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The Best of Robert E. Howard: Crimson Shadows (Volume 1)
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The Best of Robert E. Howard: Crimson Shadows (Volume 1)

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  656 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Robert E. Howard is one of the most famous and influential pulp authors of the twentieth century. Though largely known as the man who invented the sword-and-sorcery genre�and for his iconic hero Conan the Cimmerian�Howard also wrote horror tales, desert adventures, detective yarns, epic poetry, and more. This spectacular volume, gorgeously illustrated by Jim and Ruth K ...more
Paperback, 503 pages
Published August 14th 2007 by Del Rey (first published 2007)
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Joseph
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This volume (especially when paired with The Best of Robert E. Howard: Grim Lands) pretty much does what it sets out to do -- gives a selection of Howard's best work in the many, many genres in which he wrote. You have the better-known stuff -- Kull ("The Shadow Kingdom"), Solomon Kane ("Red Shadows"), Conan (my personal favorite Conan story, "Beyond the Black River") and the lesser-known stuff -- boxing stories, El Borak, historical adventures, Westerns both humorous and non- -- punctuated by s ...more
Jim
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was probably the best collection of his work that I've ever read & I'm pretty conversant with his work. I have over 40 of his books, half being Conan. I think every type of story he wrote was covered & the very best were picked. There were even a couple of stories that I don't think I had read before, which is surprising.

If I have any quarrel with the book, it's the amount of his poetry that is included. It is interspersed among the stories well, but by cutting back on it, perhaps
...more
Thomas Fortenberry
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have been watching my local bookstores' shelves explode with reprinting of some pulp era classics, since they went public. Shadow, Doc Savage, Lovecraft, and of course one of my all-time favorite authors, Robert E. Howard.

This new Del Rey collection covers every aspect of his writings, every genre type, major character, and series. Here we have perhaps the best starting point, volume one of "The Best of" collection. I bought one for my brother also.

This volume has a wide-ranging sample of his
...more
Ron
Dec 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ron by: Jon Moss
Robert E. Howard was an extraordinary storyteller. His creations more in that never land between myth, history and lies, and we're not sure where we want them to alight. Frankly, I enjoyed his tales which had one foot in history better than the purer fantasy, but that's me.

Too bad we were robbed of a few more decades of output.
Mick
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I never imagined that the guy who created Conan and Kull was such a fantastic writer, or that I'd really enjoy a Conan story. But I not only loved the Conan stories in this one, I loved Solomon Kane, Frank Gordon, Bran MacMorn, and others. And this also adds to my appreciation of Dictionary of Mu.
Jon
Sep 11, 2008 added it
Recommended to Jon by: Jim MacLachlan
F.T.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a feast for fantasy geeks. Old school at its best. Howard's writing is intense, visceral, and he's a master of gory fight scenes and tough, heroic characters. Good stuff.
Nesta
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Mr Howard was essentially the inventor of the "sword and sorcery" genre and for that, I thank him. His stories are very much a young man's stories; as a woman I found all the mighty thews and such a bit tedious after a while. Also, while of course these things must be considered in their historical context, I found it difficult to get past his comments on the "native savagery" of various races as compared to the mighty, superior Aryans.
YouKneeK
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
This is an anthology of short stories written by Robert E. Howard in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Most of the stories are fantasy, with a couple of exceptions. For example, there is a very odd but rather funny western-type story at the end. A couple of Howard’s original Conan the Barbarian stories are also found in this anthology. I had recognized the name "Conan the Barbarian", but this was my first exposure to the character so I didn’t know anything about him.

For the most part, I found the stories t
...more
Kelly Flanagan
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I know I know, by now I shouldn't expect those who opened the genre of Fantasy to have hobbled along lost in the great forest of Magically Inspired Tales. Most of the other genres were around for a while beforehand and I would never imagine that magic is difficult to write about considering the many sub genres have sprung up. Still. The magic in Robert E. Howard's stories is sometimes made by his phenomenal writing skills alone and not just by the wizards, sorceresses and necromancers who p ...more
Travis
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Gods, the sheer manly power of these stories is like a punch between the eyes!
Howard makes ancient battles come alive, populates his worlds with strong men of honor and surprise you with some bits of quite clever humor.

Howard was one of the guys that created the sword and sorcery genre and even now, 60 years later is still one of the best. These are pure, undiluted adventure stories and they make no pretense at trying to be anything else.

I was surprised by several stories that were in more 'mod
...more
Kevin welter
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Howard is Death's poet and a truly masterful writer. He is so much more than Conan but is still arguably at his best in some of those tales.
Charles
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A truly excellent collection. Also of great interest in the article on Howard by Charles Hoffman and the short bio on Howard by Rusty Burke.
Devlocke
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Painful. There are many REH compilations. Most of them are pretty good, since he's pretty good. This one appears to be devoted to presenting the worst of his writing, which makes the title even more painful than it would have been.

The Conan stories in this volume are crap Conan stories I'd never read before, despite being a Howard/Conan fan for a few decades. It was interesting reading them, because it'd been ages since I ran into Conan stuff by Howard himself I hadn't read before. I wasn't act
...more
Richard Nell
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Picked this nice little anthology up at the library, hurray for free books!

Ah, Howard. What can you really say about innovators, other than 'thank you'? I imagine I'm not the only young fantasy reader (young men in particular, I expect) to have picked up a Howard story and goggled at some hyper masculine killer or king surrounded by poetic prose. I didn't know about his life back then - his early difficulties, this skinny kid that disciplined himself to a more muscular frame. Like him I was an
...more
Andrew Nease
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my first exposure to Howard, and it does not disappoint. I realize that for alot of the people reading these reviews I'm preaching to the choir, but this is definitely an author that deserves more of a modern readership. Most sci-fi/fantasy geeks at least know of H.P. Lovecraft, even if they haven't read anything by him, but I feel like Howard's mostly known for Conan, and Conan's mostly known for the freaking Schwarzenegger movies. For anyone who likes Lovecraft, George R.R. Martin, or ...more
Michael
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction to Robert E. Howard. Although he is best known for creating Conan the Barbarian, he is also the creator of Solomon Kane, El Borak, Kull the Conquerer, Steve Costigan, Bran Mak Morn, and many other characters. This book gives a good sampling of many of his different types of stories, including sword and sorcery, adventure, horror, boxing and western stories. Howard is great at quickly putting you in the middle of the action, and immersing you in the story. Give it a t ...more
Will
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This collection is excellent, IMO. Honestly, any collection that contains "Beyond The Black River", the quintessential Conan story, is worth it for that alone, but this edition also gives a good overview of the lesser-known genres that Howard wrote in. If you've never read Howard before, and if you think of Conan the Cimmerean as Arnold Schwarzenegger, you really ought to do yourself a favor and check this out.
Al
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm a big Conan fan, which is why I tried this book. Unfortunately, I have to say after reading it that Conan is by far the best of Howard, followed by Kull. One has to admire and respect Mr. Howard's output, his breadth of genres, and his imagination, but the quality is decidedly mixed. If you're curious about Howard, by all means give this a try -- just don't go into it with high expectations.
Takipsilim
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fine and diverse collection of one of the most talented and the most versatile of the great pulp authors. The inconsistent selection highlights Howard's hit-or-miss efforts, but the best are truly inspired.
Steve Bladek
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Howard's writing is alway intense no matter the genre in which he was writing. This collection does an admirable job of collecting great stories from Conan, westerns, eastern adventures, humorous pugilists . . . And it's all great stuff.
John Curran
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Robert E Howard has a wonderful way of describing a detailed scene with very few words. His Conan stories rather spoiled me, in that most other fantasy I encountered seemed overly wordy and full of irrelevant waffle. Those writers can learn a lot from Howard's work.
Matt
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've only read about half the stories in this thus far, but they were all really entertaining. Especially enjoyed the Solomon Kane tale.
Jonathan Stevens
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A free offer from Suvudu some time ago. A collection of stories and poem. The stories are great, but I think all of them are available at various public domain ebook sites.
David Hunter
Jun 12, 2010 is currently reading it
...another "read at the pub on my iPhone" book...
Bob Wilkins
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it
The stories are all 5 star, but there is a LOT of overlap with all the previous Del Rey books.
William
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pulps
It's a good collection of some of REH's best. The other Del Rey REH books are better though. Go with The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian or The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard.
Marcus
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Okay, but not as overwhelming as I remembered from my adolescence.
Tim
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Like a comic book without the pictures -- over-exaggerated characters and thrilling action, but nothing genuinely human. Not bad; just not for me.
Frank
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Skipped the modern stories and poetry; the remainder was exciting and fast-paced, if a bit repetitive. I enjoyed the sense of history that emerged from the numerous settings.
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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
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