Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Audiobook review: If I Were You by L Ron Hubbard

If I Were You (1940) by L Ron Hubbard and L Sprague de Camp
Genre: Fantasy action
Length: 2h 6m
Audio publisher: Galaxy Press, 2008
Read by: Nancy Cartwright and full cast (Lynsey Bartilson, Corey Burton, Bob Caso, RF Daley, Jennifer Darling, John Mariano, Jim Meskimen, Phil Proctor and Tait Ruppert)
From: the publisher
More information at goldenagestories.com

Story: If I Were You contains two short stories: "If I Were You" is the story of the circus dwarf Little Tom Little who desperately wants to be the master of ceremonies. When he inherits a mysterious book from the fortune teller, his dreams may come true, in a different way than he thinks.

In "The Last Drop," Mac the bartender is on the search for the perfect drink. He thinks he has made it using a new liqueur from Borneo, only there are unfortunate side effects.

Thoughts: Originally published in the magazine Five-Novels Monthly, these stories are pure pulp: over the top, yet so much fun. "If I Were You" has a byline by L Ron Hubbard while "The Last Drop" was written by L Sprague de Camp and L Ron Hubbard. They both have mysterious forces, evil bad guys, and lots of running around. My favorite part is when the bar patrons are discussing the square-cube law, the fact that when something doubles in size, its volume is increased by 8 and weight is similarly affected. This is so often ignored in fiction and in this type of fiction specifically. But in this story they bring it out there, discuss it directly, and the events in the story follow the law. Priceless!

Reading: It was strange hearing Bart Simpson pop up as Little Tom Little in "If I Were You," but Nancy Cartwright and the other actors pull it all together. I normally don't like full-cast recordings since the acting often takes away from the story, but full-cast is how these stories are meant to be read. I especially loved the main narrator and am disappointed I can't tell who it is from the way the credits are listed. His voice is perfect for radio, and his introductions, along with the music, really set the stage and get the action moving.

Final thoughts: A great bit of pulp-fiction nostalgia with Bart Simpson thrown in.

Grade: 4 out of 5

I want to thank Galaxy Press for providing a copy of this book for review.

No comments:

Post a Comment