A Very Strange Trip [NOOK Book]

Overview

Boldly go to times where no one has gone before.  While transporting a contraband Russian time machine and developmental weaponry, Private Everett Dumphee finds himself cast into new settings when the device suddenly activates. What follows are fantastic high-tech experiences that might be called the ultimate off-road adventure. For the determined Dumphee - narrowly escaping with his life and three beautiful women - it is not necessarily a matter of will he make his destination, but when. These four vivid ...
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A Very Strange Trip

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Overview

Boldly go to times where no one has gone before.  While transporting a contraband Russian time machine and developmental weaponry, Private Everett Dumphee finds himself cast into new settings when the device suddenly activates. What follows are fantastic high-tech experiences that might be called the ultimate off-road adventure. For the determined Dumphee - narrowly escaping with his life and three beautiful women - it is not necessarily a matter of will he make his destination, but when. These four vivid characters trek through this fun and fast-moving journey like there's no tomorrow. Wherever that may be. "A wild, high-tech ride through time. Read it to have a rollicking good time." —Brian Herbert, co-author "Dune: House Attreides"
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Everett Dumphee, the descendant of a venerable line of West Virginian moonshiners, joins the army to avoid prison, only to accidentally activate a time machine while transporting a truckload of experimental Russian weapons to Denver. He then tries to return to 1991, enduring several stopovers, including in the Ice Age, during the height of Mayan civilization and at a train station under Indian attack in 1870. Joining Dumphee at the latter are a cowardly lieutenant and four Indian "squaws" who display an incongruous facility with modern armaments. Attempts at humor come from two angles: poorly executed slapstick an experimental weapon manifests a gigantic phantom of Joseph Stalin to terrorize Mayan warriors; a mis-aimed cannon destroys a henhouse and anachronistic pop culture references to Star Trek, Star Wars and Rambo a "squaw"'s cleavage is her "silicon valley". Characterization isn't a strength, either: Dumphee's primary ethical qualms come from concern over the Indian women's gold lust, which is awakened by Mayan riches, and his cheap moralizing over whether to remain in the past as a god. Despite the fact that the late Hubbard Battlefield Earth gets top billing, Wolverton Beyond the Gate wrote this novel, based on an unpublished story by Hubbard. He's done much better on his own--and so did Hubbard. Simultaneous audio; author tour. June Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This novelization by Wolverton of L. Ron Hubbard's unpublished screenplay is the late Hubbard's first published sf in almost ten years. The protagonist, the Appalachian-bred Everett Dumphee, joins the Army to avoid being sent to prison for unwittingly transporting moonshine. His skills earn him the assignment of driving a bumbling, inept lieutenant and a stolen Russian time machine to an Army research facility in Denver. The time machine is accidentally activated during the trip, and the two soldiers are transported to a variety of places, including a fort under attack by Indians in 1870, a Mayan city, and the Ice Age. Wolverton's story dredges up every imaginable clich about Appalachia, the Army, and Native Americans. The novel and its recording have a campy, farcical quality and slapstick sense of humor that do not do justice to either Hubbard's or Wolverton's earlier works. The abridged multicast recording moves too quickly, and the odd country-rock music played at intervals grates on the reader's nerves almost as much as Dumphee's fake West Virginia accent. While the sound effects (e.g., rain, crowds, windshield wipers) and actor Jason Beghe's third-person narration are compelling, the voices of the remainder of the cast sound as though they are coming from the bottom of a particularly deep ocean located about 30 yards to the left of the microphone. Overall, the recording sounds like a bad old-fashioned radio production of a cheesy 1950s B movie. Not recommended.--Leah Sparks, Bowie P.L., MD Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"A wild, high-tech ride through time. Read it to have a rollicking good time." —Brian Herbert, co-author Dune: House Attreides

"An amusement park in words. It is for anyone who remembers how much fun reading can be!" —Kevin J. Anderson

"Fun characters in a great compelling read. Once you start you won't want to put it down." —Dean Wesley Smith

"Everett Dumphee, the descendant of a venerable line of West Virginian moonshiners, joins the army to avoid prison, only to accidentally activate a time machine while transporting a truckload of experimental Russian weapons to Denver. He then tries to return to 1991, enduring several stopovers, including in the Ice Age, during the height of Mayan civilization and at a train station under Indian attack in 1870." —Publishers Weekly

"The protagonist, the Appalachian-bred Everett Dumphee, joins the Army to avoid being sent to prison for unwittingly transporting moonshine. His skills earn him the assignment of driving a bumbling, inept lieutenant and a stolen Russian time machine to an Army research facility in Denver. The time machine is accidentally activated during the trip, and the two soldiers are transported to a variety of places, including a fort under attack by Indians in 1870, a Mayan city, and the Ice Age." —Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619860001
  • Publisher: Galaxy Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/4/1998
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 913,796
  • File size: 804 KB

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


    "The prisoner will now rise for sentencing," the bailiff of the Upshaw County Superior Court intoned with a solemn expression, stopping in mid-chaw to hold a wad of tobacco in the side of his mouth.

    Nineteen-year-old Everett Dumphee stood and smoothed back a lick of his blond hair. He was big and strong-boned. He quietly made sure his flannel shirt was tucked into his new pair of Wrangler jeans, and stared at the judge with a heart brimful of dread.

    Beside Dumphee, his girl, Jo Beth, sat quietly and held his hand. Everett's ma and pappy, and uncles and cousins were all packed into the courthouse. The benches could not have held more of them. Even the old preacher who lived in the cave up by Blue Grouse Creek had come down for the court appearance.

    Judge Wright was middle aged, slightly chubby, and he was staring hard at Everett with a mean look in his eye, like a hound that's holed himself a 'coon. Judge Wright glared a minute, then said, "Everett Dumphee, you've been found guilty of runnin' moonshine. Before I sentence you, do you have anything to say for yourself?"

    Dumphee cleared his throat, found it hard to talk. "Uh, I didn't do it, Your Honor, sir."

    Judge Wright made a little snarling face, as if Dumphee had poked him in the belly with a sharp stick. "I don't want to hear that! I know it was your uncle's car, and you said you was late for a date. But you was caught red-handed, drivin' down old Bald Knob at ninety miles an hour with ten gallons of shine in your trunk—and whenthe police flashed their lights, you revved it up to a hundred and forty!"

    Dumphee's pappy shouted, "Aw, he's just born with good reflexes, Your Honor! You can't blame the boy for that."

    "You shut your yap in my courthouse," Judge Wright said, pointing the gavel at Dumphee's pappy. "If your boy has such good driving instincts, put him on the racing circuit—not runnin' shine!" The judge cleared his throat, tried to regain his composure.

    "Now, Everett Dumphee, I'm a fair man—or at least I try to be ..." the judge said sweetly. "But I'm tired as get-out of you Dumphees running shine. My grandpappy sent your grandpappy to prison for it. My pappy sent your pappy to prison for it. And I'd send you to prison right now, but for one thing: you Dumphees can't help it that you're all so inbred that you ain't bright enough to figure out right from wrong."

    Dumphee's mother gasped, and Dumphee spoke up, trying to defend the family honor, "Uh, sir, I ain't—"

    "You've had plenty of chance to say your piece!" the judge brushed him off. "Now I'm going to say my piece. Dumphee, boy, your problem is that you're uncivilized. You give West Virginia a bad name. You live up in them hollows with your dogs and your guns and your moonshine, marrying your cousins and playing your fiddles. Jethro Clampett has got nothing on you—"

    "Uh, Bodine," Dumphee said.

    "What?" Judge Wright asked.

    "Jethro Bodine is his name. Jed Clampett is his uncle. I watched that show on TV, and Bodine is his name. We get 140 channels on our satellite dish, now."

    "Are you trying to be a wiseacre with me?" the judge asked.

    "Uh, no, sir," Dumphee said, affecting a thick accent. Judge Wright always talked with a thick accent, as if he thought that he sounded like some southern gentleman. But the truth was, with modern television pumping educated standard American English into every home in the hills, practically no one in West Virginia spoke like the judge did anymore. Dumphee thought the judge sounded like a hick. Still, it sometimes helped to sound like one of the good ol' boys.

    The judge said, "Because I've got a hundred acres of good farmland at home, I don't need no wiseacre, and if you are being a wiseacre with me ..."

    "No, suh!" Dumphee said louder, in an even thicker accent.

    "My point is, this is 1991. Everyone else up in those hills is trying to raise marijuana and driving Porsches. But you folks—you're living in the past." The judge shook his head so woefully, Dumphee almost wished that he were a marijuana farmer, just so he'd get some respect. At Dumphee's side, his pappy was stiffening, getting red in the face, blood pressure rising so high, Dumphee feared he might burst a vessel.

    The judge sighed. "You got to go out and see the world, son. So, I'm going to do you a favor. I'm going to civilize you."

    The judge took a long, deep breath, stared Dumphee in the face. "I hereby sentence you to the maximum penalty for your crime: ten years of watching television in the West Virginia State Prison."

    The words hit Dumphee like a fist in the belly. It was so unfair. He really hadn't been running shine. He hadn't known that his uncle had that keg in the back! It wasn't fair that he'd go to prison. Didn't the judge know what men did to each other in there?

    At his side, Jo Beth squeezed Dumphee's hand and whined. "I'll wait for you," she promised, while his ma broke down sobbing. His pappy's face was so red that Dumphee figured the old man would go out to the truck, get his rifle, and find a shady tree to lay under while he waited for the judge to poke his head out of the courthouse.

    But now the judge was shaking his head sadly.

    "That's right, son. I said `prison.' But if that don't sit well with you, then I'll set aside that penalty on one condition: you enlist in the United States Army for a period of no less than five years—I do suppose you can shoot?"

    "He can knock the eye out of a red-tailed hawk at three hundred yards, Your Honor!" Dumphee's cousin shouted.

    "Yeah, I ought to fine him $500 right now for shooting raptors," the judge grumbled. "Well, I figured as much. And you look strong enough to wrestle a bear. What do you say? You can avoid prison, and this will give you a chance to get out of them hills, see the world.

    "Some folks say you can take a boy out of the mountains, but you can't take the mountains out of the boy. I don't know if I believe 'em. You'll either come back a new and better man, or else you'll be the Rambo of moonshiners."

    Dumphee stood, seething. It wasn't fair. He had plans for his life. Plans for him and Jo Beth!

    He wasn't a hillbilly. It was true that his family engaged in moonshining, but this wasn't unsophisticated hooch stewed up in a bathtub. His pa had a computer, and got orders over the Internet. Some English fellow would send e-mail, telling what he wanted, then send bottles to fill with names like "Boar's Breath" and "Hair of the Hound o' Morgan"—sophisticated whiskeys out of Scotland and Ireland.

    Sure, the Dumphees were selling forgeries—and had been making a lot of money at it for the past twenty years—but in the past few months the whole family business had begun to go somewhat legitimate. The new "Dumphee Clan" whiskeys were selling better in France than the forged labels ever had.

    What did this hoary old judge know about civilization? He probably thought that the Internet was some fancy new device used to catch a trout!

    And as for his Porsches, well, the old souped-up T-bird that the government had confiscated could outrun one of them overpriced, unreliable Porsches any day!

    The judge stared at Dumphee expectantly. He offered, "What do you say, son? The Army, or prison?

    "The Army would be easy for a fellow like you, what with the Soviet Union falling apart. I wish we had a war I could send you into, but I figure, given five years of enlistment, something ought to come along...."

    And if you're lucky, I'll get shot, Dumphee thought. He sighed.

    "Guess I'll have to take the Army, Your Honor," Dumphee said, feeling queasy.

    Jo Beth squeezed his hand. He figured he could always send for her after he got out of basic training. They could get themselves on the waiting list for some little dumpy army apartment.

    Hell, Dumphee thought with resignation, at least he isn't making me enlist in the Navy.

    "Bailiff, remand this boy to the custody of the U.S. Army," the judge said.

    Everyone stood up a bit dumbfounded. Everett's uncle came and slapped Dumphee's shoulder, apologized for getting him in trouble.

    Jo Beth fell apart and started weeping. "Oh, Everett," she said, trembling as she leaned against his shoulder. "This is so terrible. So terrible."

    "It won't be that bad," Dumphee said.

    She sniffed. "You're always so positive. `If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.' That's the way I've got to think. I just—I just always knew you would make it out of these mountains someday, but I never thought it would be like this. I thought you'd go to college."

    "Well, I still can go to college," Dumphee said. "Just looks like I'll be doing it on the GI Bill." He'd always been good in school. Not brilliant, but he imagined himself to be a cut above average. Given that, and the fact that Dumphee was a fighter, he'd always figured he'd do okay in college.

    Dumphee's wrists were cuffed, so he couldn't hug Jo Beth, but she just squeezed his hands and leaned into him. He could smell the sweet perfume on her neck, feel her pleasant curves through the fabric of her cotton dress. "I'll join you, after you get out of basic training. I'd wait for you, even if it took till the end of time. Nothing can keep us apart."

    The bailiff took Dumphee right then and led him down to the recruiter's office in handcuffs. He got to stop once, outside the courthouse, to say goodbye to the redbone hunting hounds in the back of his pappy's pickup.

    Then he was gone.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2013

    This story was campy and funny. Intended purely as a satire and

    This story was campy and funny. Intended purely as a satire and is full of comedic adventure. Just be prepared for what it is and you will enjoy the ride!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    i thought this was a good book with the strangely believable characters. I thought the it was well researched for the settings. The plot moved at a good pace and had some depth. Deserves a 4 out of 5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    Ron didn't publish this for good reason

    L. Ron Hubbard, usually known for his insightful and whimsical insights to the world psyche and his ingenious portrayals of the future, truly left this former screenplay at bay for a reason. I felt that I was reading a child¿s book of the late 30¿s, feasting on stereotypes and blunt slapstick humor to get a rise. If you like Hubbard sci-fi, stick to the ones he chose to publish.

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