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Having long known Conan only in generalities and film, I picked this up largely to fill in an unfortunate blank space in my pulp sci-fi/fantasy education: And it most certainly did not disappoint. Much more than just Superman with a sword, Conan impressed me as much more than just the dim barbarian of parodies and spin-offs and proves himself as the king of fantasy heroes. Howard too possesses a talent for action scenes that even nearly 100 years has not diminished, and I found his frequent introductory poems an especial surprise. While undoubtedly a product of its times, there's a visceral adventurousness and hero envy in these stories that any stick-swinging tomboy can appreciate, and if any elements feel cliche, it's only because the freshness they enjoy here in their original incarnations has been aped so many time since.
The Conquering Sword of Conan and other Howard stories are totally on my wishlist after this, and here's hoping some of Howard's horror stories make the site soon!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
As a lifelong admirer of fellow Texan Robert E. Howard's work, I am so pleased to see the original Conan stories released in audio with outstanding narration. The stories in this first collection are spellbinding in their scope and imagination. In hearing them again so many years later, I was struck by the realization that many lesser authors over the years have borrowed so much from Howard. Elements of his storytelling are everywhere today, but here is the unadorned original (and the very best of them all). This is not Hollywood's Conan - this is "raw" barbarism.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful