Thursday, November 21, 2013

Black Towers to Danger by L. Ron Hubbard

The November release from Galaxy Press is Black Towers to Danger, a 1936 thriller that showcases all of L. Ron Hubbard’s considerable talent as a writer of adventure yarns. In this one, Bill Murphy is drilling for oil in Venezuela when suddenly everything goes wrong – his girlfriend blames him for her father’s death, deadlines are looming, machinery needs fixing, and competitors and unsavory types are circling like vultures. Another fast-paced but fun thrill-ride, Hubbard is at his best putting his heroes into difficult situations and leaving readers wondering how in the world will it all play out? Hubbard’s writing is crisp and simple: “A gun barked behind him and plaster came off a wall like snow.” (p.62) You’ll also find more than a dash of romance in this one. From a technical standpoint, Hubbard picks up the story in medias res (Latin for into the midst of things), commencing in the middle of the story on page one and giving readers just a few explanatory paragraphs to bring them up to date. This is not an easy technique and rarely used effectively, even by seasoned writers, but naturally Hubbard pulls it off. We know everything we need to know about Bill Murphy within a few pages. Black Towers to Danger is another vigorous exercise in masculine prose and imminently enjoyable. With a title as pulpy as Black Towers to Danger and prose to match, this one should be tagged as a stocking stuffer for pulp fiction aficionados.


  1. I like oil field stories. I'll have to check this one out.

  2. Thanks for reading the blog James! By the way, I have your Redemption slated for review in January, best always, Tom


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