Monday, May 6, 2013

Music Mondays: L. Ron Hubbard’s "Twenty Fathoms Down"

I know, I know.  You read the title to this post and thought to yourself, “What on earth does L. Ron Hubbard have to do with music? Is this a new band?  Did Tom Cruise make a CD? Is Dawn going to highlight some Sonny & Cher music here today?  Or, perhaps Lisa Marie Presley?”

No, that’s not what today’s post is about (although it would be fun to write about Lisa Marie.  Maybe in a later Music Mondays post….)

Today I want to talk to you about L. Ron Hubbard, the writer, NOT the founder of The Church of Scientology.  I don’t know much about Scientology, and, frankly, am uninterested in exploring its philosophy (although, I AM still a fan of Tom Cruise – Top Gun Tom Cruise, to be specific).

Not long ago I was contacted by the folks at Galaxy Press, a company that specializes in promoting the pulp fiction works of L. Ron Hubbard both in print and on CD.  Galaxy Press aims to reintroduce readers to the “timeless short fiction stories from one of the most prolific writers of the pulp fiction era, L. Ron Hubbard”.

While I am an avid reader (more or less), I have never listened to an audio book, so I opted for the CD version of Twenty Fathoms Down.  And, yes, listening to an audio book meant sacrificing some music listening time in the car, but since I have some friends who swear by audio books, I figured I’d see for myself if audio books are the way to go.  Plus, this provided me with the excuse to write about my experience during "Music Mondays" (see how that worked?)

It was great fun.  Even my boys enjoyed listening to the adventures of Hawk Ridley, Caribbean fortune hunter protagonist extraordinaire.  Here is a sample description of Hawk’s adventure, via Galaxy Press’s marketing copy:

As daring and defiant as Kirk Douglas journeying 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, there’s no stopping diver Hawk Ridley as he takes the plunge into a briny world of untold riches and danger.
The Caribbean is a fortune hunter’s dream, salted with the gold of galleons long ago claimed by the deep.  Now Hawk’s headed for the Windward Passage of Haiti to stake his claim.  But a rival team has also picked up the scent, and they’re willing to turn the sea red with blood to get to the gold first. Fighting off ruthless competitors is nothing new to Hawk…but fighting off a beautiful woman is a different story.  Is she an innocent stowaway or a seductive saboteur?  Between the cool millions lying on the bottom of the ocean, and the boiling-hot race to grab it, Hawk’s about to find the answer and make a discovery Twenty Fathoms Down that will blow you out of the water.”

Seriously, how could I resist such a promise for excitement and entertainment, especially during my daily excursions around town?  While some of the story’s content is obviously dated (such as the diving apparatus Hawk dons when performing his underwater explorations), the basic themes of good guys vs. bad guys, romance, and adventure remain timeless. And, I have to tell you, the audio cinematic rendition really contributed to the overall experience.  The narrator’s reading enhances the feeling of enjoying a “golden age” story, offering dramatic interpretations at just the right moment.  And the sound effects actually made me feel like I was right there, in the middle of all the action. 

While I enjoyed the audio book experience, there was a downside: I became a bit distracted from my driving while I was engrossed in the story.  So, I think, for me, an audio book might best be enjoyed while I am traveling as a passenger instead of the driver.  Or, as I plan to do with the next audio book, listen over the computer while at home or in Starbucks.  It’s a great way to enjoy such an action packed story!

Check out this YouTube video for even more info on these new audio cinematic experiences....

How about you - have you ever read an L. Ron Hubbard book?  Do you like audio books?  Do you have a preference between audio books vs. traditional books?   C'mon, let me know, since I asked and all....

1 comment:

  1. Very nice! Unfortunately i'm from Germany and my English is not good enough for this - but one day ;)
    I read some of the L. Ron Hubbard books and liked them. But sometimes an audio book is much cooler and practical.
    Thanks for sharing!