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Skull-Face

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  125 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Contents:

"Pictures in the Flames" by Richard Lupoff

"Skull-Face"

"The Lord of the Dead"

"Names in the Black Book"

"Taveral Manor" (Completed by Richard Lupoff)
Mass Market Paperback, 248 pages
Published March 1st 1979 by Berkley (first published March 1st 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 207)
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Jim
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
A rainy day after a long, tiring one gave me a good excuse to sit down & read this. They're great stories, some of the best that REH ever did, IMO. They're horror/mystery stories & bring out some of the finest points of his writing. The biggest gripe I have with this book is Lupoff's introduction.

The first & last stories, "Skull-Face" & "Taveral Manor", feature Gordon, an English detective loosely associated with Scotland Yard but pretty much autonomous, & Stephen Costigan, a
...more
Timothy Boyd
Feb 07, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it did not like it
Robert E. Howard is my all time favorite writer, but for many years much of his work was heavily edited. This is another of the heavily edited collections of Robert E. Howard's 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 time 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 li ...more
Yannis
Jan 16, 2016 Yannis rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, borrowed
Its chapters are stories about the typical strong Howardian hero against the evil Skull-Face. Finishing the first one I thought it was a great story, a mystery thriller with a global conspiracy, drug dealing, Atlantis and remniscent of the original Dracula. What more could you ask for? Well, the rest of the chapters/stories don't offer anything more than that. In fact, it's pretty much the same thing again in the end so if you judge it as a novel you don't do it justice and it doesn't get a good ...more
James
Jan 26, 2015 James rated it liked it
This review is of the novella "Skull-Face," originally serialized in 1929...which means Robert E. Howard was 23 when he wrote this...blast him. :)

Howard has often been called "a storyteller." And that's absolutely right. It is, to me, one of the most mysterious qualities a writer has; despite the quality of the dialogue or the preposterousness of the situations, a story is being told and the reader is swept along.

The outlines of "Skull-Face" were well-established ever 85 years ago: a criminal ma
...more
Michael
Sep 16, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
I've had this sitting on my nightstand for over a year, and every so often, I would read a few pages before going to sleep. The stories all feature variations of the same characters:

Stephen Costigan/Steve Harrison- barbarian detective and sometimes drug addict.

Erlik Khan/Kathulos- Fu Manchu like evil mastermind, or possibly an immortal Atlantian sorcerer.

Joan La Tour/Zuleika- either a sultry Eurasion with a murky past, or an Asian slave girl owned by Kathulos.

Occassionaly, Stephen/Steve, the hul
...more
João Batista
Oct 01, 2015 João Batista rated it really liked it
Como já fiz comentários acerca desta edição que li...
Falemos dos contos que a compõem: 'Rosto de Caveira' é a mais longa história na edição; é basicamente um conto de detetive com toques de terror. É o melhor? Bem, de todos, poderíamos dizer que sim.
'As Florestas de Villefore' fala de um guia que leva uma pessoa pela tal floresta; ele se chama le Loup... um conto com muitas lendas citadas.
'A Cabeça do Lobo' é uma continuação, mas narrada por outrem; muita ação e mistério, mas um final brusco, re
...more
Sean
Jul 02, 2015 Sean rated it it was ok
Very much a product of its time, I admit the rampant casual racism of Skull-Face was really, really hard to ignore. Aside from that, I had positive memories of Conan stories reading, well, somewhat more literary: Skull-Face relies heavily on stereotype, and it tells a pretty straight-forward narrative, with only a couple of unexpected twists. Perhaps worth it for the description of 1920s London drug culture (which was, apparently, more alive in literature than in reality), but the insufferable l ...more
Jason
Apr 15, 2009 Jason rated it it was ok
Skull Face was an REH story I had never heard of recently. I didn’t know anything about the characters or story, so it was a real mystery going in.
Initially, it is a different kind of adventure that a person comes to expect from Howard. A contemporary (1920s) tale set in London, the protagonist is Stephen Costigan, a World War I veteran addicted to hashish, and unrelated to “Sailor Steve Costigan” of Howard’s boxing stories (despite the Wikipedia page for Skull Face claiming they are the same
...more
Joseph
Feb 16, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I really enjoyed this book. The first novella, Skull Face, is by far the strongest story of the bunch. Howard's Kathulos out Fu Manchus Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu, being more menacing and more believably frightening. This is some of Howard's stronger writing, and again makes me really wish he had lived longer, as there was no telling where he would have ended up as he matured.
Jeff Wyonch
Apr 28, 2014 Jeff Wyonch rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-fan-horror
Aside from the notable title story, this is a collection of mostly pulp stories with the same villain, modeled after Fu Manchu. It's not the greatest collection of Howard stories, but filled with action, nonetheless.
Mike
Sep 26, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok
This is a detective story in the spirit of Murders in the Rue Morgue or Holmes, but with a pulpy supernatural twist that could only come from a guy like Howard or Lovecraft. Oh yeah, it's also incredibly racist in a way that even Lovecraft barely managed in his stories (I think he was more afraid of hillbillies than black folks). This is the product of a different time, where the dashing honkies are the heroes and foreign cultures meant either exotic women or dark-skinned fiends. While you may f ...more
Matt
May 24, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it
Delicious pulp adventures about a master criminal bent on world domination and the hero(es) who are there to frustrate his efforts. The villain's name changed from story to story (these were published in magazine form) and I think the hero's may have, too, but the stories are easily grouped into one collection. If you dig Fu Manchu-esque high adventure from a less-culturally sensitive time, these make great reading for pool-side or a lazy, rainy day.
Peregrine 12
Dec 11, 2010 Peregrine 12 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of R. E. Howard
Action, violence, powerful men achieving goals against impossible odds. Contains racist, sexist depictions typical of the 1920's pulp fiction market for which it was written. This wasn't my favorite non-Conan work by Howard (Cthulhu Mythos is my favorite), but it was okay.
Charles
Jan 02, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, mystery
Some of Howard's detective stories, but with his own unique and violent touch.
Dave Wells
Dave Wells marked it as to-read
May 30, 2016
David Robinson
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May 27, 2016
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May 18, 2016
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Jim
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Jim Ross rated it it was amazing
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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
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