Friday, November 29, 2013

Cargo of Coffins - Audiobook Review

Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Narrator: R.F. Daley, Keli Daniels, Lori Jablons, Jim Meskimen, Tait Ruppert
Unabridged Length: 2 h, 0 m
Published by Galaxy Audio, 2009
Genres: Pulp Fiction

From the Publisher:
He was the last man Lars Marlin had expected to see in Rio de Janeiro—and it took all of his willpower not to slay him on the spot. Paco Corvino was a smooth-talking and slippery con man, a contraband runner, and escaped convict . . . not to mention murderer.

My Review:
Lars Marlin has just escaped from Devil’s Island, the penal colony on French Guiana. He arrived in Rio de Janeiro to find Paco Corvino, the sleazy confidence man and drug runner preparing to set sail as the chief steward of the ocean going yacht Valiant, owned by the Norton family.

There’s a bit of a problem; Lars Marlin wants to kill Paco since he was the one responsible for Captain Lars Marlin becoming prisoner number 3827645. Paco had also escaped from Devil’s Island, by faking his own death. Lars wants revenge, he wants to kill Paco, but it doesn’t quite work out in Rio. After the captain of the Valiant is murdered, Lars signs on as captain, at the recommendation of Paco, working for Miss Teresa Norton.

They shove off for Lisbon and things start to get strange. Lars knows Paco is up to something, likely smuggling, but Paco successfully charms the passengers and crew, and turns Terry Norton against Lars.

Paco convinces Terry that they need to stop at Cayenne, French Guiana (near the penal colony) so they can load 4 coffins that contain the remains of Americans. The plan is to then head on to Lisbon. So, what is Paco up to and what is the risk to the passengers and crew? There are a lot of exciting twists and turns to this sea adventure before the climatic battle at sea off the coast of Casablanca.
The performances by the full cast are all well done, albeit somewhat over-the-top which is fitting for pulp fiction. R.L. Daley does a great job in the “narrator” role of the story. Josh Thompson stars as Captain Lars Marlin. The cast also includes Jim Meskimen as Paco Corvino; along with Kelli Daniels, Tait Ruppert, Chandra Bernal, Melissa Kirkland, and Lori Jablons. The performance is directed by Jim Meskimen.

Once again, the cover art of this audiobook does not fit the story, even though it is original pulp fiction cover art from the same era. Cargo of Coffins was originally published in the November 1937 issue of Argosy Weekly.

Hubbard’s Stories from the Golden Age are all somewhat predictable, less than politically correct, and highly entertaining. The music that precedes each chapter is original, appropriate and well done. Sound effects are spot-on. Galaxy Audio sets a high standard for multicast dramatized audiobook production. 

A review copy of Cargo of Coffins was provided by Galaxy Audio through the Solid Gold Reviewer program of Audiobook Jukebox.

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