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Conan: Conan the Adventurer (Conan the Barbarian)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,185 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Introducing Conan - heroic fantasy's mightiest adventurer from the wilds of Cimmeria

Thief, pirate, mercenary, warrior and general, he stands invincible - even when the full forces of the supernatural are unleashed against him.

Set in the imaginary Hyborian age between the sinking of Atlantis and the beginnings of recorded history, these four stories of the exploits of this
Mass Market Paperback
Published February 1st 1983 by Ace Books (first published 1966)
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4.0 stars. An excellent collection of Conan stories by Robert E. Howard. This is classic pulp sword and sorcery at its best and done by the master himself. Of the four stories in this collection, my favorites were "The Slithering Shadow" (aka Xuthal of the Dusk) and "The Pool of the Black One", both of which have a very Lovecraftian feel to me (especially Slithering Shadow which features an Elder God right out of the Cthulhu mythos). The descriptions are vivid and exotic and the plots are dense ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conan the Adventurer was a good collection of Conan the Barbarian tales, three of which originally appeared in Weird Tales magazine in 1933-34. Robert E. Howard’s colorful and imaginative use of the English language is strong in these stories. I sometimes forget how much subtle humor REH used:

They raided the shipping, and harried the Zingaran coast towns, justas the Zingaran buccaneers did, but these dignified their profession by calling themselves Freebooters, while they dubbed the Barachans pi
Jan 02, 2009 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Some Conan stories edited by L. Sprague de Camp. It's not bad but many of the stories would have been better without the editing. The Frazetta cover is one of the best on the Conan series, though.
David Sarkies
Jun 24, 2012 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Freaks and Lovecraftians
Recommended to David by: John Milius & Arnold Swartzenegger
Shelves: fantasy
My first taste of an original Conan story
30 June 2012

This is the first proper Conan books that I have read with the previous one simply being a novelisation of the John Milius movie. I guess I enjoyed the novelisation because I love, and still love, the movie, but with this book we pretty much go back to the 1930s (in some cases) to experience the original Conan stories that appeared the the pulp magazine Weird Tales. The book contains four stories, not short stories but novellas, three of them
May 10, 2009 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
L. Sprague de Camp's CONAN anthologies are notorious for de Camp's meddling with the original Conan stories - he often finished unfinished tales, for instance. However, these books were my first exposure to the king of heroic fantasy, so they'll always have a special place in my heart.

DRUMS OF TOMBALKU is the weakest story here, which comes as little surprise as it's one of the stories that de Camp finished. The beginning of the story is very similar to that of THE SLITHERING SHADOW, also collec
May 20, 2010 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conan is great, but there is no substitute for the original, Conan by Robert E. Howard. Three out of these four stories are the original Robert Howard, and boy, can you tell the difference from those who tried to finish his unfinished stories, much less write new ones. No comparison. This is life the way it never was, but should have been-- at least, if you were Conan. Anyway, that's it for me and the Conan canon, and a great ride it was.
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of the Lancer Conans. Some of you will hate them because they are not only NOT the pure Howard stories, but they also include stories made from notes and pastiches by other authors. I enjoyed them, maybe not so much as the pure Howard stories, but they are good. I don't have all of them anymore and they are hard to find...if you can find them they are worth a try. Wish someone would reissue them.
Dec 29, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: conan
First read this book when I was a teen. Conan set the stage for Game of Thrones and the whole sword and sorcery thing.
Oct 20, 2008 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to beat the original Conan. The character never dies... Conan is forever.
Dec 18, 2016 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had mixed feeling about this book. There are some interesting ideas. In particular, notes of H.P Lovecraft can be felt in the otherworldliness of some of the monstrosities that Conan battles. However, there are some tedious themes (particularly around the endless precession of wobbly, wailing women who inevitably find Conan sexually irresistible) that perhaps show the age of the tales. I also found it hard to symapthise with the protagonist, who is basically a greedy, bloodthirsty thief and mu ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Mars rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
TL;DR: skip this, go read something *actually* written by Robert E. Howard.

It's a great tragedy when great writers die young. Inevitably, they leave behind reams of notes.
However, that doesn't necessarily imply that the stuff in those notes is something that was ever intended to be published in its existing form.

This book features several stories, all written by De Camp on the basis of Howard's notes, all pretty similar to each other. I also can't help thinking that the last two at the least wer
Andrew Caldwell
Dec 17, 2015 Andrew Caldwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many this was my first taste of Conan and RE Howard, way back in 1988. I didn't totally get it then. Until then my fantasy diet had been mostly epic high fantasy, JRR Tolkien, Raymond Feist with the Dragon-Lance novels thrown in. My only taste of heroic fantasy was David Gemmel. I found Conan too gritty, too dark. I could not as a teenager get to grips with a hero who could cold-bloodily kill a man who'd rescued him in order to steal his ship, his woman and his crew - this was no clean cut ...more
Ah, Conan, le seul vrai héros de l’heroic fansay, un genre à lui tout seul ! Abandonnez toutes vos tentatives pour me faire changer d’avis, je suis un fan du cimmérien, et en tant que tel, je suis toujours à la recherche d’un nouveau tome des aventures du barbare.
Je suis donc tombé récement (mais sans me faire mal, grâce à ma souplesse féline que m’envient nombre de compagnons à quatre pattes) sur Conan l’aventurier en poche, du toujours aussi regretté Robert Howard. Et il n’y a pas à s’y mépre
Feb 09, 2017 Ninja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Not bad, traditional swashbuckling s&s.
Of the four stories, I'd probably rate the slithering shadow highest, followed by the people of the black circle (by far the longest), the pool of the black one and then the drums of tombalku. The last of which didn't really feel like it went anywhere. But the others were fairly solid. Short but solid.
Jul 15, 2012 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που περιέχει τέσσερις ιστορίες μέσα, μια μεγάλη νουβέλα 100 σελίδων και τρεις μικρότερες 35-40 σελίδων η καθεμία. Είναι το τρίτο βιβλίο του Χάουαρντ που διαβάζω, και πραγματικά χόρτασα δράση, μακελειά, τσεκουριές, σπαθιές, μαχαιριές, μπουνιές, κλωτσιές, σκοτεινά και τρομερά τοπία, τρομακτικά κτίρια, πλάσματα βγαλμένα από την κόλαση, και δεν συμμαζεύεται. Σίγουρα ένα αξιολογότατο έργο της καλής παλπ λογοτεχνίας.

Αυτό που έχω να πω είναι ότι διάβασα τέσσερις συναρπαστικές ι
Nov 16, 2014 M.Eloisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Per chiunque ami il fantasy classico, senza troppe trame e sotto trame, ma molto curato per ambientazione e personaggi, questo è quello che fa per voi.
Narrazione ed avventura pura, senza dietrologie o sotterfugi: Conan è colui che fa, non pensa (beh non perde tempo in sofismi, diciamo così, perché non è stupido per nulla); è colui che cerca l'avventura come se fosse aria.
Per tutti coloro che cercano racconti per sognare e partire per l'avventura.
G. Taylor
Sep 08, 2011 G. Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every so often I read this Robert E. Howard collection of Conan stories (as I do other Howard collections) and wonder again why the movie industry refuses to stick to the source material. These adventures are thrilling, and stand alone without the predictable 'origin' or narrative alterations that taint the cinematic treatments of the Conan character. The Slithering Shadow, The People of the Black Circle (I could go on) would translate easily to the screen without any tampering.
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another of the heavily edited collections of Robert E. Howards stories. I am a purist when it comes to a writers works. I know some of these stories are no longer PC but they should be read as Howard wrote them and understood that he wrote in another period. Don't read this book unless you just can't find any others of Howard's unedited books to read. Message me if you need a list of what is good from this awesome fantasy and action writer.
Felipe Guerrero
Jul 25, 2013 Felipe Guerrero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justo acabo de terminar este libro. Me gustó bastante la verdad leer a Conan es volver a ese mundo de fantasía heroica que no se puede comparar con otras. No se puede comparar con El Señor de los Anillos o con Canción de Hielo y Fuego, Conan tiene un estilo muy diferente, es mas crudo, es mas violento es mas... heroico. Leer Conan es viajar a esa época de la alta aventura. Volver a la era Hyboria siempre es, para mi, un grato viaje a casa.
Aug 08, 2013 Jacob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are kind of getting old hat by book 5. Story lines are pretty similar. That said I did like People of the Black Circle with its Afghani flavor to it. Unfortunately there is quite a bit of editing and stories inserted wholesale by other authors. Considering stopping my run on this series and checking out one of the collections of just Robert E. Howard stories about Conan. Still entertaining though. Solid 3 stars.
Greg Frederick
Feb 18, 2015 Greg Frederick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You just can't go wrong with Conan! Each story is creative and different enough that I've read more than twenty of the original Robert E. Howard stories in a row at one point and never tired of them. It reminds me of the Jon Carter series, except with a different backdrop and protagonist. This book is a great collection, and I wish I had the other books in this series.
Jul 29, 2011 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like others here, this was the first Conan story I read, and it really opened up my early teen eyes to a different style of the genre after having read through Tolkien. And then I was hooked. So, perhaps that is why I fall on five stars here.

I also have a framed print of the Frazetta cover from this edition on the centre-piece wall of my loungeroom.
May 11, 2010 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Great stuff started by "Two-Gun Bob" and finished by De Camp. Adjective and action heavy making for fast and fun reading. There are a few times Conan talks/speachifies overly long, which seem out of character from what I recall of other stories, but maybe my memory is faulty.
May 27, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conan is awesome, and Robert E. Howard is a great writer. I cant believe he pumped all these stories out before shouting himself at the age of 31.

I didn't think I was an action adventure fan till these stories got my heart racing. If only someone had put this book in my hand when I was 10.
Apr 12, 2016 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed these stories, because they were as pulp as I had expected and hoped. Strangely, the one dimensional, simple characters felt refreshing. I'm sure I'll read more of Robert E Howard's Conan stories in the future.
Dec 28, 2014 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-best
I was 21 when I first came across these novels. I devoured the first ten in the series in short order. A classic and one of the all time greats. Even the ones that weren't completely Howard's words.
Oct 20, 2016 Ronald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read in summer 1967
Vincent Darlage
This is the first Conan (and Robert E. Howard) book I ever read and is still my favorite. The first two stories in it are still my favorites. This is barbaric heroic fantasy at its finest.
Just picket this one up at a used book store, for $1.40!
Going to re-read it this week.
I learned nothing from this book. I already knew Conan was a badass.
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Sword & Sorcery: ...: Lancer/Ace Conan books: 2016 re-read 17 17 Feb 02, 2016 03:36PM  
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Robert Ervin Howard was an American pulp writer of fantasy, horror, historical adventure, boxing, western, and detective fiction. Howard wrote "over three-hundred stories and seven-hundred poems of raw power and unbridled emotion" and is especially noted for his memorable depictions of "a sombre universe of swashbuckling adventure and darkling horror."

He is well known for having created — in the p
More about Robert E. Howard...

Other Books in the Series

Conan the Barbarian (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Conan (Book 1)
  • Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2)
  • Conan The Freebooter (Conan, #3)
  • Conan the Wanderer (Conan, #4)
  • Conan the Buccaneer (Conan, #6)
  • Conan the Warrior (Book 7)
  • Conan the Usurper (Conan, #8)
  • Conan the Conqueror
  • The Return of Conan
  • Конан. Том 1

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