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The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane Paperback – June 29, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (June 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345461509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345461506
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”
—STEPHEN KING

“I adore these books. Howard had a gritty, vibrant style—broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life. I heartily recommend them to anyone who loves fantasy.”
—DAVID GEMMELL
Author of Legend and White Wolf

“The voice of Robert E. Howard still resonates after decades with readers— equal parts ringing steel, thunderous horse hooves, and spattered blood.
Far from being a stereotype, his creation of Conan is the high heroic adventurer. His raw muscle and sinews, boiling temper, and lusty
laughs are the gauge by which all modern heroes must be measured.”
—ERIC NYLUND, Author of
Halo: The Fall of Reach and Signal to Noise

“That teller of marvelous tales, Robert Howard, did indeed create a giant [Conan] in whose shadow other ‘hero tales’ must stand.”
—JOHN JAKES, New York Times bestselling author
of the North and South trilogy

“For stark, living fear . . . what other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”
—H. P. LOVECRAFT

“Howard wrote pulp adventure stories of every kind, for every market he could find, but his real love was for supernatural adventure and he brought a brash, tough element to the epic fantasy which did as much to change the course of the American school away from precious writing and static imagery as Hammett, Chandler, and the Black Mask pulp writers were to change the course of American detective fiction.”
—MICHAEL MOORCOCK
Award winning author of the Elric saga

“In this, I think, the art of Robert E. Howard was hard to surpass: vigor, speed, vividness. And always there is that furious, galloping narrative pace.”
—POUL ANDERSON

“Howard honestly believed the basic truth of the stories he was telling. It’s as if he’d said, ‘This is how life really was lived in those former savage times!’ ”
—DAVID DRAKE
Author of Grimmer Than Hell and Dogs of War

“For headlong, nonstop adventure and for vivid, even florid, scenery, no one even comes close to Howard.”
—HARRY TURTLEDOVE

“HOWARD WAS THE THOMAS WOLFE OF FANTASY.”
—STEPHEN KING

“The stories have a livingness about them [that’s] impossible to fake. . . . Not one of them is boring—there is always some special touch—and most, of course, are rousers.”
—GAHAN WILSON
Reviewer and author of I Paint What I See

“The best pulp (fantasy) writer was Robert E. Howard.”
—FRITZ LEIBER
Author of Green Millennium
and Farewell to Lankhmar

“Weird, fantastic, but peopled with real men who think and act as we conceive the thoughts and acts of men. . . . None of the dummies that pirouette through some stories, using stilted, supposedly archaic language, and moving in response to the author’s obvious string-pulling. All of which leads you to believe that I like it. Correct. I do.”
—E. HOFFMAN PRICE
Author of The Jade Enchantress

“[Behind Howard’s stories] lurks a dark poetry, and the timeless truth of dreams. That is why these tales have survived. They remain a fitting heritage of the poet and dreamer who was Robert E. Howard.”
—ROBERT BLOCH
Author of Psycho

“HOWARD WAS A TRUE STORYTELLER—one of the first, and certainly among the best, you’ll find in heroic fantasy. If you’ve never read him before, you’re in for a real treat.”
—CHARLES DE LINT
Award-winning author of Forests of the Heart and The Onion Girl

About the Author

Robert E. Howard (1906–1936), an American pulp fiction writer who is best known as the creator of Conan, wrote a huge number of stories in a variety of genres, including fantasy, westerns, horror, and even boxing stories.

Paul Boehmer graduated with a master's degree and was cast as Hamlet by the very stage actor who inspired his career path. He has worked on Broadway and extensively in regional theater, and has been cast in various roles in many episodes of Star Trek. Paul's love of literature and learning led him by nature to his work as a narrator for audiobooks, his latest endeavour. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Customer Reviews

And it is a very Puritanical God indeed that Kane serves.
Fritz R. Ward
I highly recommend that anyone who likes a good adventure story read this.
huttjabbathe
Also included is a dedication to Robert E. Howard by H.P. Lovecraft.
Will T

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on June 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane" collects together all the unedited, original stories and poems about the puritan adventurer and fantasy hero Solomon Kane. Author Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) created many classic fantasy heroes in the pulp magazines of the 1920s and 30s, such as Conan the Cimmerian, and Solomon Kane is one of his most unique and intriguing creations for modern readers. Solomon Kane appeared in "Weird Tales" Magazine, and his stories combined swashbuckling adventure with supernatural horrors. Howard describes Kane as a "fanatic," who is called by God to travel the world destroying evil. Kane is compulsive, obsessive, grim, and will NOT be swayed from his quest. He encounters sword-swinging villains, vile black magic, and hideous creatures as his wanders the globe in his ceaseless crusade.
If you haven't heard of Solomon Kane, buy this book immediately and fall into a world of action, horror, history, and the fantastic -- all centered on this vengeful and driven Puritan swordsman of the late 16th/early 17th century. The stories are presented un-edited, which means the inclusion of many racial stereotypes and attitudes prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s.
This paperback is a reprint of an expensive limited-edition hardback. Aside from the stories themselves, it includes all of Howard's unfinished fragments. Earlier editions had author Ramsey Campbell finish these incomplete stories, but I prefer to read them exactly as Howard left them. Fabulous black and white illustrations by Gary Gianni adorn almost every page, scattered around the borders of the text, with an occasional full-page illustration. Gianni has an unerring eye for period detail, and his envisioning of Solomon Kane is dead-on.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Fritz R. Ward VINE VOICE on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Long before Robert Howard conceived of Conan there was Solomon Kane. A Puritan Englishman from the 16th century, Kane wandered the earth with no particular destination in mind but where God should send him. Like all of Howard's characters, Kane is an adventurer, but unusual in that he sees himself as a tool of God's justice. And it is a very Puritanical God indeed that Kane serves. This is not a God of mercy but one who destroys all evil in His path, using Solomon Kane as his tool.
I must confess that I like these stories even more than the Conan tales. Solomon Kane is a driven character with a brooding personality I find more appealing than Conan. This book contains all the published stories about Kane and six previously unpublished manuscripts from the Glenn Lord collection. As with the other Robert Howard books published by Del Rey, this one includes superb illustrations. The frontspiece by Gary Gianni perfectly captures Kane's grim visage.
Anyone who enjoys reading the old pulp adventure tales should get this book. Howard was a true master of the genre. The stories, poetry, and essay on Howard by H.P. Lovecraft are all great reads now just as when they were first published. My favorite pieces are the fragment "Castle of the Devil," "Rattle of Bones," and the poem "The One Black Stain" which places Kane with Sir Francis Drake. But you can hardly go wrong with any part of this book.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Edward A. Waterman on July 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Solomon Kane... pious servant of God, adventurer, death dealer. Evil must perish from this earth, and with a curse an oath to God was sworn. It is his quest and his curse. These aren't your typical good versus evil stories. They contain within them, for those willing to look, the characteristic complexity, and hypocrisy, of human nature that is found throughout Robert E. Howard's body of work. Solomon Kane battles men, monsters, sorcery... and himself.
The Solomon Kane stories broke new, artistic ground on many levels, but perhaps the most significant breakthrough dealt with what Robert E. Howard is most known for in modern times... the father of the literary genre Sword and Sorcery. The Solomon Kane stories were the first modern Sword and Sorcery, and Kane the first Sword and Sorcery character (published in 1928). These stories blended for the first time historical advetnure, fantasy, and supernatural horror in modern prose. Not only excellent stories, but the first of their kind. Highly recommended.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Gustafson on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
As the greatest writer of yarns of pure adventure, Howard's stories are excellently paced and never drag. They grab you by your throat upon the first page and don't let go.

Solomon Kane is one of the more likeable characters from Howard's typewriter. Like Conan, he is a praeternaturally strong fighter. There's just enough psychoanalyzing in here to make him interesting. Kane is a "Puritan," but Kane's Puritanism means in essence that he imagines himself the instrument of God's predestined vengeance upon the unworthy and unholy, that he might "ease them from their lives." In the grip of a grim wanderlust, he is the kinsman of the Wandering Jew, or of Melmoth the Wanderer. His determination is not for his own sake. Unlike Conan, he is driven by more than a will to survive; he is doing the Lord's will.

I suspect that Kane is less well known than Conan largely because many of Kane's tales take place in the Africa of pulp fiction, full of witch doctors and violently sensual tribal empresses. This sort of thing makes people in the twenty-first century understandably nervous. The daintily politically correct will not have the stomach for this, and people with a jaundiced eye towards racial politics are sure to find many faults; but then these people are unlikely to get a taste for classic pulp adventure. It isn't as bad as you fear in any case. Kane's righteousness is such that he willingly unsheaths his sword in defence of Black people as White: this redeems Kane from the worst accusations that could be laid at his charge.

The illustrations are nicely done in an appropriately classical style. Howard's prose is presented without serious editing or tinkering, and the apparatus notes any serious variations.
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