The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard
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The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  1,227 ratings  ·  58 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...more
Paperback, 523 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Del Rey (first published 2008)
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Mike (the Paladin)
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 Morn...so some of the stories here aren't new to me. I will probably try to run this...more
Joe
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...more
Frank Unknown
The horror stories of Robert E. Howard are, in large part, exactly what you might expect: macho, action-packed, sometimes offensive, with plenty of obvious influence from Howard's good friend H.P. Lovecraft. It is abundantly clear that Howard simply could not resist plunging into two-fisted manly ass-kicking mode, even in the middle of a horror story. Perhaps my favorite example of this is "The Hoofed Thing," which begins as a slow, creepy, atmospheric horror story and ends with our protagonist...more
Peregrine 12
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...more
Jefferson
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...more
Bruce
Excellent collection by a master story-teller.
Sadie
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...more
Tom Harold
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
Steve
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
Tim Weakley
Aug 25, 2009 Tim Weakley rated it 4 of 5 stars 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 surprise...how 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.
Michael
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
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
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...
Billy Wells
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...more
John Karr
very cool from one of my favorite writers
Galo
Robert E. Howard is most often remembered as the father of the Sword and Sorcery genre where he made his legend through the exploits of his seminal creation Conan the Barbarian, and lesser knowns Kull, Brak Mak Morn, and Solomon Kane. But besides being a master of weaving pulse pounding fantasy and adventure stories once found in the pages of the pulps, Howard also conjured dark tales of terror to rival his one-time friend and fellow Weird Tales alum, H.P. Lovecraft. This collection features som...more
Pranay
The book contains some really fascinating short horror stories written by Robert E Howard. After reading them all you see a repetition in theme, style, places and behaviour of the protagonist. However it still does not take away from the various stories which remain compelling and page turners. The protagonists are always brave and don't shy away from danger...which makes his stories good to read rather than glum. Howard is a master who creates an environment which surrounds you and after that y...more
Tobin Elliott
This is a great collection of REH's stories, and almost all his familiar characters are here: Conan, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn...the only one missing is Kull. But they're tied thematically because REH reused a surprising number of his characters in different stories, and--the real shock to me--he also used H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos quite liberally as well.

This is, however, a book to be read in sips of one or two stories at a time. Large gulps will serve only to make the reader overly awa...more
Benjamin
Feb 12, 2012 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
Daniel
As stated in earlier comments: when Howard is focused on story and adventure, he writes at his best, and the result is fun and catchy - as in the stories "The Hoofed Thing," "The Fires of Assurbanipal," "The Dwellers in the Tomb," and about half a dozen others. I enjoyed reading these and can see myself going back to them in the future when I'm in the mood for monsters and swashbuckling and some weirdness.

The rest of the stories in this anthology range from dull to middling. The stories that tie...more
Dan
As with all Howard writing, those not already inclined to "yarns" about high adventure or creeping horror may not be convinced by these stories. On the other hand, many of these are excellent examples of the genre, with more interesting and more memorable heroes even than the tales of HP Lovecraft, though I admit the terror in them is not as finely crafted.

The art in this book is rarer than in other editions in the series and there isn't much criticism, but there is much more prose. As usual, so...more
Duffy
This book is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand it gives you variety: Sword & sorcery, westerns, boxing, african & arabian aventures, puritan badasses, and classic staples of horror fiction. On the other hand, the quality of it is rather mixed, there were a few stories in it that I really liked, quite a few that were ok if not standout, and several that were just offensive or bad.
I really believe (as most people probably do) that Howards strengths are in his Conan stories, of which this...more
Greg Daly
First off the title is misleading. It should be the Supernatural Stories of Robert E. Howard. However, given that these were written some 80+ years ago, back then they were probably considered "horror". Most of the stories first appeared in a periodical call Weird Tales, and that is probably the best title. His stories these days are ones you could tell around a camp fire around younger kids. Centering on ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and the like the short stories are enjoyable, written in the...more
Charles
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
PsypherPunk
According to Howard's peer, good ol' Lovecraft "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.". This is clearly not a theory to which Howard subscribes. Sure, there's some a vague sense of mystery but soon enough, someone's come up with a theory (or an anecdote which might as well be highlighted "incoming plot point") which nicely categorises and/or explains matters (usually something to do with the beastie's non-Aryan orig...more
Bob
Boat loads of scintillating and frightening pulp fiction horror short stories involving everything from werewolves, vampires, and other monsters, to voodoo, subhumans, cowboys, pirates, and appearances by Howard favorites Solomon Kane, Conan and Bran Mak Morn. Includes the genre classic "Pigeons from Hell" (once made into a great episode of the cult classic Thriller TV show). The only negative to this near perfect, amazing and diverse collection is the few unfortunate pre-WW II racially charged...more
Tarl
Jul 27, 2011 Tarl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Stephan King stated in his Danse Macabre that Robert Howard could not write horror. Having read this, I agree with that statement. Perhaps in another time, these stories would have been scary, but compared to writers of his time (like his best friend HP Lovecraft), Howard falls short in his attempt to elicit the reaction the genre is named after. That being said, he does spin some wonderful stories that reflect where his strengths are, action. So I do recommend this book, and it only got such a...more
Jason
Jun 29, 2009 Jason rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys horror that requires the reader to think.
Recommended to Jason by: I was already a fan of Robert E. Howard's work.
I have been a fan of Robert E. Howard for many years and I was very happy when this collection of tales came out. Some of them I had read in previous collections from Baen and the Best of volumes that were released before this collection came out, but many I had not read before. Robert E. Howard was a product of his time, and therefore he did have a habit of using slurs, but since it was more socially acceptable during the time he wrote these stories I see no reason to hold that tendency against...more
Robert
This is a long read, but well worth the time spent. Howard did horror every bit as well as Lovecraft (with whom he shared a lengthy personal correspondence) or Poe. Some stories feature his characters Sailor Steve Costigan (or his possible relatives) and Solomon Kane (the demon-vanquishing Puritan). All feature Howard's natural ability to spin an entertaining yarn. I give this book my highest recommendation, especially for those of us who tend to prefer tales of terror of the "old-school" variet...more
Forrest Burris
Robert E. Howard wrote the stories about Conan the Barbarian and is credited with inventing the Sword and Sorcery genre of literature. He was actually more versatile than that and wrote in several other genres; adventure stories, historical fiction, sci fi, and horror. These are some of his horror stories. If you like H.P. Lovecraft (who was one of Howard's contemporaries and friends,) you will probably like this book. The stories are all very lively and suspenseful.
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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
More about Robert E. Howard...
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1) The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3) Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2) The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2) The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane

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