Conan PDF/EPUB Ö Paperback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Conan This book is a copy I bought secondhand many years ago and only decided to start it finally when I participated in a group Conan read in the Sword Sorcery An earthier sort of fantasy forum at Goodreads.The book opens with L Sprague de Camp s introduction and a letter written in 1936 by Robert E Howard to P S Miller, which explains his conception of Conan This is followed by Howard s The Hyborian Age part I , an essay outlining the origins and broad historical sweep of Conan s wor This book is a copy I bought secondhand many years ago and only decided to start it finally when I participated in a group Conan read in the Sword Sorcery An earthier sort of fantasy forum at Goodreads.The book opens with L Sprague de Camp s introduction and a letter written in 1936 by Robert E Howard to P S Miller, which explains his conception of Conan This is followed by Howard s The Hyborian Age part I , an essay outlining the origins and broad historical sweep of Conan s world, which I found to be rather dry reading other readers could easily skip this if they just wanted to delve into the adventures of Conan straight away.The first proper story is The thing in the crypt , by Lin Carter and de Camp, which was OK, but I felt that you could guess each step in the story before it happened A fire is lit that will be important later on , a sword is seen Conan will use it , etc There were no surprises and no twist it seemed rather humdrum, although a thirteen or fourteen year old, relatively inexperienced in reading heroic fantasy, might love it I initially thought that this must ve been a story written early in Howard s career before I checked the author credits authorship is not indicated on the title page of each story Then I read Howard s The tower of the elephant , which is rich in description, has a mysterious setting the eponymous tower and its garden , involves a cosmological aspect reminiscent of a Lovecraft tale, and has a much less predictable plotline Although I would quibble over a couple of phrases the top of a circular tower s walls should be referred to as the parapet as opposed to the rim and the use of the term Arctic Circle seemed out of place in a supposedly ancient pre modern setting this was by far a better story than the preceding.The next story The hall of the dead is based on an outline by Howard but was written by de Camp A tale of treasure hunting in an ancient ruined city, it was almost as good as The tower of the elephant However, I thought view spoiler the complexity and time it would ve taken for Conan to set up a large rockfall trap to thwart a body of men pursuing him on the way to the city could ve potentially defeated its purpose if any pursuers were able to catch up with him as a result of his stopping to set up the trap It was really just a simple plot device to get rid of his pursuer, Nestor s, men hide spoiler Also, view spoiler I didn t see the point of Conan and Nestor, now working together, agreeing to meet up at a well if they became separated, especially as the two men had already divided their treasure and, as it turned out, they would part company after only a brief meeting there hide spoiler Overall, the plot and action were good, the setting and its denizens mysterious In Howard s The god in the bowl , Conan creeps into a house in the hopes of stealing something but is discovered by night watchmen, who accuse him of murder because the body of a slain priest the house s owner had been found shortly beforehand An investigation is conducted and it soon becomes apparent that not everything is as it seems, but will Conan be able to prove his innocence of murder and escape any penalties for trespass This was a nice take on a murder mystery In Howard s story, Rogues in the house , Conan is commissioned to assassinate a formidable priest of Anu but finds the latter s house holds a few dangers, not least of which is the priest s guardian While I was a little amused at the use of the word ejaculated for non sexual excitement on two occasions pp 123, 126 , it was a fun, Mission Impossible style of yarn The Hand of Nergal was written by Lin Carter but was based on a three page fragment among Howard s papers The story is about a powerful and evil magical artefact the eponymous hand carved of ivory and clutching an orb which had corrupted a city governor He had become a tyrant and used the artefact to summon wraith like figures to control and defend his city Conan, who had found another powerful artefact the Heart of Tammuz , was tasked with using it to defeat the governor and destroy the Hand of Nergal view spoiler which he is only able to do with the help of a naked slave girl hide spoiler The Shadows of Nergal the wraith like figures p 148 reminded me of the Nazg l in J R R Tolkien s The Lord of the Rings trilogy Indeed, the name Nergal , itself, is very similar to that of Nazg l , while another reminder was the phrase Thus ended the career of Bakra of Akif p 139 , which was like Gandalf saying So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion at the death of the Steward of Gondor in The Return of the King, p 115 view spoiler The slave girl saving the day in this story was also a little like owyn and Meriadoc killing the Lord of the Nazg l in The Return of the King pp 104 5 hide spoiler There s a hint of Lovecraft too, not only in the sense of the evil artefact but also in terms of there being a Book of Skelos, which is said to have been written by a blind seer p 152 , a bit like the Kitab al Azif or the Necronomicon, as it is better known , that was compiled by the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred Nevertheless, despite the obvious sources of inspiration, The Hand of Nergal was an enjoyable read in its own right The City of Skulls , by Lin Carter and L Sprague de Camp, tells of how Conan and his friend, Juma, were among a detail of Turanian soldiers providing an escort for a princess on her way to bewed a prince when they are attacked and overcome by Azweri warriors Taken prisoners, Conan, Juma and the princess are brought back to the Azweri capital There, our heroes find that they are to be enslaved while the Azweri king lusts over the princess Conan and Juma are then forced to spend some time as oarsmen aboard a galley sailing out of the Azweri port Will they be able to free themselves, return to the Azweri capital and rescue the princess before some unpleasant fate befalls her This was a good adventure with a dash of fantastical horror, but I thought the authors overdid the references to the Azweris as being a horde of squat, brown warriors p 160 , who were slant eyed yellowish p 161 , swarthy p 161 and sallow little men p 162 in the first few pages For the most part, the Azweris spoke in broken Hyrkanian English to us p 164 It was as if their racial characteristics were the most significant thing about them, yet the authors do also portray them as good archers, wearing intricate armor of lacquered leather p 161 and defeating the Turanian soldiers But I also wondered why it had to be emphasised that Juma was black That he had once been enslaved by Shemites surrogates for Arabs and Jews in this alternate Earth also seemed a clich he was black so, of course, he had been enslaved by whites pp 170 1 While I understand that it might not have been the intention of the authors, there is a racial emphasis in this story that makes me feel a little uncomfortable.Another issue I had with the story is that while Conan is supposed to be a polyglot which is plausible as he was widely travelled he is also stated to be able to read and write a little in some languages, which seems very unlikely p 174 When does an adventuring barbarian youth, who never settles long in one place, get the chance to learn these skills Also, we are told that Conan while battling the Azweris preferred using the straight broadswords of the West, to which he wasaccustomed p 162 , yet he had used a curved tulwar in The Hand of Nergal p 139 and had already served for two years in the Turanian army, which evidently preferred this latter weapon That said, Carter and de Camp describe well the horror of slave life aboard a galley in Conan s world pp 175 6.Not unusually for a work of heroic fantasy we find that, on two occasions, female characters are nude, one vulnerable and in chains, the other unbound and admittedly heroic in her actions the naked, white, slender body of a young girl p 182 in The City of Skulls and the slim white form of a nude girl with dark flashing eyes and a black torrent of foaming curls p 156 in The Hand of Nergal It s curious that in both cases their whiteness is also emphasised but why The sexism, however, is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the oarsmen on the slave galley in The City of Skulls p 175 including Conan and Juma are all nude and there is whipping but I ll say noabout that Overall, this is an interesting collection of stories which blends elements of fantasy and horror quite well Apemen feature in two stories Rogues in the House and The Hand of Nergal as the undead do in two others in The thing in the crypt and The hall of the dead creatures which I m guessing will feature in other Conan tales While Conan, for the most part, solves tricky situations through quick witted brawn and swordplay, it is the existence of sorcery as well as magical items and creatures which I enjoyed the most in the tales collected here I also liked the frequent use of archaic or uncommon words like poniard pp 117 18 , tulwar, habiliments p 116 , grubstake p 137 , tabouret p 148 , foetor p 157 and torch res p 182 , among others , making this book feelliterary than might be suggested by the subject matter Review dated 15 May 2015 Three typos corrected on 23 September 2015 Another two corrected 3 September 2016 Some relatively pure Howard Conan stories mixed with pastiches 2 and a half stars. I was a teenage barbarian I grew up in a world of might and magic, sword and sorcery I learned at an early age what violence could accomplish, and that nothing gets you out of danger as effectively as brute force I lost my parents at a very young age and wandered the land, living off of whatever I could salvage and slaying those who stood in my way, be they man or beast It was a time of uncertainty It was a time of evil It was a time of adventure suarezart I was a teenage barbarian I grew up in a world of might and magic, sword and sorcery I learned at an early age what violence could accomplish, and that nothing gets you out of danger as effectively as brute force I lost my parents at a very young age and wandered the land, living off of whatever I could salvage and slaying those who stood in my way, be they man or beast It was a time of uncertainty It was a time of evil It was a time of adventure suarezart Based on a recommendation from my dad, I first read this series when I was eleven I was pretty much sold as soon as I saw the cover paintings by Frank Frazetta So, I decided I would re read all 12 books to see if my general impressions had changed at all since then Here s some observations about the 7 stories that appear in book 1.The Thing in the CryptAs a kid, I only had a vague notion about why three different authors were credited on the cover Over the years, I think I tried to block out Based on a recommendation from my dad, I first read this series when I was eleven I was pretty much sold as soon as I saw the cover paintings by Frank Frazetta So, I decided I would re read all 12 books to see if my general impressions had changed at all since then Here s some observations about the 7 stories that appear in book 1.The Thing in the CryptAs a kid, I only had a vague notion about why three different authors were credited on the cover Over the years, I think I tried to block out the fact that L Sprague De Camp and Lin Carter had partially written some of the stories based on unfinished manuscripts, and in some cases, crafted entire stories on their own So, it was definitely a surprise to me to realize that what I always thought was the definitive Conan story was not even written by Howard It s the very first story in the series A young Conan is being pursued by wolves he seeks refuge in a cavernous tomb, and awakens an undead warrior after stealing his sword It hooked me right away when I first read it, and it holds up very well today.The Tower of the ElephantEntirely written by Howard, it begins as a heist story and wraps up with an unexpected cosmic origin story I didn t recall there being any Sci Fi elements in these stories at all, although Conan seems unfazed to learn there are worlds other than his own that sustain life Being the barbarian that he is, he only shows interest in drinking wine, eating meat, and hacking his enemies to death.The Hall of the DeadThis one features a giant slug I m sure if I were seconds away from being killed by a giant slug, I would cry real tears, but reading about it just wasn t doing it for me There s also the hall full of dead people that come back to life, which seems redundant so soon after The Thing in the Crypt Written by Howard and De Camp.The God in the BowlHoward is credited as the sole author This one starts out as a murder mystery, and features the first reference to Thoth Amon, the Stygian sorcerer who became Conan s arch nemesis in later stories written by other authors, as well as the Marvel comic series In one standout sequence, Conan disables a group of attackers by removing a head, ear, eye, and a mouthful of teeth.Rogues in the HouseThis is another Howard story, and is interesting because Conan starts out as a supporting character It features Thak, the man ape from the cover, and also the 2nd appearance of the deadly gas made from black lotus blossoms first used in The Tower of the Elephant.The Hand of NergalWritten by Howard and Carter, it features one of my favorite descriptions of Conan so far Naked, splattered from head to heel with reeking gore, he held a mighty longsword in one great, scarred fist His voice was like the deep growl of thunder The Hand of Nergal is a Lovecraftian artifact from the stars that has been the source of all sorts of mayhem for thousands of years The story climaxes with a battle between good and evil in the form of an awe inspiring light show It s the kind of finale I hate, but I ll cut them slack since it s an early example of what is now so common place in contemporary genre book and movies.The City of SkullsThis was my least favorite story, and it was written completely by De Camp and Carter A brief stint on a slave ship was okay, but I was less impressed by the living statue made of gemstones, and Conan s closing joke about impregnating a rescued princess You can picture the freeze frame of Conan and his warrior buddy laughing it up, or even high fiving each other Thumbs down I read Robert Howard s Conan something on a whim That probably means that at the time I had something really important to do that I really didn t want to do However, let s pretend that I had been wondering what the book would be like, having seen some of the films when I was younger during the age when Arnold Schwarzenegger was an object of my masculine admiration as I made my way up the foothills to the Land of Men But still, reading the book as a man, would such a series of stories involvin I read Robert Howard s Conan something on a whim That probably means that at the time I had something really important to do that I really didn t want to do However, let s pretend that I had been wondering what the book would be like, having seen some of the films when I was younger during the age when Arnold Schwarzenegger was an object of my masculine admiration as I made my way up the foothills to the Land of Men But still, reading the book as a man, would such a series of stories involving mere barbaric might and swashbuckling heroism appeal to me despite my having long since cloaked myself in the high thoughts of the very different form of philosophic heroism Indeed, it rather did, and somewhat to my surprise And in fact, it led me to read several of Howard s Conan books and, time permitting that is, should I find myself in a position to want to avoidimportant work enough again in the future , I will very probably readof them in time You see, the thing about Conan that I came to admire so much, something that I have no recollection of its being depicted in the film or two that I had seen, is that his manly ranging has a kind of simplicity that earns extra marks because Howard so often sets it against forces of sinister, magical cunning If I can rudely intrude with the some basic elements of Nietzsche s thought, one might consider Conan s adventures to depict a kind of master morality pitted against the forces of slave morality, something like a noble simplicity grounded in bodily strength assailing the forces of revenge There s something admirable about Conan s chronic reluctance to make use of occult forces even when they are available to him, even when they would almost certainly assist him and his constant battles against the use of those forces by others To be sure, Conan is still a cunning warrior, but his cunning seems to me to be sourced in cleaner headwaters Interestingly, I m sorry, let me begin that thought again Depressingly, as we move forward among Howard s Conan writings as his literary executors began finishing his unfinished work, Conan begins to take on a very different quality he begins to become not justeager to trade in his warrior s sword for the wizard s staff, but also to become increasingly dependent on those forces as well Still the best Timeless. CONAN One of the greatest thrills of modern fiction Seven of the most exciting and fantastic adventures ever created the unforgettable tales of the mighty Conan Conan is the superman or super barbarian, rather into whom the prolific Robert Erwin Howard was best able to inject his furious dreams of danger and power and unending adventure, of combative and sexual prowess Conan is a true hero of Valhalla, battling and suffering great wounds by day, carousing and wenching by night, and plunging into fresh adventures tomorrrow FRITZ LEIBER I had several series of fantasy books that I read with friends and loved when I was a young teen As I re read some of these authors in my thirties I am sorely disappointed at their quality Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks come to mind although I do still like Magic Kingdom for Sale despite its faults I have been lugging the original 12 Conan books with me back and forth across the country for 20 years now and decided it was time to actually read them again put them to the test, as it were A I had several series of fantasy books that I read with friends and loved when I was a young teen As I re read some of these authors in my thirties I am sorely disappointed at their quality Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks come to mind although I do still like Magic Kingdom for Sale despite its faults I have been lugging the original 12 Conan books with me back and forth across the country for 20 years now and decided it was time to actually read them again put them to the test, as it were And you know what The pulp fiction writer from East Nowhere, Texas, is actually a halfway decent writer Sure Conan is this massive stud, running around hacking up the baddies, but he has faults He evolves as a person and warrior throughout his adventures He always comes out alive, but not always on top And the whole concept of a pre history Pangea of warring nations is perhaps one of the great innovations of fantasy writing Why three stars you ask In this particular collection, you get the sense that Mr Howard was feeling out his character and the land he travels There isn t a lot of variety in either the plot lines or the setting of these adventures Conan takes to thieving in lands that roughly correspond to modern Italy, Spain, or Greece, he bands up with a fellow thief, the other thief dies, Conan battles supernatural being, Conan wins or escapes by a whisker sometimes richer, sometimes poorer Still, there was enough here to keep me going into book 2 and certainly a well deserved 3 stars, probablylike 3.5 stars First time reading any of the Conan books I liked it Maybe because they re short stories, or because they were written so long ago, I kept getting the feeling like I was sitting around a campfire listening to someone tell a story instead of being inserted into the story as if I were there Something kind of auditory oral about them.Conan is described as having a thick alien accent This made me wonder if the decision to not dub over Arnold Schwarzenegger s voice acting was a conscious decis First time reading any of the Conan books I liked it Maybe because they re short stories, or because they were written so long ago, I kept getting the feeling like I was sitting around a campfire listening to someone tell a story instead of being inserted into the story as if I were there Something kind of auditory oral about them.Conan is described as having a thick alien accent This made me wonder if the decision to not dub over Arnold Schwarzenegger s voice acting was a conscious decision Conan seems to have two states of dress 1 Naked, but for a loincloth and sandals2 NakedIn the very first story, a naked Conan fights a naked ancient dead king thing It s very naked Conan s physique, nakedness and smoldering eyes are constantly described I very much enjoyed moment such as He thought his heart would stop when a voice hissed in a barbaric accent Murilo Is it you Conan Limp from the reaction, the young nobleman groped in the darkness, and his hands encountered a pair of great naked shoulders.But never fear, there are women with very little point or dialogue, who share Conan s clothing philosophy, and tend to nuzzle Conan and or be carried away with him to never be heard of again Unabashed pulp fiction that doesn t fail to entertain.

  • Paperback
  • 221 pages
  • Conan
  • Robert E. Howard
  • English
  • 07 October 2019
  • 0441116302

About the Author: Robert E. Howard

Robert Ervin Howard was an American pulp writer of fantasy, horror, historical adventure, boxing, western, and detective fiction Howard wrote over three hundred stories and seven hundred poems of raw power and unbridled emotion and is especially noted for his memorable depictions of a sombre universe of swashbuckling adventure and darkling horror He is well known for having created in the pages of the legendary Depression era pulp magazine Weird Tales the character Conan the Cimmerian, a.k.a Conan the Barbarian, a literary icon whose pop culture imprint can only be compared to such icons as Tarzan of the Apes, Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond Wikipedia Librarian Note There isthan one author in the Goodreads database with this name.