Christopher's Reviews > Conan : die Original-Erzählungen aus den Jahren 1932 und 1933

Conan  by Robert E. Howard
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's review
Apr 07, 2010

it was amazing
Read in January, 2009

Yeeeahhhhh, I know what you're thinking... Ahnold wrote a book?

I was up really late watching channel 88, or 87, or 78 and Ahnold was hacking'n'slashing a bunch of guys in rubber armor and I was thinking to myself, "wonder where this story was lifted from, 'Lord of the Rings?'"

Actually, my first thought was, "I wish the bad guys wore NY Yankees little league uniforms, flourescent pink batting-cage helmets, and wiffle bats." Could you imagine an army of little leaguers from the Bronx battlin' Ahnold the Destroyer? That would be totally sweet, like combining ninjas and green berets and dinosaurs.

But anyway, I was expecting the story to be fairly recent to the movie but it was actually written from '32-36 or so and by a chronic depressive who killed himself pretty early in life. The guy was interested in all the old mythology and especially Picts.

I got interested and so I acquired the novels (more like novelettes, they were written for pulp magazines) and I ended up finishing them all in short order.

Pretty entertaining writer, excellent style and prose, great short (condensed) stories and no filler. It's pretty raw stuff; the guy was a tough-guy so the struggling and violence seems pretty vivid and realistic. I recommend reading Robert E. Howard's bio before reading these novels (about 20 or so). Definitely not for little kids, or girls, it's violent, offensive, and sexist.

One last thought, did you ever think to yourself, "why do all the good guys in 'Lord of the Rings' have to be keep singing songs?" I did, when I had to trudge through 250 pages of guys singing or dancing hymns in a 500 page book.

But in the Conan novels, magic isn't some kind of "wonderous, wonderful lost art" with faeries and angels handing out ice cream. It's creepy, disgusting, and straight from the bowels of hell. It's the heroic savage that beats the life out of the creepy old dudes with a rock.

(Hey, that was pretty advanced for the '30's.)

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