With Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard created more than the greatest action hero of the twentieth century---he also launched a genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery. But Conan was not the first archetypal adventurer to spring from Howard's fertile imagination. He was...a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan.... A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things.... Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect---he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane.
Collected in this volume are all of the stories that make up the thrilling saga of the dour and deadly Puritan: "Skulls in the Stars," "The Right Hand of Doom," "Red Shadows," "Rattle of Bones," "The Castle of the Devil," "Death's Black Riders," "The Moon of Skulls," "The One Black Stain," "The Blue Flame of Vengeance," "The Hills of the Dead," "Hawk of Basti," "The Return of Sir Richard Grenville," "Wings in the Night," "The Footfalls Within," "The Children of Asshur," and "Solomon Kane's Homecoming."
©1998 Solomon Kane LLC; (P)2010 Tantor
The savage tales of Solomon Kane is, in my humble opinion, Robert E. Howards' best work. The reading by Paul Boehmer is excellent and does not diminish the work in any way.
This is just a very preliminary review. I have only immersed myself in the first couple of stories. I just wanted to mention right away how fantastic these stories are. I first met Solomon Kane when I was young by reading comic versions of some of his adventures. I also read some of the original stories, but never close to all of them. Through all these years, he has stuck in my mind as a striking, powerful and steadfast person. He made much more of an impression on me than Conan. The new movie was much, much better than I thought it would be (they really got Solomon Kane right) so I wanted to get to know him again.
So, these stories are fantastic like always. Very well written and so real that to experience them is like watching it happening. They are very supernatural, of course, but in a real way and Solomon is always looking for real solutions and not just the latest stone or cryptic potion to deal with what is going on. The morality is Christian based (he is a Puritan after all), in a universal truth way. Solomon's strength is derived from his courage, and adherence to the right as much as it is his physical strength and prowess. While there might be some talk of god, so far, no preachy stuff about salvation and so on.
I also want to mention the narrator. He is fantastic. He makes me feel like he is as excited by the stories as we are. He has a dramatic, clear way of speaking that really draws you into what is going on. He also does excellent voices, without over acting or reading like he is trying out for an award or something.
I will give more updates later, when I am done or close to it.
Oh yes! These are great action tales with a twist toward the dark! It's Earl Flynn meets Cthulhu! While savage Conan was the birth of "Swords and Sorcery", grim Kane is the birth of "Swashbuckling vs Supernatural"! Leaves you wanting more!
Kane smacks of Robert E. Howard's other horror tales, but with a great dashing and dark caped crusader as the leading man.
Paul was good and clear and deep, and brought forth all the male bravado and creepy chills required.
Wha? That's the dumbest question from an audible review yet! Who wrote this silly thing?
A great book, and a wonder flu listen. I was promoted to go out and watch the recent film of Soloman Kane, and they did a fine job, great monsters, beautiful art direction, fine acting, however, the film got a tad too grim I thought. When Robert E.Howard's hero beat evil, you felt completely validated by justice and righteousness. The movie dips a bit down the sado-masacistic scale for me, and you end up feeling like you need a good wash.
love books,reading and audio..do yourself a favor and listen or read one ...it DOES make you smarter
....when i listen to these stories...i am not only captivated by his eloquent phrasing,i am stunned by the intense brutality.....Howard manages to infuse these into stories that "smarten" primeval warfare and fights and make you lust for more....Solomon Kane is one heck of an imposing yet gentlemanly and yes kindly soul...he will however not hesitate to bisect you from shoulder to groin with his Rapier if you are proven evil or have crossed him...magnificent author and truly genius storytelling............
I own them and I will listen to them again and again. The problem with some reviewers is they expect too much from golden era pulp stories. Take them as they are. So Howard had antiquated views about African people. So did William Burroughs in his Tarzan series. Richard Wagner was an anti-Semite. Is that any good reason not to listen to the Ring cycle?
These stories are similar to Doc Savage, who some would say was inspired by SK. The archetype here is like that of the Wandering Jew, and of course Howard's great Conan.
Paul Boehmer is an excellent narrator. His African dialect is spot on.
Well, Solomon Kane of course.
As with any pulp fiction, just take it as it comes and lay back and enjoy. If you are like me, you will wish to hell Howard had written novel-length Kane stories. But alas...
As with so many compliations by authors who died before their time, this collection suffers from too much material. There are some wonderful stories in this volume, as well as some literary chaff.
The narration is good, and the short biography of Howard at the end is a nice addition.
On level 5 of Robot Hell
The biggest drawback and what made me stop after a while is that I just didn't like the narrator. The stories that I listened to were very good, they're by Howard after all.
Howard is very masculine fiction and I felt that Beohmar just did give it the weight and feel of other compliations I've listened to.
I like Robert E Howard. I looked into this book because of the movie that came out a few years ago. These stories, for the most part, are nothing like that movie.
Solomon Kane spends a lot of time in Africa. This really gives Howard a chance to demonstrate his terribly racist attitudes.
He did not.
Some of the stories were fine, especially stories NOT set in Africa.
I don't actually blame Howard for this, he is no more racist then the majority of pulp writers of his age, and I have read other stories from Howard that I quite liked, but here, I thought his regrettable early 20th century attitudes were very much thrown in my face.
I read these books over 20 years ago and wanted to go through it again after all these years.
I'm not an English major so I'm not qualified to critique the grammar and prose (although I did like it), but what I found difficult was three aspects.
I didn't like the reader. I had to force myself to listen but it did get better as time went on.
Story breaks. I got a little confused. I wished it was more of a pronounced 'break'. Yes I know the prose may of been that but I still felt it was a little confusing.
The third was the explanation and history at the beginning but a 40 minute similar reading at the end.
After a couple of minutes into the history, I stopped the story. I didn't need to hear it at the end.
I would not pay more that $15 for this but I'm glad I did.
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