The Red Dragon by L. Ron Hubbard
Published: June 24th 2013 by Galaxy Audio
Format/Source: Audio CD from LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Genre: Adventure Action
As a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps—as handsome and cocky as Richard Gere—Michael Stuart was once considered an officer and a gentleman. But that’s all changed. Now he’s seen as a renegade, a traitor and a thief.
Stuart is a man without a country . . . and perhaps without a prayer. Why? Because in a daring plot to foil the Japanese puppet regime in China, he set out to reinstate the country’s true emperor. Known now as The Red Dragon, Stuart is a soldier of fortune in war-torn Manchuria—and a man of honor in a world of treachery.
Stuart’s latest adventure takes him from Peking to the Great Wall and beyond. He’s in a race against time and against the Japanese super-spy known as the Hell-Cat, both of them in hot pursuit of an elusive black chest. For Stuart, the ultimate prize is one filled with mystery, power, and treasure—not only in the chest itself, but in the love of the beautiful woman who has sent him on this mission. . .
It was on Hubbard’s second journey to East Asia that he met British Secret Service agent, Major Ian MacBean, who introduced him to “The Great Game,” the geopolitical tug-of-war between China, Japan, and Britain. Hubbard also learned of the trade in stolen Chinese treasures, and was exposed to the secret criminal society known as The Red Dragon—inspiring this story of the same name. He has captured a singular time in this storied land.
I fear I am beginning to repeat myself with these reviews. The Red Dragon is now the ninth L. Ron Hubbard pulp fiction story that I have listened to and reviewed. That’s a lot. I think that I have now read/listened to more of his stories than any other author. It’s easy to do when the Audio CD’s are easy listens with their multi-cast performances.
I love listening to old time radio shows. It’s perhaps one of the more ‘strange’ things I’m into (read: I’m not strange, just nerdy to varying levels of eccentricity). These audio CDs by Galaxy Audio are awesome to listen to while stuck in traffic with their sound effects and fun voice acting. I can never really find any fault in their production. They are short; really most of these stories are really more like short stories/novellas than a novel, but that’s fine. It’s easier to keep up, at least it should be.
My problem with The Red Dragon was that I did not listen to it nonstop. (I prefer to place blame on myself, but I think that there is indeed something a little off with this story.) I had a hard time understanding what was actually going on with the story. There were a few more political intricacies and action details that were lost on me. I don’t think that I really understood enough to get the full impact of it. That said, the ending made me smile and sigh and so I clearly liked it enough.
Like I say with all of these reviews, if you don’t like those elements that are typical with early to mid-twentieth century pulp fiction, you won’t like these stories. Yes, the man comes into rescue the damsel in distress, who of course falls immediately in love with her knight in shining armor. Yes, there are instances of racism/ignorance and the action can be a little ridiculous. But when read/listened to through the understanding of the time it was written in, I think that they are great examples of that genre.
My rating: 3/5