With today being International Talk Like A Pirate Day, what better time to review Under The Black Ensign by L. Ron Hubbard.
Written in the 1930s as part of Hubbard’s ‘Stories from the Golden Age’ series, Under The Black Ensign is a fantastic book about pirates, sword fights, chivalry, high adventure and action!
The book is available in both book form and in audio format (the version I got to enjoy). The audio version is presented on two CDs with approximate running time of 2 hrs. The cover art is bright and exciting, and comes with a detailed booklet highlighting Hubbard’s life and role in American Pulp Fiction. The audio presentation itself is top notch. The slapping of waves on the beach, the clash of sword striking sword, the myriad readers portraying characters is a nice touch. The colorful dramatization helped immerse me in the story.
With a Lexile score of 800, this book is well-suited for anyone Grade 5 and up. I can just imagine an adventuresome young man of 13 listening to this with rapt attention. Heck, I’m 35 and I found myself longing to feel the sea breeze in my hair.
As far as plot is concerned, there were enough twists and battle scenes to keep me interested. It seemed that the valleys were far fewer than the peaks in this swashbuckling tale. I don’t want to give much away, but Tom Bristol, former seaman in the British Navy, is accused of murder, caught up in conspiracy, stranded on a deserted island, and forced to raise his own pirate flag in order to fight for love and honor. Some facets of the plot would seem derivative, had it been written in 2013, but for the 1930s (the heyday of Pulp), this was great stuff. It’s been copied lots of times by the likes of Errol Flynn, and even Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow. If you liked Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll love Under The Black Ensign.
For more information about L. Ron Hubbard’s Books, click the following links:
I’ve been authorized to give away two copies of Under the Black Ensign! Here’s how it’s going to work: to enter, you must be a U.S. citizen. You have three ways to enter, each earns you one point. 1. Like BigCalfGuy on facebook. 2. Follow @bigcalfguy on twitter. 3. Tweet about the giveaway. You can enter as many times as you’d like. Obviously, after the first day you can only tweet. The contest runs for two weeks. Winners will be contacted and your book will ship to you directly. Good luck!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I am being compensated for this review. My payment is the book itself. All opinions are 100% mine.