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The Iron Duke: Golden Age Stories

The Iron Duke: Golden Age Stories


The Iron Duke: Golden Age Stories

ratings:
3/5 (21 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Released:
Mar 15, 2010
ISBN:
9781592124701
Format:
Audiobook

Description

He's a lady's man, a man's man—and a wanted man, on the run in 1930s Europe.

Meet Blacky Lee, ruggedly handsome with a quick wit and a roguish charm—with larceny in his heart and a price on his head. A price put there by the German Gestapo. But Blacky's always got an angle, and this time it's as audacious as they come. He'll hide in plain sight, impersonating the crowned head of a Balkan kingdom. He'll become The Iron Duke.

Can he pull it off? Win the love of a country … and of a beautiful woman? All Blacky has to do is risk everything—and, for once in his life, find a way to do the right thing.

Released:
Mar 15, 2010
ISBN:
9781592124701
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

With 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 350 million copies of his works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard is among the most acclaimed and widely read authors of our time. As a leading light of American Pulp Fiction through the 1930s and '40s, he is further among the most influential authors of the modern age. Indeed, from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, there is scarcely a master of imaginative tales who has not paid tribute to L. Ron Hubbard.

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Reviews

What people think about The Iron Duke

3.2
21 ratings / 30 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Blacky Lee stars as the main character, the Iron Duke, the suave American WWII soldier able to outsmart, think, and fool any Commie or Nazi that gets in his way of money, women and booze. In this fast-paced, pulp-fiction piece, he is mistaken for the Duke of Aldoria, a Communist kingdom we can only assume is located near the Soviet Union. He, along with his tag-along, bad-lucked, whiny, cliched partner Stub have to figure out a way to get out of this predicament alive - and, as we can only imagine, with money on their minds. Well, money on Blacky's mind, at least, because that's one of the few things he cares about.It's an entertaining story, though it had been done before, but for how short it is, and for being that classic pulp-fiction we all know and love (or love to hate), it provides an entertaining few hours for whomever wants to be whisked away to adventure at the hands of a smooth talking ladies man.
  • (4/5)
    The Iron Duke is a wonderfully fast-paced tale of derring-do that I found enjoyable, but much too short. It reminded me of the exploits of movie heroes that I used to watch on "Pictures for a Sunday Afternoon", a tv program back in the 1950s. Because of the genre - pulp fiction novella - there was little actual character development. The reader must use that marvelous tool that is frequently ignored and really allows the reader greater participation in the adventure. Imagination.
  • (4/5)
    I liked it. Flows well and a great look at the pulp of the period.
  • (4/5)
    If you like radio dramas, as I do, you will enjoy this. It's a quick "listen", light-weight novelette. I'm not sure what you would classify it as: spy, war, love story? Non of the above actually. But I enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. It was a quick easy book to read. Enjoyable.
  • (4/5)
    I received this as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.Despite my misgivings about L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology, I love his pulp fiction.This story is fast paced and had enough twists and turns to keep you turning the page.
  • (4/5)
    What a fun romp! I received the audio version from Early Reviewers and have never read or listened to L Ron Hubbard before. Although very short & formulaic, It's a fast paced tale with a few twists and surprises, definitely fun to listen to when traveling. I prefer more serious reading when at home, but this is perfect for driving entertainment.
  • (3/5)
    I received the C.D. version. There are lots of actors doing the voices so it feels like an old-time radio show. Stub's voice is whiny and annoying and some of the Aldorian accents are thick and hard to understand. I do enjoy audio books. I kind of enjoyed the story. Maybe I would've enjoyed the printed book more. I would listen to or read more of these if they were given to me.It seems that Blacky is always running a scam and you don't know what he is up to. The characters didn't really seem to be too likeable to me or have redeeming characteristics.Usually golden-age refers to mysteries, so I was surprised that it was applied to other classics. This was my first experience with pulp fiction or Hubbard. According to the booklet that came with it, he was a prolific author.
  • (3/5)
    This book is pulp fiction. It's more of a short story than a novel, and would be good for a quick read at the beach. Although it's short, it does pack a lot of action in.
  • (4/5)
    I received The Iron Duke through Library Thing Member giveaways. The Iron Duke is about American arms merchantBlacky Lee. Blacky Lee is wanted by nearly every government in 1930's Europe- especially the Nazis. They want Blacky's head tor selling them dud weapons, prompting his rapid escape across the Balkans to the kingdom of Aldoria with his business partner in tow. When Blacky impersonates the leader, Prince Phillip, things go surprisingly well. . . until he finds himself caught in the middle of a Communist plot to rig elections.I thought that The Iron Duke had many suspenseful moments. The trouble Blacky Lee and his business partner get into made me laugh. I thought that Michael Yurchak gave a wonderful performance. His voice made the Blacky Lee's character come to life.I enjoy audio books from "Stories from the Golden Age." They are so much more than just plain audio books. They remind me of radio shows from the 1930's
  • (5/5)
    A great surprise came when I found out that I had won this since I had been wanting to read it for a long time. The book starts out by running a d never gives up until the end. The pace of the book is good, so good that BH the end I was ready for a nice long nap. Anyo e who yearns for the good old days of the plups would enjoy this book.
  • (5/5)
    I received a free copy of this audiobook from Librarything and let me just say that I adored it and I thank very much whoever was responsible for it! :)First, I am going to start by saying that the narration was spectacular. The acting was so realistic and entertaining that it was hard to stop listening to it.Now to the plot! "The Iron Duke" is about a man named Blacky Lee who is a scoundrel, but at the same time, a charming and tricky man. He gets into trouble with the government because he impersonates a member of the monarchy that looks a lot like him. The story is pretty much about him trying to figure out a way to "save his skin." If I had to choose a word to describe the ending, it would probably be CUTE!!! (and also completely charming).The main characters that complemented the plot were;Countess Zita; She is a strong headed woman who intimidates most men. She is 26 years old and hasn't marry yet because she hasn't found the man who can be her equal on an intellectual level.Stub Doyle; This is by far my favorite character. He is funny but loyal. He kind of reminds me of Sancho Panza from the famous book written by Miguel de Cervantes "Don Quixote." The acting voice gave this character a believable life and personality. I found myself laughing a bunch of times hearing him express his worries and doubts. I feel like this book can be heard and read by everybody. Is entertaining and will keep you thinking about the characters and the book itself for a long time. I highly recommend it to people who like history (even if you don't) and wants to spend a great time submerged in a healthy and transcendental tale of an antihero's moral change.Sincerely,Stub's new fan!!!
  • (5/5)
    Being a collector of pulp mags, I recognized the painting at the cover of The Iron Duke; I think it's from Argosy Magazine as I remember. I know that the company Author Services had a reprint project going on, but leather covers and expensive paper made a $50 a book subscription a bit expensive. Regardless, I collected a few of these books to get my Hubbard fix of fantasy and science fiction. Galaxy Press has been on a project recently of publications of Hubbard's old pulp stories.

    The pulps had a lot going for them in the old days. It's really what kids were gravitated to. They were cheap entertainmnet and helped take the mind off The Great Depression and the Nazis. The Iron Duke is clearly attempting to do that.

    For a rather cheap price (I got mine from the library, yay) I got a bit of light entertainment and recognized the satire regarding a charlatan who just happens to be the near twin of Archduke Philip of Ardoria. That other Philip is a drunk and a raving lunatic who is kept under close watch by the royal family and a discredit to the monarchy.

    Blacky and his sidekick Stub (cute name) take advantage of a case of mistaken identity and the Duke's convenient departure to make riches off the monarchy of Ardoria, avoid the Nazis and make a deal with "The Sons of Freedom", that is, a Communist movement to take over the monarchy.

    Only one thing stops him: the love of a woman, Countess Zita.

    Tossing grenades, being self-assured to teh point of arrogance and somehow saving the day was typical plot of the Forties pulps. Taking a snide swipe at the Russians and Communism soon after WWII was daring to say the least.

    Overall, not a bad book. Besides the story, Galaxy Press gave a short short of an upcoming adventure tale, a bit about the author, his list of pen-names, a short article on the history of pulp fiction and an invitation to read more.

    Though I prefer Hubbard's horror (Fear) and his fantasy (Slaves of Sleep) and even his science fiction (Old Doc Methusulah), I have yet to check out further adventure and western tales. I may take Galaxy up on that offer! Critics to the contrary, Hubbard's science fiction output was quite low. Take a look at the biography!

    Other books I recommend:

    Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 [the book, NOT the movie!:]
    The Professor Was a Thief (Stories from the Golden Age) [Somewhere Hubbard said this was his favorite.:]
    Fear [a Stephen King favorite:]
  • (3/5)
    True to pulp fiction, this is a quick read with a lot of action packed in. It was quite enjoyable and made me want to pick up the rest.As far as this being a republication goes, I enjoyed the physical feel and look of the book, with the rougher paper taking you back to the era when "pulp" fiction was really made with the rougher pulp paper. I thought it was also very nice to have an introduction in the history on pulp fiction itself for those who may not really understand where the title and type of story comes from.Reading this one book made me crave a whole stack of the rest and an afternoon where I could just be a kid again and dive into one adventure after another.
  • (3/5)
    The Iron Duke was interesting to listen to and certainly the type of take on doppelgangers that makes it worthwhile to keep going until the end.There are twists and turns and things going sideways. The main character isn't the most likeable of people, but neither is the opposition.Reasonable storyline, good pace, not bad for the genre.(Received from Member Giveaways)
  • (4/5)
    CD AudiobookThe ensemble cast brings the twist and turn tale of Blacky Lee and the kingdom of Aldoria to life. Humor, political intrigue, mystery, violence, and romance run rampant as Nazis, communists, and royalists fight over Blacky in this pre-World War 2 pulp fiction novel. The audio version could have used better sound editing. At times, the music between chapters was much louder that the chapter performance. In addition, the length of music between the second to last and the last chapter was long enough that it appeared that the book had finished.
  • (5/5)
    This series of audio books are very nicely packaged. They are very good productions with multiple narrators, sound effects and music. They are predictable but great entertainment.
  • (4/5)
    Mr Hubbard must have had a twinkle in his eye as he conceived this story! The characters and settings have been written by other reviewers, what really impressed me was Mr, Hubbard exercise of remarkable creative muscles with the many deft changes in direction and decisions of characters that leave you on the edge till the end wondering the outcome!
  • (5/5)
    I love pulp fiction and The Iron Duke is a corker. Preposterous story with an unlikely ending. Masterful hero with broad shoulders and slender legs, a comical sidekick, a cunning and very beautiful woman with luxuriant hair, a royal crown at stake, all written in the over-the-top pulp style – what more could you possibly want?The production values for the book are top rate. The acting is good, the accents are just corny enough, the background effects are lovely. The sound engineer should be congratulated.Other reviewers at librarything and elsewhere online have detailed the plot so I don't need to do that over again. I will, however, report something about this series of audiobooks from Galaxy Press.All of the audiobooks are cased exactly the same in a red and yellow folding cardboard arrangement that holds two discs. This case is printed with the name of the author (LRH) and the series (Stories from the Golden Age) but does not identify the contents. Tucked inside this case is a booklet biography of LRH and a subscription form for the series. The name of the book is printed on the slip cover only, along with a brief biography of LRH, a short plot summary, and an abbreviated cast list. ISBN and other production details are included on the back.The book arrives in a bright red mailer that contains the shrink-wrapped book, a letter from the President of Galaxy Press, and a catalog for the books and audios of the Stories of the Golden Age series. Also tucked in is a single sheet of paper with the book title, a story summary, AND THE ONLY CAST LIST! The cast list is not found in any other place and if you throw it away, as I did for the first two of these books I received, that's that. The list is not posted on the Galaxy Press site nor on Amazon. I wonder at the politics of this. Is it a Scientologist thing? Does the actors' guild know?We can imagine that Galaxy Press, publishers of these audiobooks, is a Scientologist outfit, but there is nothing that points directly to a link.
  • (3/5)
    Blacky Lee is a smooth talking American con man in pre-WWII Europe. His latest arms deal has fallen through and he and his side kick/business partner Stub Doyle are on the run. Though smooth talking Blacky has never let him down yet, Stub is sure that they are doomed this time.They have just crossed the border to avoid the Nazis to whom Blacky sold the dud weapons, and hopped a train, but they aren't on it long when military officials board the train as well. Stub is stunned to see that the train officials "recognize" Blacky, clearly mistaking him for the reigning duke in this small country. The ever enterprising Blacky has done his research, knowing that he bears an unusually close resemblance to the duke, and that furthermore, the duke has a drinking problem and is not seen too often in public.The trouble comes when the Communist thugs in Aldoria are fooled as well, kidnapping Blacky and persuading him to promise an election in exchange for a generous bribe and the opportunity to continue living if he leaves the country. Looks like Stub may be right this time, but don't count Blacky out just yet!Lots of action, thrills and surprising twists in this historical period piece by L. Ron Hubbard, one of the most prolific pulp fiction writers of what is called The Golden Age. L. Ron certainly is a master of keeping the story moving right along with drama, humor, and entertaining characters.
  • (4/5)
    This audiobook version of this book was amazing. I loved the different voice actors for each character and the sound effects and the music between chapters (such a good idea to know when I could turn it off if I was getting out of the car). The story was interesting - I'm not sure if it was more due to the audiobook or not but I enjoyed the story. A little bit of mystery and action and adventure. Looking forward to reading/hearing more from this author!
  • (3/5)
    As usual, I received this book for free in a LibraryThing giveaway. It's also worth noting that I'm not typically a fan of the audio book genre so when this one showed up at my doorstep I was not disappointed but I was a bit out of my usual familiar literary format.On the positive side, the whole thing is professionally and crisply presented. Rather than being a mere narration of the text of the novel, the presentation features half a dozen or more voice actors, sound effects and musical score. It's really more of a radio play than an audio book. Those nostalgic for the golden days of radio may get their fix here.On the negative side, the story was nothing special. This is merely pulp which has as its primary draw the fact that there's so much of it rather than any thought-provoking novelty. Hubbards story is rather predictable and cliche but for those who are fans of the pulp genre, that's entirely to be expected. Also, some of the voice characterizations were entirely over the top, but again, that's in line with the radio dramatization tradition. I just wouldn't want to be buttonholed by some of these gents at a party.In summary, a well appointed vocal adaptation of a less than stellar work of writing. There's no great depth to be plumbed here for readers but I suspect that's what most fans are looking for so have at it with gusto.
  • (3/5)
    I received an audio version of this book from early reviewers. It was a fun though incredibly stereotypical book. The main character, Blacky Lee, is a small time crook, who seems to be able to get out of every difficult situation. He never gets upset or overwhelmed. Then there is his sidekick, Stub, who is the exact opposite. He is always nervous, always going along with Blacky's plans even though he is always being put in terrible situations. And then there is the woman, Countess Zita, who is strong and independent and loves her country, but is incredibly cold. Although there are few surprises in the book and you can easily expect the next step in the plot, it was a fun book.
  • (1/5)
    Maybe I have read only the best examples of pulp fiction until now, maybe this is the worst L. Ron Hubbard' opus - but I found this short story to be one of the worst works of this genre I ever read. It's badly written, not engaging, and plot doesn't keep your attention. I tried to make a discount to much time passed since its publication - but no, it's bad now and I would think it was bad even then.
  • (3/5)
    When I listen to the Iron Duke book will I work. It was on edge. It reminded me of the old Raido shows like the shadow knows. It keep you on your toes. I will listen to more of his books.
  • (4/5)
    I have just read "The Iron Duke" by L. Ron Hubbard; a part of the reprints from Galaxy Press of his old pulp fiction books. I had gotten it to review for free. I had not read any of his work before, I am afraid; and I was not sure what to expect of the book. Well folks... I loved it! It is not my favorite story, but it was a nice story and has that "pulp" feel to the adventure. Blacky Lee does have a heart! And it falls for the dame in spite of itself. It has gotten me hungry to read more of LRH's pulp work. The book came with a sample of his book, " Hostage to Death" and it sounds really good too. And the little info section about the author was really nice also to give a history of his writing, with out getting into the Scientology stuff. If someone is looking for a quick little fin read, I would say try this one!
  • (3/5)
    Hubbard takes a well tested type of story and rewrites it his way. It works. This audio version is simply splendid to listen to as the characters as so well portrayed linguistically!!!
  • (1/5)
    As a contemporary work from the golden age of pulp fiction, I have no idea if this is a good, fair or poor example. It certainly reflects the anxiety of the time period--political, social and moral conflicts are brought to play in a climate of uncertainty. The conflict of democracy vs communism; social status and ethical business practices all play a role in helping to move this story from pure fantasy to something less than literature.As pure entertainment, it hasn't held up to time very well. At best, it resembles a B-movie staring Abbot and Costello with a main character somewhat resembling a suave James Bond fused with an Al Capone mentality. The story line is linear and highly improbable, characterization is mono-dimensional, and the prose lacks everything you would expect to find in a well thought out novel or short story. I love adventure stories but this is doesn't come close to anything representing the best that this time period or any other has to offer. I had no empathy with any of the characters or the implausibility of the story line. I had the most sympathy for the one character who never made an appearance or said even one line--the drunk Arch Duke. If I were him, I'd probably take the money and run.
  • (5/5)
    In the Thirties and Forties of the 20th Century Pulp Fiction (and the capitals are intended) was king. Short, well written, filled with adventure, and best of all, spanned almost every genre imaginable. It suffered from sneers of the literati who wanted their books to be lengthy, dense and unapproachable by the “masses.” Fortunately Pulp Fiction did not suffer fools gladly and continued providing wonderful entertainment to millions of all ages. It was, at the basic level, the short story format, which in itself has frequently been said to “be lost to this generation.” Another fleering comment and was untrue then and is now. In fact, in this day and age of the Ebook read on your smart phone and YouTube shorts watched on your tablet the short story format is alive and well.And The Iron Duke is a great way to become acquainted with those wonderful stories from the golden age of Pulp Fiction. Just 77 pages long and set in the 1930's, it captures the adventures of a delightful rascal, Blackie Lee, running from the Nazi’s. Escaping to the kingdom of Aldoria he discovers that he has a pronounced resemblance to the ruler of that little country. I am sure many of you are now thinking of that wonderful story “The Prisoner of Zenda” as well you should. Mix in the evil genius named Balchard, a lovely Countess Zita, and of course, a bumbling sidekick named Stub the plot whirls along. Blackie has his work cut out for him what with undermining a Communist plot (yes, the communists were a threat even back then) to rig elections, prevent the real Iron Duke (a drunk dissolute sort of fellow) from ruining lovely Aldoria and, as is essential in such stories, win the Countess’ heart but perhaps not her hand. All of this in 77 pages! The book also has a very good biography of L. Ron Hubbard who, in my mind, is a true polymath. I have not seen the other books in the series but I suspect that each of them will contain the same information so I will not bore you with details except to say even this is fascinating reading.So how can you not buy this book? Well if you hate adventure stories, want your reading material to be lengthy and verbose and find romance to be beneath you don’t buy it. Otherwise join us in celebrating the return of the short story and dive in. I must warn you though: it is addictive!
  • (2/5)
    I don't generally read this kind of thing, but it was given away free by a very nice lady on the L. Ron Hubbard stand at the London Book Fair earlier this year. I don't like to write anything off without having read it first, so I thought I'd give it a try.The writing was not bad, and the plot moved along quickly, with lots of twists and turns. The only problem was that the characters did not feel like human beings. And that, for me, is a big problem. There was a hero, a dame, a sidekick and a villain, and at no point did they threaten to break out of those narrowly-defined roles and acquire the complexities of real, living people. At no point was there any doubt that the hero would coolly win every battle, the dame would fall for the hero, the sidekick would provide occasional comic relief, and the villain would curse as his dastardly plots were foiled.If you like a good, exciting plot with lots of action, this is the book for you. If you are interested in character, and want to read books that make you think about the world slightly differently, it's probably best to look elsewhere.