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Shadow Unmasks, The (The Shadow) MP3 CD – Unabridged, December 5, 2017
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- Publisher : Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (December 5, 2017)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1543672264
- ISBN-13 : 978-1543672268
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,736,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This story is crucial to The Shadow canon, being the first to formally unveil The Shadow's 'true' identity: Not of Lamont Cranston (who the Orson Welles radio program outright stated The Shadow was when it was introduced to the airwaves the very same month this issue was published) but of famed World War 1 flying ace-turned-double-agent Kent Allard. Gibson, an experienced illusionist, is more adept than most at the art of misdirection and subversion, and he plies these talents to admirable effect, here. Gibson crafts a compelling crime mystery that provides a handy excuse to disseminate one of the more intriguing 'origin' tales in Pulp history. But like any master of prestidigitation, Walter Gibson also knows that for every question the author answers... another must be posed. And so, while he does spell out a number of explicit details of Kent Allard's character and his background, much of it remains vague enough to court speculation and ignite the reader's imagination. Arguably, this approach has always been the one true hallmark of The Shadow pulps.
I'm two stories in, and I can comfortably say these Audiobooks are superb. If you've been inclined toward reading the Pulps but simply couldn't find the time? Pop this in your car stereo during the morning commute. But good luck tearing yourself away from the steering wheel once you get there. You've been warned.
Hopefully, they can succeed to reprinting all these characters in these new editions, they are all excellent.
With The Shadow having over 325 pulp novels, only a few reprinted, for the most part they are avoiding those that have been reprinted. They do try to pick two that more or less 'go together' in terms of a common theme.
With this book, #15, we have "The Shadow Unmasks" (Aug 1, 1937) and "The Yellow Band" (Aug 15, 1937). The common theme of these is they deal with The Shadow's REAL identity: Kent Allard. The cover of "The Shadow Unmasks" is the cover of this volume, and the original pulp covers are shown on the back cover.
"The Shadow Unmasks" is a story I've long wanted to read, ever since I read about it in the "Duende History of the Shadow". Fans of the radio version think that The Shadow is really Lamont Cranston. Fans of the pulp learned early on that Lamont Cranston and The Shadow are two separate people, in the third novel. BUT, until this story we never learned his TRUE identity: WWI pilot and spy Kent Allard.
"The Yellow Band" actually follows the first story, and also makes full use of Kent Allard, in a story set in Miami.
As extras in this issue are:
"Out of the Shadows" by pulp historian Will Murray, explaining the genesis of these two stories.
A "Spotlight on The Shadow" by series editor Anthony Tollin, on the 'real Kent Allard': Col Percy Fawcett, who also inspired other pulp characters.
"Writing the Shadow" by Will Murray, on Gibson and writing The Shadow novels.
Top reviews from other countries
This tale was written due to the writer's annoyance that the radio show 'outed' The Shadow as Cranston, one of many nom de plumes.
The Yellow Band pits The Shadow and the real Cranston against a nefarious foe; a treat for fans of pulp adventure!
As a British fan disappointed by NEL's limited reprints in the 70s, this was the holy grail, along with Doc Savage's final adventure, 'Up From Earth's Centre', in which the Indiana Jones prototype finally comes up against the real thing - supernatural beings - and he can't handle it, and runs away. If you like pulp classics, search for that on this site also. Stonking stuff!