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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1)
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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian #1)

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  7,631 ratings  ·  318 reviews
Poem and first 13 tales, in order written, plus Miscellanea drafts, notes, maps by author.
Cimmeria poem
1 The Phoenix on the Sword 1932
2 The Frost-Giant's Daughter 1976
3 The God in the Bowl 1952
4 The Tower of the Elephant 1933
5 The Scarlet Citadel 1933
6 Queen of the Black Coast 1934
7 Black Colossus 1933
8 Iron Shadows in the Moon 1934
9 Xuthal of the Dusk 1933
10 The Pool of
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Hardcover, 496 pages
Published November 22nd 2005 by Del Rey (first published 2002)
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Farseer Yes, it is a good place. These are the original Robert E. Howard tales, unedited and in the order he wrote them. This is book 1 of the complete R. E.…moreYes, it is a good place. These are the original Robert E. Howard tales, unedited and in the order he wrote them. This is book 1 of the complete R. E. Howard Conan stories. The three books are:

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1)
The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2)
The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3) (less)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
91st out of 1,869 books — 7,735 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
112th out of 2,396 books — 17,032 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
What it is that makes Howard so much more compelling than his many imitators? To the untrained eye, it may be hard to see differences, since his faults are sometimes more readily apparent than his virtues, though he has plenty of both. Some might try to 'salvage him' from his pulp origins, but despite all his literary aspirations, I'm happy to call him a pulp author, and one of the best.

I have a great deal of praise for this edition in particular, volume one of a three-part series which collects
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Stephen
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*** NOTE: Lesson number 4 above was inspired by Ceridwen’s legendary review of Ulysses and the even more legendary comment section following it....The Guest Speaker doesn't know it but the real goal of lesson #4 is to help the instructors spot and weed out incurable ASSHATS.

5.0 stars. This was my first in depth experience with Robert E. Howard’s Conan and IT…….WAS…….PULPTASTICALLY ……DELICIOUS. However, not only was it more fun than a dungeon full of giant snakes, but it was also very instructiv
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Bill  Kerwin

Having finally decided to read Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, I am glad I had the good fortune to purchase the three volume, fully illustrated, Del Rey collection. Unlike the numerous Lancer/Ace paperbacks available to me in the '60's and '70's—the ones with the really cool Frank Frazetta illustrations--this edition does things right.

One of the reasons I never explored Conan's world is that every Lancer/Ace volume I examined in the bookstore sported the name of at least two authors, sometimes
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Forrest
I've now discovered that the best way to read Robert E. Howard's Conan stories is in big, undiluted doses. Do yourself a favor and avoid any of the stories completed or edited by L. Sprague de Camp. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. And don't dip your toes into Conan's world, plunge into it headfirst and stay a while. Taken as individual snacks, each Conan story has its sweet spots and its bitter bits. But taken as a meal, several Conan stories can provide a rich feast.

The Coming of Conan the C
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[Name Redacted]
Conan is one of those great literary characters whose true nature has been swallowed up in the morass of media reinterpretation. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian is a giant of a man, yes, but he is not the lumbering bear he later became in the popular consciousness; Schwarzenegger is not to blame for that, as this understanding had become the common one long before his films were made (check out the earlier comic book versions), and he merely played the character as the script demanded. Howard's Con ...more
Terry
You know, I used to think I hated Conan stories. That was before I realized that what I had read were in fact imperfect pastiches written by other writers in the 60's and 70's who hoped to cash in on the iconic popularity of the character.

This volume presents the stories of Conan the Cimmerian as they were written by his creator, Robert E. Howard, and a better group of dashing, creepy, brooding sword & sorcery tales couldn't be wished for. The stories are presented in the order they were wri
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Old-Barbarossa
They've re-released a load of Howard's stuff after it's been out of print for ages, I used to pick it up at bookstalls and second hand bookshops. Great stuff, not very politically correct but hugely enjoyable fast paced stories, mainly all swordfights and heaving bosoms, dark sorcery and cavalry charges, betrayal and lusty gossamer clad dancing girls. He's most famous for these, his "Conan" stories. That was when I was about 14...probably explains a lot. Imprinted with idea that drinking heavily ...more
Brad
This is the first time I have ever read (listened) to a series of Conan stories that were all by Robert E. Howard, undiluted by his imitators and diminishers, and what a revelation. Howard's work was not the pulpy trash of his followers; it was accomplished, vital, deep and rich in characterization, and some of the finest world building ever achieved. It was that thing I love most: a novel in short stories.

Listening to this collection, one gets a full picture of Howard's Cimmerian. Not the "bar
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Nate
Sep 10, 2013 Nate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
This omnibus-thingy collects thirteen of Howard's original Conan stories as well as some cool miscellanea like poems, maps, rough drafts of a couple of the stories, etc. Okay, I came into this expecting (and desiring) pure pulpy cheesiness, and I definitely got some of that, but I was really struck with how literary and modern-feeling Howard's prose is. Honestly, the language in these stories really felt like it hadn't dated at all, even though most of these stories were written in the early 193 ...more
Jean-marcel
This is huge, terrific, blood-and-thunder stuff of the highest order. The real Conan, not the sanitised version of De Camp or the movies, even though I enjoy the 1982 film for what it is. While at times unbelievable deeds of heroes in stories can be irritating because of a lack of realism, it was these tales that made me decide the difference is all in the quality of writing rather than the likelihood of the acts themselves. After a while you just get so used to rolling with the style of Howard' ...more
Jon
Average Rating Across All Stories: 3.5 stars

The two best stories are "The Phoenix on the Sword" and "The Queen of the Black Coast"; otherwise, the first half of this anthology holds the best of the bunch, gradually dwindling down to my least favorite two stories: "The Vale of Lost Women" and "Rogues in the House." The final story almost redeemed the second half, but didn't quite pack the punch necessary to overcome the duds immediately prior to it. Please see my status update comments for mini-r
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Peggy
Long years ago, I picked up an old collection of Conan stories. It was from the series that L. Sprague deCamp did, and was number one in the series. I was unimpressed. I figured I had simply waited too long to get around to Conan and outgrown the time period when I might have enjoyed the stories. I was so, so wrong.

This collection blew me away. Robert E. Howard was an amazing writer, especially when it comes to action scenes. These stories move, man. I went from unimpressed to fangirl in 2 stori
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Stefan Yates
Overall - I really enjoyed this first volume of the collected short stories of Robert E. Howard and his magnificent creation; Conan the Barbarian. There was not a story in the collection that I was bored with or disliked and I would heartily encourage those who enjoy the fantasy genre to delve into these stories and explore the roots of what started the genre that we enjoy today. The only faults that I have with Howard’s writing are the prevalent sexist and less prevalent racist attitudes that a ...more
Simon
I find most of the really productive pulp writers to be very inconsistent in their output (see also Philip K. Dick) and Robert E. Howard is no exception. The better stories in this anthology are among some of the best ultra-manly adventure stories I've ever read, the writing managing to be ornate and bombastic without ever feeling bloated or "purple". The setting, which draws mostly upon Greco-Roman antiquity as viewed from the outsider perspective of a Celtic tribesman (or the fantasy equivalen ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
What needs to be said? It's Conan. If you've only seen the movie...do yourself a favor and take a look at these pulp greats.

Like many Conan is one of my first introductions into fantasy and Conan personifies the Sword and Sorcery sub-genre of fantasy. He was great to read when Howard came up with him and he's still a great read today.

This is volume one of a three volume set released with Howard's original texts. It contains:
"The Phoenix on the Sword"
"The Frost Giant's Daughter"
"The God in the
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Kyle Muntz
I almost can't believe it, but (since my roommate loaned me a copy of this book), I read a few of the stories and they were actually really good. They definitely show their pulp roots, but the Hyperborian Age (a kind of proto-history full of Lovecraftian, cosmological awesomeness, and strong roots in history and mythology) is incredibly rich, and the character himself is way more interesting than his reputation. I don't think I can commit to the whole book, but it was nice to get a sense of the ...more
Charles
A collection of the Conan stories as they were orignally meant to be published by Robert E. Howard himself, without all the added, and less than stellar material, inserted by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. In addition to carrying all the published Conan stories, there are also fragments and early drafts in the back of the book that are fascinating for the scholar. Highly recommended.
Nick
Reading Conan, it's really, REALLY important to keep in the back of your mind that these stories were written in the early twentieth century, which was a vastly different period than our own. By keeping that in mind, I was able to read through the majority of this book without taking the blatant racism and sexism too much to heart. I see the stories contained it The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian much in the same way I see exploitation film; it is a relic of its time, and thus it is populated wit ...more
Benjamin
Jul 23, 2010 Benjamin added it
Shelves: audiobook
The Conan stories of Robert E. Howard probably aren't for everyone, and that's a damn shame.

Today, Howard's contribution to fantasy has been obscured or tainted by three things (I would argue):

a) when people look back at early-20th century adventure fantasy, Burroughs is the writer they see. This is certainly the case in academia--I've seen papers on Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, but hardly any on Conan and none on Solomon Kane. In fandom, there is an Edgar Rice Burroughs club, but I'm not a
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Mitch Harden
Okay, so Conan the Barbarian has become cliche, but when Howard was writing him back in the 30s it was a different story. You have to be very careful what edition you get, as most of the Howard stories are in omnibus format now. It is important to get one that is in order of publication, instead of chronological order. Howard himself said that the stories weren't meant to flow together, or to create a chronology, as they are written as if a drunken barbarian is retelling his adventures as he rem ...more
Michael
Re-reading. This a more current republishing of Howard's original stories unmolested by editors hands as he wrote them. Deep themes about the individual vs society are explored in a fantasy world of his own making. Not at all the commercial, and watered down, character the media has produced over the many years for profit.
An Odd1
I'm caught. Despite repetitive plot devices, requisite (nearly) naked white women pursued by black monster, the words flow like poetry and drown me deep. Boogle these big books meant to be read as written, once monthly in magazine; tales lose vitality if forced swallowing in single gulp, time too brief. Chronology ordered by Conan's age rather than year of publication, is a big relief; would be brain swoggle, switching old man to young and around.

"Conan yelled stridently and struck them like a
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Kenny
This was a great read, although reading all the stories back to back was perhaps a little tiring at times.
Conan is nothing like the movies, but an intelligent and cunning warrior who gets into all sorts of trouble, especially against the "civilised" people and their unnatural magics :)

These stories are unabashedly pulp, and an interesting mix of heroic and horror. Much of the interest came in Conan facing off against things he couldn't just beat with a sword - and the trouble that comes of tryin
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Branduno
I don't know if you guys have read these original Robert E. Howard Conan the Cimmerian stories, but they are crazy as all get-out. Maybe you're only familiar with the movies, or with pastiches. So here, let me tell you a Conan story: Conan is hanging out, doing some barbarian thing, like fighting a war, or escaping from a dungeon maze, or ruling an empire the previous king of which he had strangled to death with his bare hands.

Then something totally weird and eldritch and Lovecraftian happens, i
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Shawn
I really enjoy Howard's starkly simple yet evocative writing style. I play around with writing myself and I consider his style an ideal example of the "keep it simple" principle, because simple though it is, it's fantastic and light.
Every now & then a book will have a passage in it that just speaks to me and barbaric though it may be there is one such passage in this book. Page 123...

After explaining his position to a judge of the court that he would not betray his friend, the Judge conti
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Tristan
Robert E. Howard wrote without using much other than his emotion and imagination. That is what these books are filled with and if you are up to a passionate and driven read, than look no further for Conan is here! These books are animal-like in their power, Howard takes you back to a time where humanity was far more savage and the rest of the world reflected that. There is an energy that drives each of these stories and it doesn't stop until the last words of the last story have stopped echoing ...more
Jared Millet
I've been dipping into this short story collection for about two years, and I've finally finished it. Howard is definitely one of my literary heroes, mainly for 1) his ability to effortlessly create iconic, primal characters, 2) his talent for painting pictures with words, and 3) his use of an underlying philosophy that informs all his fiction without ever becoming preachy. Namely: that civilization is an aberration, and savagery is the natural state of mankind.

Some of these stories were so fami
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Carlos Marin
From one of the true masters of pulp fiction. Like many of us, my early introduction to Robert E. Howard's character Conan the Cimmerian came from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. I believed Schwarzenegger's take on the character to be the only bearer of the name Conan, until I had the privilege of discovering this gem of a book. Mr. Howard's literary interpretation of the character (which he created) springs forth on paper and redefines the sorcery and fantasy genre. Written around the time of ...more
Richard
The first reprint in the Del Rey series introduced me to a full background of not only the stories themselves, but the evolution of Howard's writting abilities. These editions (three in the set) also explained how they represent the original versions of the stories, and not those that were edited in the 1970-80's. These versions are not politically correct and do in some ways reflect the racial attitudes of the 1920's (Texas) where Howard grew up and did all of his writting. Although not rising ...more
Riju Ganguly
Conan the barbarian is not just a literary character. He stands for the epitome of "high adventure" involving politically incorrect portrayals, damsels (in flimsiest or no garbs) getting perpetually distressed (by choice or fate, since the two-legged/four-legged/supernatural villains are always lurking around), people getting literally hacked into pieces, the towering presence of a massively built-yet-frighteningly fast man who is unashamedly barbarian, but who has a strong sense of honour, and ...more
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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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More about Robert E. Howard...

Other Books in the Series

Conan the Cimmerian (3 books)
  • The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2)
  • The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3)
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 Conan (Book 1)

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