Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars why have none of these have been turned into movies?, March 19, 2010
I knew that Mr. Howard wrote the orginal Conan stories, so I figured this must be along the same lines, and it is. I am surprised that none of these have been turned into movies.

'Treasures of Tartary' is placed in Armenia or Uzbekistan. Kirby O'Donnell is an independent soldier of fortune. He is an American from out west who traveled to this area for adventure and fortune. He has been there quite a while because he 'passes' for a native, like Sir Richard Burton did a hundred and twenty or so years ago in the same area.
He has come to this little capital of the kingdom because of the jewels and gold the Shah has somewhere in his palace. In the first page he is emboiled in a fight for his life. He stops at a tea house to relax and get information and from there on to the end he is fighting for his life at every turn. He finds the treasure and almost gets to keep it.
'The Son of White Wolf' is another Arabian story, set in the time of World War I. The Turkish army is rebelling against their leaders and have chosen another of their kind to fight for and with. He wants to lead them to worship as they did in pagan times. The leader calls Muhammad 'an epileptic Meccan camel driver,' which I find a bit unusual since Saracens seem to worship Muhammad as much as they do Allah. They capture an Englishwoman for their harim. El Borak is an American who, again, 'passes' for an Arab, though this story it is not so necessary. He comes to the rescue of the fair maiden.
'Black Vulmea's Vengeance' is a bit of a pirate story. Black Vulmea and his ship are captured by a British warship and to save his life he entices the captain to go with him to find treasure that Black Vulmea knows of. They go to South America where a cove is and trek through the forest to find the treasure. The captain does not realize that Black Vulmea is going to lead him to his death. Black Vulmea has been here and lost all his men, by a fluck of luck, he survived, got a new crew for his ship, etc., now he is back with this captain and some of the captains sailors. Black Vulmea is not so bad. He had suggested that they did not need so many of the sailors along, wanting to save them from certain death. He succeeds in luring the captain to the arena where he should die slowly, but then the captain tells of his wife and child back home. Black Vulmea has a change of heart and now has to try to save the captain.
'Boot-Hill Payoff' is in Texas. Buck Laramie and his brothers were an outlaw gang that terrorized a small town. Buck did not like being an outlaw, but his brothers were his brothers and they forced him into being a part of the gang. The last time they robbed the bank in the town, one of them killed the sheriff. All this has weighed on Buck's mind ever since and he returns to try to pay back what he can. The only problem is that the old Laramie gang is back in business and Buck would be cought up in the middle unless he can figure out who they are and prove they are not his brothers (they have been all killed in Mexico). He has friends who know he is a good hearted fellow and are willing to help him, but, of course being a swashbuckling tale, there are stumbles and mistakes and all sorts of trials and tribulations. This is the best story of the book, though the first one comes close.
'The Vultures of Wahpeton' could have been written for the TV series "Deadwood." Corcoran had a feud to settle with another fellow up towards Wahpeton. It got settled. The other guy was going to Wahpeton to be a deputy and, since he got killed, the sheriff offered the job to Corcoran. The town was one of the gold mining burgs that sprang up in six months. It had been terrorized by a gang, the vultures, who would steal and kill any who tried to get the gold out of town. The sheriff had been trying to stop it all to no effect, so he hired Corcoran to help with the mess. Corcoran does and avoids, by good spys who inform him of danger, problems. In the end he either rides off little better off then when he got there or he rides off with a whore he fell in love with (? the story did not develop the love enough, it seemed sort of a surprise to be there in the end).
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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