Reviews of Final Blackout (1940)
Review by nowirehangers (2007-08-13)
It seems that every time I find one of Hubbard's fiction books they're full of blurbs from famous authors praising them. "Fear" was called a "classic" by Stephen King and the Galaxy edition of "Final Blackout" has a long introduction by Algis Budrys saying how great the book is. Somehow the books never seem to be able to live up to their hype. One exception may be "Battlefield Earth", which I really liked.
Anyway, "Final Blackout" was written in 1940, and its set in the future, the Second World War having never ended. "The Lieutenant" leads his soldiers in battle, exiled from his native Britain, and when they get to the headquarters somewhere in France, military bureaucrats takes his troops away from him. But his soldiers stand by him and they invade Britain, which has been taken overy by communists.
It starts out with rather tedious battle scenes, gets better somewhere in the middle, then more battle scenes. Then there are some political ideas I found rather questionable, and a "clever" ending.
There are some similarities with "Battlefield Earth", but "Final Blackout" never gets anywhere near as good as that novel. It's a quick read. Will be interesting for Hubbard fans but most readers needn't bother.