The Head Hunters by L. Ron Hubbard – Audiobook Review

The Head Hunters
Written by L. Ron Hubbard
Produced for audio by Galaxy Press with a full cast

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the audio book release of The Head Hunters by L. Ron Hubbard from Galaxy Press for review purposes.

I have to admit when I was first approached by Galaxy Press regarding reviewing of their audio books, I was a bit torn. I love stories of action and adventure from the pulp age, but I have read some of L. Ron Hubbard’s later work (Battlefield Earth and the Mission Earth series), and, well, I just wasn’t impressed. On the other hand the stories that Galaxy Press was offer me where from early in L. Ron Hubbard’s writing career and definitely in a more action/adventure vein. In the end I figured, if I didn’t like them then I would just say so. (I am all about giving honest reviews here.)

Fortunately for Galaxy Press and L. Ron Hubbard (and you), I really enjoyed The Head Hunters. The Head Hunters is a classic two-fisted pulp adventure story set in Polynesia. It centers around a man named Tom Christian. Christian is the adventure who is master of his own small sailing yacht. The story begins with Punjo Charlie, a local villain, menacing Christian’s first mate Hihi (a local islander). Punjo Charlie is trying to find a cache of gold discovered by Christian on the island’s interior and steal it. Christian and Hihi attempt to recover the gold before the rainy season hits and before Punjo Charlie finds it. But our heroes must also rescue a naive scientific expedition from the clutches of Punjo Charlie and his band of head hunters as well as recover the gold before it is too late.

As I said I really enjoyed The Head Hunters. Sure it was a bit dated as well as a little racist and sexist by today’s standards, but it was fun. A large part of what made it fun was the fact that it was produced with a full cast and audio effects and music (in the same style as books produced by GraphicAudio.) That really helped bring the story to life for me and upped the dramatic tension a bit. And the cast was great. The audio was clear even with the effects and music. The characters were well voiced. None of the accents were two thick. Every voice was unique. Quality of the audio performance over all was top notch.

Another big plus for me was that this audio books was only two hours long. I am a big fan of the short novel. I spend two hours a day driving and an hour at the gym listening to audio most days. Have a book I can complete in one days is nice sometimes.

If you enjoy tales of adventure in exotic locations with lots of action you should definitely check out The Head Hunters by L. Ron Hubbard. I give it 5 out of 5 snark bites.

A Manhattan Ghost Story by T.M. Wright (Unabridged Audio) – A Review

A Manhattan Ghost Story (Unabridged Audiobook)
Written by T.M. Wright
Narrated by Dick Hill

Produced by Crossroad Press and SpringBrook Audio

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of A Manhattan Ghost Story (Unabridged Audiobook) from Crossroad Press for reviews purposes.

A Manhattan Ghost Story is the tale of a man named Abner Cray. Abner is a photographer who lives in Maine. Abner travels ti New York to work on a photo book. Abner’s friend Art offers to allow Abner to live in his apartment while he is working on the book because Art will be traveling. That is how Abner meets Art’s ex-girlfriend, Phyllis, and falls in love with her. Art’s dead ex-girlfriend. That’s when Abner discovers the other inhabitants of New York. The ghosts of New York. That is when things go horribly wrong.

A Manhattan Ghost Story is a story of love and hate and madness. It is told as a memoir. It is strange. It is disturbing. And, unfortunately, it is more than a bit confusing in places. It has an interesting twist on ghosts, and how they relate to the live. But that was not enough to make it work for me. In the end I just didn’t enjoy this book.

The story is read by Dick Hill. His voice and style suit this book well. I admit many of the character sound the same, but much of the book really feels like when my grand father would telling me a stories from his life. That make it more interesting.

Overall, I didn’t like this story very much. It is a okay story, but it took a long to get going. I kept getting lost in the first few chapter of the book. I can’t recommend it. If you are a big fan of ghost stories it might be worth your time and the audio is good, but it just did work for me.

I’m giving it 3 out of 5 snark bites.

Soul Storm by Chet Willamson: A review

Soul Storm – Unabridged Audiobook
by Chet Williamson
Narrated by Chet Williamson

Published by Crossroad Press and Springbrook Audio

(Disclosure notice: I received a free copy of Soul Storm from Crossroad Press for review purposes.)

What can I say. I am a sucker for a good haunted house story. I have read many haunted house stories and novels (The Legend of Hell House, House of Bones, The Shinning), and seen many haunted house films (House, The House on Haunted Hill, Rose Red) as well. (And I have been thought my share of Halloween spook houses, and ridden the haunted house ride at Disney Land, but I digress.) Most recently in the haunted house vein, I read (or listen to) Soul Storm by Chet Williamson.

Let me start by saying that Soul Storm is an excellent haunted house story. It brings strong characters, an interesting twist on the cause of the haunting, and good story telling together to tell the story of The Pines. The Pines is a house in the wilds of Pennsylvania with a past filled strange and supernatural events. David Neville, owner of The Pines, has recently restored the house. David Neville is dying, and David wants proof of life after death. David plans to use The Pines to achieve that end by spending a month locked in The Pines with his wife, Gabrielle, and three men hired for a million dollars each to be his witnesses and protectors: Kelly Wickstrom, George McNeely, and Seth Cummings. The five are then sealed in the house with locks and steel plates, and must try to survive the house and each other.

So as I said I enjoyed Soul Storm. The story is well told with strong interesting characters that I cared about. The end was appropriate. It was an excellent read, and, in typical Chet Williamson’s style, is filled with strong characters forced into trying situation. I give the story five out of five snark bites.

The reading was done by the author and is top rate. Chet Williamson is an actor as well as a writer and he does a good job reading his own work. I do have to say that at a couple of points he seemed to slip out of character while reading dialogue, but it didn’t take away from the reading as a whole. I give the reading four out of five snark bites.

So overall, if you like haunted house stories or stories about people put in trying survival situations you should pick up Soul Storm. If it s great read (and listen). I give the unabridged audio version of Chet Williamson’s Soul Storm four out of five snark bites.