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The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,976 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Here are Howard’s greatest horror tales, all in their original, definitive versions. Some of Howard’s best-known characters–Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and sailor Steve Costigan among them–roam the forbidding locales of the author’s fevered imagination, from the swamps and bayous of the Deep South to the fiend-haunted woods outside Paris to remote jungles in Africa.

The co
Paperback, 523 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Del Rey (first published 2008)
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Narrated by Robertson Dean

Description: Here are Howard’s greatest horror tales, all in their original, definitive versions. Some of Howard’s best-known characters–Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and sailor Steve Costigan among them–roam the forbidding locales of the author’s fevered imagination, from the swamps and bayous of the Deep South to the fiend-haunted woods outside Paris to remote jungles in Africa.

The collection includes Howard’s masterpiece “Pigeons from Hell,” which Stephen King calls “
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 25, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I vacillated constantly between 3 and 4 stars for this book. When it's good it's great. Howard can spin terror to a hair fine thread that like the "monomolecular" wire in some Science fiction stories can cut straight through. Unfortunately all the stories in this volume don't quite make it to that level. But, I believe that the fright out weighs the "slight".

I own collections of Conan, Solomon Kane, and Bran Mak some of the stories here aren't new to me. I will probably try to run this
Jun 29, 2014 Joseph rated it liked it
OK, there's an elephant in the room, so let's just deal with that first. Robert E. Howard lived, and wrote, in rural Texas in the 1920s and 1930s, so some of his racial and gender portrayals are ... well ... not great. Not actively vicious, necessarily, but containing some very unfortunate stereotypes and the occasional cringe-worthy use of dialect. All of which is amplified by the fact that most of the stories take place in contemporary settings, and many are first-person narrated by people who ...more
Wayne Barrett


I grew up reading Howards work and loved his sword and sorcery tales, but this collection of horror stories didn't thrill me. Maybe if I was still 12.
Mar 15, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it
Warning: Delving into this one too deeply may lead to REH overload. Here we find that when Howard crosses into Howard all of the peculiarities of his writing style are greatly intensified-both all that is good and all that is bad-making the contents of this book almost too intense to read, except in short snippets. I could not stand more than two or three stories in a single sitting.

One thing this collestion makes clear is that Howard's particular style of purple prose is best suited for the gen
Aug 24, 2012 Jefferson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The Pulpy Horror Just Beneath and Within Us
The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard (2008) features at least 20 poems and 35 stories (including a few unfinished ones) written for pulp magazines in the 1920s and 30s. Howard's horror displays his energetic and wide-ranging imagination, being set in various genres, including historical, western, adventure, boxing, and Lovecraftian horror, in various locales, including Texas, New England, France, Ireland, and Africa, and in various eras, from ancient
Jun 11, 2012 Sadie rated it liked it
When Howard is focused on the story, he's amazing. He can make you feel chills of creeping horror when he puts his mind to it. He can make you see and feel what it is he's writing about. But that isn't to say you'll be getting a lot of that out of him. He was a prolific author, and the stories in this collection range from amazing to downright boring. Worth reading at least once, because when he's good, he's really good.

A topic that got rather old, to me, was his insistence on writing about race
Jan 15, 2011 Bruce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: robert-e-howard
Excellent collection by a master story-teller.
Mar 18, 2015 Donkic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dare una valutazione a una raccolta di racconti è sempre difficile. Come faccio a dare un voto? Mi fermo a dare giudizi dettagliati per ogni racconto tralasciando la visione d'insieme? Valuto la raccolta dal punto di vista generale, facendo una sorta di media tra i vari racconti? Boh.

Per stavolta ho votato 4 stelle perché il miglior racconto del mazzo è, per me, da quattro stelle. Nel complesso, forse, tre stelle sarebbero più giuste. E direi che nell'insieme la lettura è stata piacevole. Ai rac
Peregrine 12
Dec 12, 2010 Peregrine 12 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reh-challenge
Five stars from this Robert E Howard fan.

This is the collection I'd been waiting for. REH's horror stories are my favorite of all his works and this book brought many of them together. Also: The artwork in this book is fantastic. The illustrations by Greg Staples really helped set the atmosphere - dark, foreboding, and eerie.

Howard wrote to sell his stories to the pulp genre of the time, so many of the plots are nearly identical. But not all of them.

I won't go into my favorites in this collecti
Tom Harold
Aug 30, 2011 Tom Harold rated it it was amazing
This was an outstanding book, and a fine introduction to Howard for anyone who is thinking of investigating his work. Though Howard is most often noted for being the creator of Conan the Barbarian, and, in truth, the entire sword & sorcery genre, he was also a talented writer of horror tales. I was drawn in by Howard's language. His characters live in a world of rediscovered long-lost races of people, of quests, of adventure, greed, doom, mystery and terror. Interesting as well was the numbe ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, fantasy
If you're a fan of Robert E. Howard you'll surely love this massive collection of his short horror stories. I read some review that said there isn't much horror in them. Well, there is a lot of action, something Howard was always a master of, but there is certainly horror if your definition of that term is broad. Howard's horror spans the gaps between ghosts, werewolves, ancient haunted tombs, eerie pine lands, and many more. There's a lot of Lovecraftian elements here, and lots of eerie western ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is best taken in small doses. Read a couple stories and put it down for a bit then come back. Most of the stories are pretty good, with a small handful being great. Binge reading will not be rewarded, as the less impressive stories will be likely to blend together. There’s a lot of evocative writing, and some great action sequences here. Unfortunately, it’s a challenge to make it through all of Howard’s questionable world views to get to them. His work shines best when it is unfe ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
I feel guilty for only giving this book three stars. It's good, don't get me wrong, but there are some flaws and some issues. Thematically, many of the stories are revenge tales of degenerate original races upon representatives of 'true' men. The degenerate Picts spooking the Celts or Britons mostly. We get to find out that Howard's biggest fear is non-white people. Many of his horror stories are cheap copies of Lovecraft or Bierce. This is fine, horror stories aren't Howard's strong point. Don' ...more
Billy Wells
Feb 26, 2014 Billy Wells rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed these well written stories, more in the beginning than toward the end not because of the individual stories, but simply because the morbid tone weighs on you after reading so many stories in one book.

Howard's style reminds me of Lovecraft since the plots are pretty much humorless and straight to the horror. Howard does create a great deal of suspense as you walk deeper into his dark and sinister settings.

I suggest reading this book in spurts, not continuously. The essence of th
Tim Weakley
Jul 27, 2009 Tim Weakley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: pulp fiction fans
This one was a very interesting switch on a beloved author. I have read and know well all of his Conan, Kane, Bran stories etc. The horror stories were a treat. Especially the cowboy horror stories! That was a much I enjoyed that segment of the book. I think the ones I liked the best were the unfinished few towards the end of the book. His writing had really improved by that point. A sad ending to what could have been a brilliant career.
Sep 23, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
Great book. Has some great horror stories, including some involving familiar characters like Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn, as well as stories that are a part of the Cthulhu mythos. One caveat though, some of the stories, particularly the "piney woods" stories, have racist terms in the dialogue, which some may find offensive. The introduction does a good job giving those stories some perspective.
Kevin Lucia
Jul 31, 2011 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it
Pretty awesome. Some of the first person "I found this ancient tome and yaddia yaddia" Lovecraft pastiches were a little heavy handed and got old after awhile, but I loved the other stuff - especially the weird western stuff, and Solomon Kane. Can't wait for my Solomon Kane collection to get here...
João Pena
Oct 14, 2010 João Pena rated it really liked it
Alguns dos melhores contos de Robert Howard encontram-se nesta compilação. Para quem aprecia uma boa dose de ficção Pulp, este é um excelente compêndio de contos de terror que reflecte a imaginação desenfreada e absolutamente genial do autor. A ler, num quarto bem escuro...
John Karr
very cool from one of my favorite writers
Joel Mitchell
May 25, 2017 Joel Mitchell rated it liked it
Robert E. Howard is best known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian and a major contributor to the development of the Swords & Sorcery sub-genre. This book collects a number of his creepier short stories, most of which were originally published in Weird Tales and show the influence of his friend, H. P. Lovecraft. Calling most of them “horror stories” may be a bit of a stretch – they’re more like action/adventure stories with a creepy, Lovecraftian element.

The usual Robert E. Howard theme of
May 09, 2017 Chris rated it it was amazing
I can count the number of horror writers that can instill a sense of unease in me on two fingers, and Robert E. Howard has the number one spot, with Lovecraft the sole remaining. While Lovecraft favors the psychological uncertainty of the mind's of his characters to instill fear, Howard favors the physical realm and only hints at the psychological tearing of the fabric of his world. Howard uses many names and places Lovecraft invented in his stories. The two of them were close friends. But while ...more
Tazio Bettin
May 16, 2017 Tazio Bettin rated it liked it
Some of the stories are nice, some are rather banal. The illustrations of Greg Staples really make this edition shine. They're beyond gorgeous, they're just the most perfect inks I have ever seen in modern black and white illustration. Simply gorgeous.
It's difficult to rate a book where you find a dozen or so stories that you really enjoyed and the rest just read through with half-interest. The feeling that quantity trumps quality here is big, and I somewhat end up wishing this book contained le
Kevin Fitzsimmons
Dec 30, 2016 Kevin Fitzsimmons rated it really liked it
Such a good writer. There are stories in here that are going to be hard to match. There are others that aren't so great, but in a career spanning retrospective that should be expected. Howard's influence on the genre is considerable. I respect him a lot. Stories like Pigeons from Hell are true genre classics.

That said, many of the stories are deeply racist. Shockingly and inexcusably racist. I don't want to get into a debate defending nor condemning Howard, it is what it is. I think there are a
Apr 10, 2017 Jacob rated it liked it
When you exist as a contemporary to Lovecraft you’re already in something of a bind when you write horror stories. Like it or not you will be compared and that’s…a difficult prospect. Now when you are also his BFF and their endless piles of correspondences between the two of you, the comparisons are no longer obligatory, but mandatory. And once more, when you find yourself altering your future stories based on ideas Lovecraft gave you, you’ve effectively attached yourself to him like an insecure ...more
May 10, 2011 Benjamin added it
Shelves: audiobook
Howard was a working writer of the pulp age, meaning that he wrote for any venue that could pay, which means that he sometimes moved beyond his true love (historical adventure, I think) to work in other genres: boxing stories, spicy stories, detective stories, western stories--Howard's short career (first professional publication 1925, killed himself 1936) could serve as a nice cross-section of the pulp magazines. (Two notable absences: spy/supers, a la The Spider; and air stories; also, maybe s ...more
Ian Casey
Feb 27, 2015 Ian Casey rated it really liked it
When too much Lovecraft proved barely enough, I found myself drawn to his famed literary companion Robert E. Howard. And whilst it is true that the fellow Weird Tales alumni both plied the trade of ‘weird fiction’ expertly and collaborated on what became the ‘Cthulhu Mythos’, their similarities are not otherwise substantial.

Howard was plainly an amazingly talented young man with certain strengths which Lovecraft never possessed, not the least being a spectacularly energetic turn of phrase. His d
R. E.
Mar 01, 2017 R. E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very Interesting

I had never heard of this author, but I trusted the friend that recommended this collection, and decided to give it a try. I do like the old style of authors of this period and I loved this author's descriptions. Really puts the reader in the scene.

Some of the stories ended in nothing. They just stopped is what I mean. I took away a star for these enigmas. But for the most part this collection is well worth your time.

Have fun.
May 06, 2015 Torgo rated it really liked it
Well, this book took me a long while to read. It was mostly because I've been busy lately, not because it's a tough read. I acquired this book because of my Lovecraft obsession, and REH is kinda part of the Great Mythos Troika (being HP Lovecraft himself, plus Robert E Howard & Clark Ashton Smith). REH is the odd one of the bunch; he comes from the south so many of his stories are influenced by New Orleans and Texas and Mexico and that kind of environment, as opposed to the standard New Engl ...more
John R. Dailey Jr.

Hello, Mr. Howard lived and wrote during a wonderful period for the stories he crafted. Excellent and very entertaining, while at the same time, profoundly eerie and dark. Damn fine stuff. Thanks.
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  • Weird Tales: 32 Unearthed Terrors
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  • The Three Impostors and Other Stories
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  • Mysteries of the Worm: Twenty Cthulhu Mythos Tales by Robert Bloch (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
  • Ghost and Horror Stories
  • Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories
  • The Yellow Sign & Other Stories
  • Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard
  • The Book of Cthulhu
  • The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror
  • The Mask of Cthulhu
  • Dark Gods
  • More Annotated H.P. Lovecraft
  • Occultation and Other Stories
  • The Grimscribe's Puppets
  • The Hastur Cycle
  • Carnacki, the Ghost Finder
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
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