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Conan: The People of the Black Circle Hardcover – 1977
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Frost Giant's Daughter, Black Colossus, A Witch Shall be Born, Shadows in Zamboula and People of the Black Circle, and there are several more in volume two. I don't have the proper words to recommend warmly enough this collection fine manifestations of the storytellers art.
For those who already know REH and Conan, here is the reason why this book, and his companion volume are definite must haves. This is a collection of Howard's Conan writings, with Howard and only Howard. no weak and overdone pastiche, no shoddily completed "collaborations", no tales diminished from their original value by being "conannified": That implies that some of the contents are mere fragments, but you get only the genuine article, and believe me, it's worth it.
They are so much better than I remember them. Robert E. Howard, who I have gained new respect for, is a good writer. This edition, for the first time, is pure Howard. The books I read were the de Camp/Carter edited versions/pastiches, and I don't think that their watered-down versions ever had this much life in them. They were certainly never this addictive.
The writing is these stories is vibrant and rough. Pulp writing dictated a certain style of cheap thrills and excitement, and Conan has all of this. However, the strength of craft, of use of language and story, makes these stories shine. Howard successfully created a bold fantasy world unlike any other, although it has often been copied. His liberal use of his friend H.P. Lovecraft's "outside horror" adds to the atmosphere of Hyborea. Conan is a fully-realised character, and not what you think. Like Edgar Rice Burrogh's Tarzan, he did not fare well upon transportation to other media. Intellegence and strength are his equal weapons. Conan is not the shirtless brute that many think of.
I will definitely use this book as an invitation to check out more by Robert E. Howard.
Read it as he wrote it, not as some hacks have tried to write stories of Conan. All other "Edited" or "Enhanced" versions are junk compared to how Howard wrote these stories. Don't waste your time on the other "Conan" authors. Only Robert E. Howard wrote Conan, and only his words as originally written are worth your time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The world of Conan is an amazing place. A world that takes survival of the fittest to new extremes. A world where all women are perfect bodied nudists that only the strongest man... Read morePublished on June 8, 2008 by Inspector Gadget
A lot of the good stuff is here. Forget the later writers, get the original. Just ignore anything done by Carter, De Camp, Jordan or anyone else. Read morePublished on August 1, 2007 by average
I had previously read Poul Anderson's take on Conan ('Conan the Rebel") and found it irritating - Conan is overdone and overblown in the extreme. Read morePublished on August 21, 2004 by DWD's Reviews
Here it is-- the original CONAN from overweight hillbilly mama's-boy Bobbie Howard. This "Barbarian" shot himself when Mommie died and left the world more retro-Lovecraft schlock... Read morePublished on March 15, 2002 by bILL fISH