune and an opportunity for vengeance? Of course he will, because this is a pulp fiction story from the 1930s when both the good and the bad get everything they deserve!

Published in 1935 by L. Ron Hubbard, Under the Black Ensign is one of the ‘Stories from the Golden Age’ that are being released as full cast audio recordings. This story features the voice talents of Marisol Nichols, R. F. Daley, Jim Meskimen (who also directed), Phil Proctor, Thomas Silcott and Michael Yurchak.

This is the second of the Golden Age Stories audios that I’ve heard, and it is unquestionably the weaker of the two. It has all the elements of a great pirate story: marooning, noble pirates and corrupt governors, slavery and freedom, a woman in disguise fleeing a detested arranged marriage, sea battles and daring rescues and swashbuckling galore. And therein lies the problem. Of course this is meant to be fiction at its pulpiest, but this was simply too much. There were so many pirate tale tropes squashed into one story that there was not time to appreciate any single one before we were off to the next. Further, Bristol was simply not a strong enough archetype to carry it off.

It may be that I was biased against the story, too, by the fact that I didn’t think this audio was nearly as entertaining as the other I’ve heard (The Iron Duke, which I highly recommend). Neither Tom Bristol’s nor Lady Jane’s voices worked for me. The former didn’t connect with the character I had imagined Bristol to be and the latter felt too contrived: more like a dramatic reading, less like acting. Perhaps this is exactly what it should have been, but having listened to many audio dramas (as opposed to audio books) I find I prefer the latter to the former. For someone less used to full cast audios, this may not be a negative at all.

If you are new to Golden Age Stories and adore pirates, by all means give this a listen. If you don’t have a strong preference, I recommend The Iron Duke instead – the memory of which still makes me smile. ( )
  michele69 | Feb 27, 2014 |
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The marlinespike was inoffensive enough.
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Book description
Tom Bristol's career as first mate of the Maryland bark Randolph abruptly ends during shore leave when he is press-ganged into serving aboard the British HMS Terror.

Toil under the cruel whip of England is merciless: Crew members are treated as little more than chattel barely fed, made to work past the brink of exhaustion and kept in line with a cat-o'-nine-tails. Fate finally smiles on young Bristol when the vessel is overtaken by pirates and he gladly turns coat and joins them.

Yet Tom's new pirate mates desert him quickly after he's found guilty of killing a mutinous pirate and unwittingly harboring a woman on board. Marooned on a deserted island, Tom has nothing but a small supply of water, a gun and just enough bullets to kill himself. But Tom dreams up a devious plan that will return him to the high seas and make his past adventures pale compared to what he has in store for his many enemies. . . .
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Pirates maroon ex-first mate of an English ship and fellow pirate, Tim Bristol, on a desert island, but Tom isn't giving up. He schemes a crafty plan to not only get off the island and back on the high seas, but to punish those who deserted him.

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Galaxy Press

Two editions of this book were published by Galaxy Press.

Editions: 1592123392, 1592123333

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