In a meteoric career that spanned a mere 12 years before his tragic suicide, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the genre that came to be called sword-and-sorcery. Collected in this volume are Howard's first 13 Conan stories in their original versions and in the order Howard wrote them. Included are classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast."
Here are timeless tales featuring Conan the raw and dangerous youth, Conan the daring thief, Conan the swashbuckling pirate, and Conan the commander of armies. Here, too, is an unparalleled glimpse into the mind of a genius whose bold storytelling style has been imitated by many yet equaled by none.
©2002 Conan Properties International, LLC.; (P)2009 Tantor
I hadn't read Robert E. Howard in twenty years, but am better for the reacquaintance. There are some wonderful, well-written stories in this volume. There are also some duds.
As explained in the introduction (which is very interesting and is a highlight of the production), these volumes are presenting the Conan stories in the order they were written, and not in chronological (from the characters' POV) order. This means that Conan may be a middle-aged king in one story, and a hungry young thief in the next. I enjoyed this aspect of the work.
The narrator is well-suited to the subject matter.
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!
I am a huge fan of the writings of Robert E. Howard and his Conan tales are among my favorites. This series presents the tales as they originally appeared over 70 years ago, not the "posthumous collaborations" published years after REH's unfortunate suicide that most readers are familiar with. Also, Todd McLaren provides yet another strong performance. As a narrator he is more than capable of providing voices to the motley assortment of characters who populated the world REH created.
If you only know of Conan from film and comics this is definitely the place to start reading ( or in this case hearing) the tales as they originally told. I"m looking forward to the rest of Howard's works being released as audiobooks.
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.
A masterpiece brought to audible. I've read the stories before and was glad that the narration lived up to the hardcopy version. Long live Conan. "Crom and Steel!!!!
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
If you like the Conan stories of Robert Howard then this is a must. If you are not you may find the stories a bit on the thin side. You have to keep in mind these were a series of short stories writen a long time ago, so you have to keep things in perspective. If you are a fan of Conan stories you will like this and it is very cool that the stories are in chronological order for the character and not the order they were written. That helps you see the development of Conan over the years. The narrarator was ok, but he was a bit bland for the work in my opinion. Still, if you like Conan get it.
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
I've been a Conan fan since the 60s but have only read the DeCamp versions. This is just a fantastic experience hearing it read by a master storyteller. Todd McLaren gets it right. One thing though, In mind mind I have always referred to Conan as a CimMERian not a CimmeRIAN. I like the new pronunciation. Sounds right. I will also be buying the print version of all these stories just now being released.
I would say this is the best compilation of Howard's Conan stories available. It's a classic, but much less boring than other classics of the time. Well worth the read/listen. I've both read and listened to the book, and enjoyed it both ways. Interior art is awesome as well.
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