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Conan the Adventurer (Conan the Barbarian)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,031 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Introduction-L. Sprague de Camp
The People of the Black Circle-Robert E. Howard-Weird Tales 9/34
The Slithering Shadow-Robert E. Howard-Weird Tales 9/33
Drums of Tombalku
The Pool of the Black One-Robert E. Howard-Weird Tales 10/33
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 15th 1986 by Ace (first published 1966)
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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. HowardThe Bloody Crown of Conan by Robert E. HowardThe Conquering Sword of Conan by Robert E. HowardRed Nails by Robert E. HowardThe Hour of the Dragon by Robert E. Howard
Conan of Cimmeria
6th out of 45 books — 13 voters
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom StoppardIn Cold Blood by Truman CapoteFlowers for Algernon by Daniel KeyesFantastic Voyage by Isaac AsimovThe Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
Best Books of 1966
28th out of 78 books — 49 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,594)
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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 30, 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
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.
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
David Sarkies
May 31, 2014 David Sarkies rated it liked it
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
Apr 06, 2015 Mars rated it it was ok
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 22, 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
May 20, 2010 Al rated it really liked it
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
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.
Jul 29, 2011 Jeremy rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 03, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
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
Hard to beat the original Conan. The character never dies... Conan is forever.
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
Greg Frederick
Feb 18, 2015 Greg Frederick rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 14, 2015 George rated it really liked it
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
Apr 16, 2016 Evan rated it liked it
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.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 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.
Jan 28, 2015 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 28, 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.
Sep 18, 2013 Jacob rated it liked it
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.
Jun 24, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 10, 2013 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.
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.
Ed Wyrd
Sep 25, 2015 Ed Wyrd rated it really liked it
Shelves: reh
This was my first exposure to Conan, Robert E. Howard, and Sword and Sorcery in general. This book sent me on a marvelous journey down the road of heroic fantasy.
Robert C.
Aug 18, 2014 Robert C. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
The books I'd take to a desert island.
The books I'd save from a house on fire.
The books I read over and over.
The best of the best.
Aug 02, 2011 Fred added it
Shelves: fantasy
Classic Conan. You either love them or hate them. You can't claim to be a fan of the genre until you've tried them though.
I learned nothing from this book. I already knew Conan was a badass.
Jun 07, 2010 Rodolfo rated it liked it
Just picket this one up at a used book store, for $1.40!
Going to re-read it this week.
May 06, 2012 Peter rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
the Conan books were the first and the best big barbarian type books
Jan 10, 2015 wally rated it it was amazing
Shelves: howard
conan...what more can you say? great story.
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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 (10 books)
  • Conan (Book 1)
  • Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2)
  • Conan The Freebooter (Conan, #3)
  • Conan the Wanderer (Conan, #4)
  • Conan the Buccaneer
  • Conan the Warrior (Book 7)
  • Conan the Usurper (Conan, #8)
  • Conan the Conqueror
  • The Return of Conan

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