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The Iron Duke
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The Iron Duke

3.6 9
by L. Ron Hubbard

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He’s a lady’s man, a man’s man—and a wanted man, on the run in 1930s Europe….

Meet Blacky Lee, ruggedly handsome with a quick wit and a roguish charm.  Think Clark Gable—with larceny in his heart and a price on his head.  A price put there by the German Gestapo.  But Blacky’s always got an angle, and this


He’s a lady’s man, a man’s man—and a wanted man, on the run in 1930s Europe….

Meet Blacky Lee, ruggedly handsome with a quick wit and a roguish charm.  Think Clark Gable—with larceny in his heart and a price on his head.  A price put there by the German Gestapo.  But Blacky’s always got an angle, and this time it’s as audacious as they come.  He’ll hide in plain sight, impersonating the crowned head of a Balkan kingdom.  He’ll become The Iron Duke.

Can he pull it off?  Win the love of a country…and of a beautiful woman?  All Blacky has to do is risk everything—and, for once in his life, find a way to do the right thing.

Hubbard and Gable were fast friends and fellow adventurers.  While Hubbard was writing for Columbia Pictures in 1937, the studio often called upon him to doctor scripts for Gable—giving him a unique knowledge of the man and inspiration for characters like Blacky Lee.

“Colorful prose, lively action writing, exotic locales…excellent.” —Ellery Queen

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Prolific pulp-fiction author Hubbard (1911-1986) offers a variation on a familiar romantic theme with this fast-paced…thriller set in WWII Europe. Blacky Lee, an American weapons dealer, just happens to be the spitting image of Archduke Philip of Aldoria, a coincidence that enables him to dodge Nazis and ensnare the heart of the attractive Countess Zita." —Publishers Weekly

“. . . the adventure ones are just so much fun, that you wish there were more things written like them.” —Kevin J. Anderson

“Two novellas, first published in the magazine Five-Novels (in 1940 and 1947 respectively), reiterate the case for Hubbard as one of the great pulp writers, with colorful prose, lively action writing, exotic locales, fresh variations on standard characters and situations, and well-constructed plots. In Iron Duke, Blacky Lee, fleeing the Nazis with his less adventurous sidekick, impersonates the archduke of a Balkan country coveted by the Communists. Both find romance along with derring-do. As with other Hubbard volumes from this publisher, the packaging (including bright cover art, interior illustrations, glossary, and added information on the author) is excellent.” —Ellery Queen

Publishers Weekly

The latest addition to the fantastic Stories from the Golden Age series of vintage L. Ron Hubbard pulp tales, this full-cast recording takes listeners to 1930s Europe. A man who is the spitting image of the Prince of Aldoria finds himself in over his head with Nazis and Communists. Read by a small cast, most notably Michal Yurchak, the story leaps off the page. Filled with realistic sound effects, comical and over-the-top characters and a classic film noir atmosphere, this inspired and well-polished entertainment will immerse listeners. A Galaxy paperback. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Audio File
The latest installment in the well-produced L. Ron Hubbard audio series transports listeners to 1930s Europe. Read by a variety of talented narrators, . . . the production is enhanced by realistic sound effects and an original score that create a remarkable theatrical atmosphere.

Product Details

Galaxy Press, LLC
Publication date:
Action Adventure Short Stories Collection
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Related Subjects


Meet the Author

As one of the 20 top bestselling authors of all time, with more than 325 million works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard stands alongside an illustrious company of writers. But he also stands alone—as an author who actually lived many of the stories he wrote.

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The Iron Duke (Large Print 16pt) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
DeniseDQ More than 1 year ago
I just love this author! He does such a good job of characterizing. This story is really great for the kids as it is so hard to find appropriate reading for them. It will keep them wanting to read. The plot has an interesting twist and the story is packed with adventure.
lifeasleels More than 1 year ago
I have read several of L. Ron Hubbard’s pulp fiction books and this one… this one was… weird. I am not entirely sure what the entire goal was for Blacky Lee, but talk about one arrogant man! And the tricks he played! Daring! (And almost cunning!) I found that Blacky Lee’s arrogance and daring ways caused for some confusion, but once it all started to fall into place; one could really see what a conniving man he was. All in all, I enjoy taking a break from my usual to take enjoy a pulp fiction read. They are short enough and provide excitement in those few pages! All of the books I have read by L. Ron Hubbard have all been enjoyable and recommend him to anyone!
ParsnipsandParsimony More than 1 year ago
The story of The Iron Duck by L. Ron Hubbard is a tale full of twists and turns. You never know where it will end. You jump right into the middle of the story of Blacky Lee and his counterpart fleeing for Aldoria. After selling dud weapons to the Nazi’s and being highly sought after men, Blacky Lee jumps a train in an attempt to flee. But when he is suddenly confused with being the Archduke of Aldoria, he decided to use his new found “power” for his own benefit. At first, Blacky was only going to use it to get him out of the country but when Countess Zita wished for his company and then the eventual return to the palace, Blacky Lee inevitably is found out to be an impostor. Will Blacky Lee escape? Or will he be sent to a firing squad? This short work of fiction is interesting to read but I found it hard to keep the whole story straight with all the different twists and turns. I would NOT recommend this for children since there is some rougher language and pushes dishonestly and bad morals. The book is overall small in size, making it perfect to tuck inside of ones purse or briefcase. Both the front and back cover are folded in so you can use those as a way to mark your place in the book. The cover is also made out of a heavier type of paper that would hold up better to a lot of use. At the end of the book, they have a story preview for one of L. Ron Hubbard’s other works of fiction, as well as a list of all the books that were written by Hubbard.
aly_313 More than 1 year ago
I think I would have enjoyed this book better if I had read the book first! I had to restart it several times to get all the characters straight in my mind. I did enjoy the different voices and the actual taping was nice and clear so if I’d been more familiar with the story line, I could have imagined it better in my mind. The story was suspenseful and I love a book when you can’t figure out the ending. Book was witty and contained lots of good humor. Book has a little of everything, romance, thrill, mystery, adventure….should meet everyone’s approval.
penandtome More than 1 year ago
The ensemble cast brings the twist and turn tale of Blacky Lee and the kingdom of Aldoria to life. Humor, political intrigue, mystery, violence, and romance run rampant as Nazis, communists, and royalists fight over Blacky in this pre-World War 2 pulp fiction novel. The audio version could have used better sound editing. At times, the music between chapters was much louder that the chapter performance. In addition, the length of music between the second to last and the last chapter was long enough that it appeared that the book had finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
woody1 More than 1 year ago
The "twists and turns" of Blacky Lee remind me of the adventures of the mythological "trickster" figure. Like the trickster, Blacky displays traits of trickery and deceit. Working as an American arms merchant in Europe in the 1930's, Blacky is pursued by many governments including the Nazis. His trick-playing and deceit are well documented in the European community from his multiple sales of dud weapons over the years. Not by chance, Blacky flees to the kingdom of Aldoria in the Balkans. Many years before Blacky became aware that he was the exact double of Aldoria's Prince Phillip, so he learned to imitate the archduke's voice and mannerisms, and to be even more convincing, he even went so far as to memorize the royal family tree. This adventure begins with impersonation and then proceeds to blend intrigue, humor, and romance for a romping good adventure in the best tradition of pulp fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago