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One Who Walked Alone: Robert E. Howard the Final Years Hardcover – September, 1986


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Donald M Grant; 1st Ed edition (September 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093798678X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937986783
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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First I saw the movie and then, just had to have the book.
Barb Tripp
Be sure and see "The Whole Wide World" - an excellent film adaptation of this novel.
Bill Chance
And, reading this book, one can be thankful that she kept those journals.
Reviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

205 of 210 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on February 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Robert E. Howard was perhaps the greatest, and the most prolific, pulp fiction writer ever, working in no less than six genres at once, from the fantasy/action tales of his most well known character, Conan the Barbarian, to poetry. He would often sit at his typewriter for up to eighteen hours at a stretch, hammering out his "yarns," as he liked to call his stories, at times producing upward of ten to twelve thousand words a day. But he was the consummate loner, an enigmatic individual who lived vicariously through the characters of his own creation, and under the same roof as his parents until his untimely death in 1936. "One Who Walked Alone," by Novalyne Price Ellis, is a chronicle of the final years of his life, recounted by the person who, in the whole wide world, probably knew him better than anyone.
Novalyne Price first met Bob Howard in the late spring of 1933, at her farm in Brownwood, Texas, where they were introduced by a mutual friend, Clyde Smith. Clyde knew that Novalyne, just out of college and an aspiring writer, wanted to meet him-- a real writer who actually made his living doing what he loved. It was a brief visit, and Novalyne would not see Bob again until the fall of 1934, when she landed a job teaching drama and speech at the local High School in the small town of Cross Plains, not too far from her family farm in Brownwood. She was happy to have the job, times being what they were, but she was even more thrilled because Cross Plains was where Bob Howard lived with his parents. And once she had settled in at the Hemphill's boarding house that would be her home during the school year, she took the initiative and contacted Bob. It was the beginning of a close and sometimes stormy relationship, during which Novalyne got as close to Bob as any woman could possibly get.
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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Earl P. Dean on June 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I began reading R. E. Howard's stories about ten years ago when a very intelligent friend informed me that Howard had been one of the best writers, along with H.P Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, for Weird Tales magazine at its beginning. These stories swept me away into Howard's incredibly savage Hyborian age, with their action, devilish plotting and larger than life heros. I realized, before reading the introductions about Howard, that the man who had written these stories was larger than life himself. So when I saw the movie of his life, The Whole Wide World, in the grocery store, I rented it. At the end it credited Novalyne Price Ellis's memoir, One Who Walked Alone, as its inspiration. N. P. Ellis was Howard's girlfriend during the last four years of his life, the period when he was writing his Conan stories. Mrs. Ellis, a great high school speech teacher and drama coach at the time, kept diaries and observations of her time spent with R.E.H. and had them transcribed much later into the memoir. N.P.E. had wanted to become a selling writer for most of her life, and the memoir shows that she had a tremendous eye for detail, assessing what drove people, and the speech patterns of the time. This is a fabulous book told as dramatized encounters, arranged with perfectly-captured coversations she'd had with Howard and others, and carefully detailed scene development. I enjoyed the story so well that I actually went to Howard's house in Cross Plains, TX which they like to show as a museum. I spoke with many people there who knew about the Howards.
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114 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on July 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Although this may be a "chick" reason, I read this book after seeing the movie "The Whole Wide World". The movie struck me strongly because my best friend recently committed suicide, and my relationship with him had many parallels between Novalyne and Bob. The book was not only enlightening into the mind of two geniuses, but also became a pillar of strength for me to see how an independent woman was able to fondly look back on a relationship with a doomed man.
If I would have looked at the book from an unbiased, outside perspective (before viewing the movie), I would naievly have said that I didn't think I would be interested in it. I did not know who Robert E. Howard was before seeing the movie. Sure, I was familiar with Conan, but it had never peaked my interest, certainly not enough to read a novel based on the author's life.
Having said that, I NOW would say that this novel can be read and appreciated by any type of person. While for obvious reasons it would be interesting to Robert E. Howard literature fans, I believe it also would be extremely comforting to those who have lost a close companion to suicide, as well as enlightening to those who are judgmental at times.
True, the novel is mostly dialogue and thus may seem rather monotonous, but I beg to differ. I could not put this book down. It captured my interest and my heart immediately. In my opinion, Novalyne Price Ellis finally achieved her goal of becoming a successful writer. She certainly won me over. I applaud both her writing skills and her beautiful life story.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Bill Chance on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book! Although not too much actually happenes - the action is mostly Novalyne and Bob driving around talking - I was swept up by the story.
It captures the texture and difficulty of West Texas perfectly. It is full of powerful ideas on the writing life. It is a bittersweet doomed love story.
Be sure and see "The Whole Wide World" - an excellent film adaptation of this novel. The book and the movie complement each other, they are even better together than apart.
Bill Chance
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