Another World Book Club discussion

Red Nails
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June-December 2020 > July 2020: Red Nails, by Robert E. Howard

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Jamie (sharpsarcasm) | 74 comments Mod
July's book will be Red Nails, by Robert E. Howard. It's part of the Conan series, so this should be an interesting change of pace.

The Project Gutenberg ebook can be downloaded here, or you can find the audiobook on LibriVox.

Jamie (sharpsarcasm) | 74 comments Mod
I have to admit I haven't read any Conan stories before. I did read a Red Sonja comic ages ago, but other than that I'm more familiar with parodies: Conan the Salaryman on Twitter and Shel Kahn's diary comic featuring Conan as her imaginary friend?

So... this should be interesting.

message 3: by Amber (new)

Amber Ridenour | 31 comments I saw a movie about Red Sonja that was made in the 90's, I think. And Arnold Schwarzenegger was in it.

Megb | 17 comments This is definitely going to be a change from The Wind in the Willows. ;)

Jamie (sharpsarcasm) | 74 comments Mod
Aaaand I remember why I'm cautious about reading older fantasy. The action parts and the mystery parts are fun, but it's hard to enjoy that around the way women are treated and the casual racial stereotyping.

Jamie (sharpsarcasm) | 74 comments Mod
But some of the phrases and imagery were fun, and I kind of like the ridiculousness of the dragon. I mean, lips??

message 7: by Amber (new)

Amber Ridenour | 31 comments Okay, yeah. I just finished the book today and it seemed like we had way to many pages to tell that story. It was quite sexiest at times, but that seems like it matched the era it was written in. I suppose if I was into romance stories, I may have appreciated it a bit more. Conan was the big, strong man who saved the day and the woman and so therefore he gets her in the end.

I have to say that it was overall pretty weird and I don't have any desire to read anymore Robert E. Howard. I am glad that I am trying new types of reading though; it's nice to get outside my comfort zone and try new things. That's why I joined this book club.

Jamie (sharpsarcasm) | 74 comments Mod
Yeah... Definitely outside my comfort zone, too.

Maybe if I'd picked this up in my early teens I wouldn't have been as bothered (I read a lot of fantasy and was kind of desensitized to that stuff for a while), but now it just feels icky.

Megb | 17 comments I finished the book last night. It's also out of my normal reading genre. However, I kind of enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I will read more of the books.
I agree that it is sexist. I was surprised by how Valeria was portrayed as such a strong, brave woman at times, but at other times she was weak and fit more into the typical woman character in need of saving.
Also, I was trying to figure out where they were, geographically. At first it felt like their travels were Northern Africa and the Middle East. However, the city and people's names were similar to names in Central America (Aztec/Mayan). Do you guys know any more about that?

message 10: by Jamie (new) - rated it 1 star

Jamie (sharpsarcasm) | 74 comments Mod
Honestly, I'd assumed it was meant to be a fictional universe and Howard was borrowing liberally from real civilizations (which is pretty common). But according to the Conan wiki page it is meant to be our world, just after Atlantis sunk and before other civilizations started springing up.

According to this Valeria is fleeing from Stygia (Egypt) and going south. Based on the artwork, Conan thinks the city was built by people from Vendhya (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh).

And the denizens of the city originally came from Stygia. So... it looks like the city is basically south of the source of the Nile and the names Aztec/Mayan naming scheme appears to be picked at random?

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