Jared Millet's Reviews > The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard
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Jan 24, 10

bookshelves: sword-and-sorcery, pulp-fiction, short-stories, fantasy
Read in January, 2010

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 familiar from comic book adaptations (both Marvel's and Dark Horse's) that I felt as though I was re-reading them even though I hadn't before. Favorite story in this collection: "Black Colossus," since it's one that actually allows for growth in Conan's character (he goes from being a hired thug to a general with responsibility for lives other than his own) and it has one of the best battle scenes ever put to pen in a fantasy story.
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