Pulp Fiction, Science Fiction Books, Thrillers

Audio Book Review: Battlefield Earth!

Battlefield Earth Audio Book – 2016 Edition

First Thoughts:

I’ve read the book several times and thought with the new edition, why not get the audio book?  I’m not too familiar with audio books.  I know a lot of them don’t have the sound quality and usually have one narrator.

BE has the audio books of audio books!  44 CD’s, each about an hour each and it sounds like a Golden Age of Radio production up there with Orson Welles or the cool horror radio I used to listen to as a kid with Lights Out or Inner Sanctum.

But I digress (as well as age myself).

Besides the high production values and the intense mood-inducing intro music throughout the production, the cast & crew were professional and emotional in presenting their characters.  As in any story I would expect throwaway characters, however in BE all the characters played some important role in the building of the story.

frank_frazetta_-_battlefield_earth_1Universe Building

Hubbard builds a universe (actually 16 of them) in this galactic neighborhood.  When we start, we find Psychlo has an out-of-the-way mining colony of Intergalactic Mining Co., a bunch of slovenly employees who wonder why their pay is being cut, and not a lot of thought is given to the “man animals” on the planet.

We find the adventures of one security chief with delusions of grandeur and riches, Terl, and his counterpart, a “man animal” (Johnny Goodboy Tyler) who was always considered strange and asked too many questions in his village, and Johnny becomes part of Terl’s plan to take an unknown-to-the-company gold deposit near Denver and convert it to ingots and then blast the animals when the job is done.

Terl returns to Psychlo a rich alien, with females and kerbango (a cross between beer and pretzels, I suspect) to last the rest of his life!

So Terl trains the animals – men – from Johnny and from Scotland – using a learning device that quickly educates in the ways of mining, language and Psychlo technology to extract the gold.

The fun begins when Terl gets leverage over his boss, and over the company, little knowing that Johnny has plans of his own.

The story further expands from this beyond the bad Psychlos getting theirs, where Earth becomes a target for other alien races!

Will Johnny be able to handle these races or will they cut up Earth so these races can pay their debts, continue their wars to satisfy the economies of their war production on their home planets, and meantime put Man in chains?

Last Thoughts:

I’ve read the book a few times but forgot so many details that the audio book provided with a panache and extremely professional production I was not expecting nor imagining.

An amazing romp through the galaxy, finding data on Economics, Politics, the failings of governments operating on out-moded laws of subjugating populations and begin to find purpose and worth in a sea of uncertainty and the imagined power brokers of uncaring banks and military leaders.

No, it’s not just a pulp tale of Tyler’s conquering the Psychlos.  It’s a tale of high tension and energy in handling the world or worlds around us.

Now if we could only bring Voyager home before it’s too late.  But that’s for another story.

Highly recommended!

tolnep

PS:  For those lucky readers who have read the book and listened to the audio books in the past, be it known that the earlier editions were abridged as was the audio book (recorded by the wonderful voice of Roddy McDowell).

Now you get the FULL story as it was originally intended!

Nice, eh?

 

 

 

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