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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
L. Ron Hubbard is probably best known as the founder of Scientology and creator of Dianetics. These days, his name is largely connected with the antics of the some of the more "outspoken" members of the religion, overshadowing the fact that the man really knew how to tell an entertaining story. All 150 of the stories Hubbard wrote for the pulp magazines of the 1930s and '40s are being rereleased in paperback and audio under the evocative title Stories from the Golden Age.

The recordings I've tried so far are just terrific. They are a professionally produced combination of traditional narrated audiobooks (with narration deftly handled by R.F. Daley) and old-time radio, with skilled actors playing the characters (often multiple roles) and genre-specific music and sound effects rounding out the experience.

"I have come to kill you, Gordon."

So says a voice reminiscent of the grave, as its fingers wrap around Gordon's throat and slowly take his life. Detective Sergeant Terry Lane arrives on the scene and notes the similarity with another recent murder. All the evidence points to a no-longer-assailant, and Lane's fears are confirmed when he uncovers the suspect's empty coffin and has to fight off a trio of expressionless figures with only his fists.

For a while, Lane has only questions, like how do a letter from "Loup-Garou," a Haitian pharmacy bill, and the mysterious Dr. Leroux tie in to the murders? The primary targets seem to be rich and influential businessmen, but if Lane doesn't find out who's responsible and stop the culprit, the next zombie will be him.

Matt Scott turns in a solid performance as the ultranoble Lane, and John Mariano plays the mad scientist with relish (complete with a selection of diabolical laughs). But the real star of the Dead Men Kill audiobook is narrator R.F. Daley.

Author L. Ron Hubbard's prose is heavy on description, and Daley is more than up to the task. His voice is perfect for pulp fiction, and he adds just the right touch of emphasis (along with the occasional wink where appropriate) without drawing attention away from the story.

Dead Men Kill is the only zombie horror story Hubbard wrote, and the author succeeds by presenting this questionable subject in a realistic manner. He doesn't try to overexplain, but simply focuses on keeping up the story's quick pace (so we don't think about it too much). Its focus on the Haitian voodoo aspects should appeal to fans of more recent takes on the same subject, such as Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's novel Cemetery Dance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2011
First this is an excellent kindle edition as it is true to the original and contains no scanning errors also it contains copies of the original artwork which can be zoomed to view in addition there is a glossary which is linked to underlined items which are generally words or phrases not in common use now but were widely used in the 1930/40s. Also included in the book complete with photographs is a comprehensive biography of L Ron Hubbard.
The actual story is typical of the type written at the time when authors had to bash out stories in minimal time to meet editor's time scales and often paid by the word. However it is still a good story that does not seem, apart from the language to have dated. Without giving away much of the plot it is soon discovered, first few pages, that there are murders being carried out by people that are known to be dead. From this start the story progresses with a number of murders with the detective just too late until the final climax where there is a bit of a twist. Good reading if only to get a flavour of this type of book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2010
This 1934 story appeared early in Hubbard's remarkable career. Part zombie story, part crime story, Hubbard successfully fused genres long before such devices were commonplace. Told in ten brisk chapters, the story is a prime example of Hubbard's trademark pacing, strong characters, and flair for suspense. The protagonist, Detective-Sergeant Terry Lane is a quintessential Hubbard hero - intelligent, savvy, and quick to act. Fans of the Golden Age are sure to enjoy this ghoulish delight from America's Master Storyteller. For those that prefer audio books you'll not be disappointed. Each audio book features a multicast performance with music and sound effects reminiscent of radio's golden age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
Dead Men Kill"
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio
approx 2 hours

For some reason horror fans seem to be drawn to zombies, there are podcasts of zombie stories, several books and of course the re-writing of Jane Austen's novel, "Pride and Prejudice" into "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." Many fans will consider George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" the beginning of this craze, and the die-hard fans will even think Max Brooks with his "Zombie Survival Guide" as reason for the trend. But back before these guys brought about the flesh eating scourge of zombies, L. Ron Hubbard wrote a mystery that brought the living dead into America.

First published in 1934 in "Thrilling Detective" magazine, "Dead Men Kill" is a great zombie/detective story. Galaxy Audio a branch of Galaxy Press has released this novella as a pulp book and a pulp audio book. The audio book is produced with the same fervor and nostalgia as all the other Hubbard audio books. The narrator keeps you in the story while performing as a narrator from one of the old radio serials. The actors in the performance definitely have that nostalgic feel when having to perform the action in the story that is purely pulp-fiction. The melodramatic delivery of the voice of the zombies on the kill is fun but chilling. Even the incidental music which was composed specifically for the Galaxy Audio Golden Age stories releases will launch you back to the mid-twentieth century when tales were told in magazines for a dime.

The story follows the heroic Detective-Sergeant Terrence "Terry" Lane as he investigates a series of murders among the wealthy in his town and the clues to who did the killing point only to people that have been dead and in the grave for several days. The people of status are all being blackmailed and when they can't pay, someone close to them, that has recently died, comes back to kill them.

Lane's only clue is a receipt from a pharmacy in Haiti, and a note from Loup-Garou, a man who tells Lane to retire from the police force or suffer the same fate. Lane gets some help from a female performer who works at a Haitian night club. The adventures begin and the suspects are plenty as Lane digs up a grave and finds the body missing. The same body is then found to have murdered a banker. Lane is kidnapped, drugged, almost turned into a zombie and escapes from a coffin to find the zombie maker.

With an exciting story and some interesting twists, Hubbard weaves a fun tale from zombie land that will have a chill rolling down your spine.
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2012
I absolutely LOVED this story! I love mystery and suspense, and this book was definitely full of that. This is a very well-written tale of dead men coming back to life to commit more murders...or are they? The main character (Terry Lane) is determined to find out what is actually happening. Soon a mysterious and attractive women becomes involved, and Lane has to realize all is not necessarily as it seems. It's so well done that I got the creeps several times while moving through the tale.

I listened to the audiobook version, and I literally got chills and even turned around at one point to make sure no one was sneaking up behind me. Something about the line, "I have come to kill you, Gordon," and I personally would want to run screaming! Anyway, a GREAT mystery/suspense/horror story that has lasted through the ages!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
OK, I admit it. 30s and 40s detective fiction, whether movie or book, is at the top of my list no matter what. The Thin Man! Sam Spade!
This story takes all those elements - the tough detective, handy with his fists and quick to action, the desperate heroine, who is taking horrible risks to save someone, and a full cast of supporting characters with their own distinct personalities and adds in a delicious thread of fantastical horror -- got to love zombie killers led by a loup garrou!
Terry Lane is a good cop. Men are dying mysteriously with all the evidence pointing to dead men doing the deed. His race to find out who is behind it all leads him to a beautiful woman he wants to trust -- but should he?
See what I mean? Classic.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
L. Ron Hubbard has written some of my favorite books, but that completely aside, the performance on the audio book version is simply amazing! I have never heard audio books like the Stories from the Golden Age collection. They have a full cast of voice actors, sound effects, and ambient sound, and it is unbelievably engrossing. I hope other audio books take this method to heart because the quality here blows away everything else I have ever heard!

Galaxy Press also puts on live performances, and these are really fun, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
Whatever opinions you may have about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, I invite you to put them down and simply enjoy this excellent mystery thriller. Before founding Scientology, Hubbard was a pulp fiction writer - and a good one at that!

Dead Men Kill is filled with action and keeps you guessing till the end. Hubbard's writing style is quick and keeps the story moving. Zombies, murder, mystery... what more can you ask for?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2012
What I liked about this story, besides the excellent production and talent, was the way a murder mystery with zombies could keep me interested without being too dark and depressing. I think it was the pace of it and maybe the tone set by the opening line: "I have come to kill you, Gordon." It didn't waste any time with deep reflections. I found it enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I liked Dead Men Kill. It's a fun story, kind of scary, but what's fun about that story is that if you research it on-line, you'll find that what happens in that story with "dead" people coming back doing dirty-work for others, actually happens, like in Haiti. Just that alone intrigued me. L. Ron Hubbard is a fantastic writer. It's a fun, fast and easy read!
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