Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard Paperback – October 31, 2006


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, October 31, 2006
$53.12 $3.79

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Monkeybrain; First Edition edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193226521X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932265217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,763,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conan the Barbarian is an internationally known icon. His creator, Robert E. Howard, remains to most an Oedipal figure who created the Cimmerian swordsman as a wish-fulfillment fantasy. Finn quietly and expertly demolishes these and other misconceptions about Howard. Rather than use Conan as the yardstick to measure his creator's life, he discusses Howard in the context of a populist writer whose dyspeptic view of civilization was forged in the corrupt Texas oil boomtowns in which he grew up. Howard was a natural storyteller who used the techniques of folklore to create his own "tall tales" in an economical yet poetic style. Finn handles his charged subject in a straightforward, even-handed manner. This is a worthy addition to the 100th anniversary of Howard's birth that all readers of fantasy and regional fiction will enjoy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Mark Finn is an author, actor, essayist, and playwright. His biography, Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, was nominated for a World Fantasy award in 2007. His articles, essays, and introductions about Robert E. Howard and his works have appeared in publications for the Robert E. Howard Foundation, Dark Horse Comics, Boom! Comics, The Cimmerian, REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, The Howard Review, Wildside Press, and he has twice presented papers about Robert E. Howard to the PCA/ACA National conference, the AWC, and lectures and performs readings regularly. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Mark Finn is an author, essayist, and playwright. His biography, Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, was nominated for a World Fantasy award in 2007. His articles, essays, and introductions about Howard and his works have appeared in publications for the Robert E. Howard Foundation, Dark Horse Comics, Boom! Comics, The Cimmerian, REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, The Howard Review, Wildside Press, and he has presented numerous papers about Robert E. Howard to the PCA/ACA National conference, the AWC, and lectures and performs regularly.

Finn has written hundreds of articles, essays, reviews, and short stories for The University of Texas Press, RevolutionSF.com, Greenwood Press, Dark Horse Comics, Wildside Press, Monkeybrain Books, and others. His previous books, "Gods New and Used" and "Year of the Hare" are currently being reissued, along with new fiction collections and novels. He lives in North Texas with his long-suffering wife, too many books, and an affable pit bull named Sonya.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 21 customer reviews
This book does a really good job of remedying that situation.
Paul Lappen
Finn does a great job with this book connecting the dots and proving and disproving much of the mythology that is out there about Robert E. Howard.
Cwn_Annwn
This is an excellent biography of Robert E. Howard and is essential for any fan of his work.
Michael Kuzmanovski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John J. Nevins on November 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
With enthusiasm, skill, and expertise Mark Finn has written the new and definitive biography of Robert E. Howard. Finn not only corrects a number of errors previous biographies and biographers made about Howard and his writings, Finn also describes, with sensitivity and nuance, Howard's environment and upbringing and the context in which Howard's work should be placed. Finn neither places Howard on a pedestal nor demeans him, but instead gives Howard the credit he deserves.

Howard could not hope for a better biographer than Mark Finn, nor a better biography than Blood and Thunder.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Manfred Arcane on December 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mark Finn's biography of "Conan the Cimmerian" creator Robert E. Howard is superb - very fair and measured across the board, especially on such controversial subjects such as REH's suicide and chronically overlooked issues such as his non-Conan literary production. You really get a very full and illuminating examination of the author's upbringing, family and Texas background. One could had hope more about Howard's poetry or about his heritage and influence on the writing of heroic fantasy and on specific writers such as Karl Edward Wagner or David Gemmell but that would be nitpicking. The only criticism is that the book is too short!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rory Coker on August 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's always surprising to me how little reliable biographical information is avaiable about REH, and how difficult it is to find editions of his works that are as he wrote them, rather than prissily "edited". Here's a biography whose author has gone to some trouble to place REH into his environment, the fringes of the oil fields of rural Texas in the first three decades of the 20th Century. In those days before radio, with movies a rare treat, when people got together they often entertained one another by telling stories, and one can easily picture the young REH lapping it all up, and when he came of story-telling age, eagerly joining in.

Finn does a pretty good job with some tickish topics, such as Howard's near-obsession with suicide, the very complex relationship he had with his mother and father, and the almost altogether sinister role played by washed-up sci-fi author L. Sprague de Camp in co-opting and copyrighting Howard's work for his own exclusive financial benefit.

This small-press book is relatively free of misprints. However, the text could also have used a sympathetic editor to iron the kinks out of some of Finn's stranger sentences.

As other reviewers have noted, the chapter about Conan seems a bit short, but the coverage of Conan's more interesting forerunner Kull is even shorter. Brevity is no sin with Howard's impressive pulp output to be surveyed and commented upon.

Recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Cwn_Annwn on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read the old Conan 1-12 Ace published paperbacks religiously as a teenager, and have delved back into them (or the Del Ray Conan re-prints) for a re-read from time to time. I have always counted Howards Conan stories among my favorite books. As far as Howard himself I always found him to be a fascinating but confusing figure. I had heard such wildly varying stories of how he was. On one hand he had been portrayed as a macho, brawling, boxing, roughneck fitness fanatic, that in some ways mirrored Conan and some of the characters in his other work, and on the other hand I had heard he was a mental basketcase mamas boy that died a virgin when he commited suicide at the age of 30. Since reading this book I have come to the conclusion that there is a ring of truth to both of those extremes.

Finn does a great job with this book connecting the dots and proving and disproving much of the mythology that is out there about Robert E. Howard. A big thing Finn does here, in fact it comprises a good bulk of the book, is he talks about Howards Texas environment and how much of an influence it was on his writing. From the day to day violence that he was exposed to in the scoundrel and roughneck infested oil boom towns that he grew up in, to the local Texas folklore, to the front porch story tellers that held court while Howard gave listen. All of these had a big impact on Howard and his writing. REH even stated that Conan himself was to a large degree a mix of various boxers, oil field workers and cowboys that he knew over the years.

This book also goes into greater depth with Howards non Conan work than anything else I have ever read. In some ways this book is as much a literary analysis of Howards writings as much as it is about Howard himself.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Alvin Simons on May 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark Finn's biography of Robert E. Howard is an interesting read & well worth the time for any fan of REH's work. Mr. Finn's examination of Howard by referencing his Texas roots has been mentioned by other reviewers & I'll not echo that here. Let me just say that I believe this treatment allows for a very unique & convincing testament that a writer's environment can & does influence his work.
What I enjoyed the most about this book, though, is Mr. Finn's documenting that REH was first & foremost a story teller. I firmly believe that this was the reason the man wrote in so many different genres. He wanted to tell a great story & sought an eager audience for his work. Yes, a great deal of his prose can certainly stand alone on its literary merit. I don't think, however, that this was as important to REH as the tale itself. As far as I'm concerned, on this he had no equal. I challenge anyone seeking a great tale of action/adventure to spend some time with Mr. Howard's work. You'll be glad that you did.
The last point I'd like to make concerns Mr. Finn's portrayal of REH as a relatively normal, though somewhat fragile, human being given his circumstances & environment. It's funny to think of such a giant of a physical speciman who enjoyed engaging in fistfights as fragile, but I believe Mr. Finn proves this assertion. Why is it that so many creative geniuses seem to be tormented by demons who eventually consume them? I can quickly name Howard, Van Gough, & Cobain in different disciplines. A lengthy list could easily be compiled in a short time. I appreciate that he doesn't seek to sensationalize REH's story as other's have done. Mr. Finn draws upon all of the material he had presented on his subject to explain the suicide. He doesn't attempt to make an apology or rationalize the act.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search