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Hardcover The Coming of Conan: The Cimmerian Book

ISBN: 0739440810

ISBN13: 9780739440810

The Coming of Conan: The Cimmerian

(Book #1 in the Conan the Cimmerian Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Conan is one of the greatest fictional heroes ever created- a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of...

Customer Reviews

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A magnificent tribute to Robert Howard

If a teacher assigned a project requiring you to draw up a list of the most influential authors in the fantasy/science fiction genre, Robert E. Howard would sit safely in the top five. Along with H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, Howard was one of the groundbreaking influences in popular fiction of the 1930s. His influence is still felt today as evidenced by the large number of books containing stories based on his most popular creation, Conan the Cimmerian. Sadly, most of these newer tales, spun from unfinished fragments found in Howard's possession after his untimely demise in 1936, barely manage to attain a shadow of the glory found in the original tales. I think of Lin Carter's "Conan the Liberator," a truly awful piece of junk based on one of these fragments, and I shudder at the damage done to Robert Howard's reputation. That's why we should all give a warm round of applause to Del Rey for releasing this comprehensive collection of the earliest Conan stories. It's great to see a collection of the original tales available for sale at a reasonable price. Moreover, the book contains a foreword from the illustrator chosen to draw for this collection, a fascinating piece of criticism examining Howard's influences, and a few other goodies shedding even more light on how Conan came about. The order of the stories, too, mirrors exactly the sequence in which the author wrote them. "The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian" is, I am embarrassed to say, my first foray into the original Conan tales. I looked around for these things for years, but always found the prices in the secondary market-usually for moth eaten copies of decades old versions-to much weight to place on my wallet. I did get a chance to read a few of Howard's Bran Mak Morn stories, several of his Cthulhu tales, and a couple of other great stories completely unrelated to Conan. Still, it's not the same. To know Howard is to read the Conan sagas. Included here are thirteen original stories, beginning with "The Phoenix on the Sword" and including such epics as "The Tower of the Elephant," "The Scarlet Citadel," "Queen of the Black Coast," and "Black Colossus." Lesser, but by no means uninteresting stories, include "The Frost-Giant's Daughter," "The God in the Bowl," "Iron Shadows in the Moon," "Rogues in the House," and "Xuthal of the Dusk." Included also is Howard's history of his Hyborian Age, a lengthy discussion of the various nations and peoples that form the backdrop of the Conan adventures. The author's love for setting stories in the historical past led him to create an alternate version of world history, one that resembled in many ways our own ancient times but allowed him to make up things as he went along. The history of the Hyborian Age alone is worth the price of the book.It's impossible to adequately summarize every story, or even most of the stories, contained in the collection. A few worth noting include "The Phoenix on the Sword," where King Conan of Aquilonia thwarts a c

BACK IN PRINT -- Robert E. Howard's great creation!

If you're a fan of fantasy author Robert E. Howard, who wrote for the pulps in the 1920s and 30s, rejoice! His stories of the great barbarian adventurer Conan are coming back in print, without unnecessary editing. These are the original texts.If you enjoy fantasy, but have never read either Howard or Conan -- BUY THIS NOW. It is a must for lovers of fantasy. Banish any notions you have of Conan in other media: movies, comics, books by other authors. Howard's Conan is a stunning, unique creation. At turns bloody thrilling, filled with passionate rushes of action, at other times brooding and beautiful, sweeping you off to strange vistas. Howard was a one of a kind author, an American great, and with Conan he was at his best.This first volume covers the first third of Howard's Conan stories, presented in the order they were written. The included stories are (in order):1. The Phoenix on the Sword2. The Frost-Giant's Daughter3. The God in the Bowl4. The Tower of the Elephant5. The Scarlet Citadel6. Queen of the Black Coast7. Black Colossus8. Iron Shadows in the Moon (aka Shadows in the Moonlight)9. Xuthal of the Dusk (aka The Slithering Shadow)10. The Pool of the Black One11. The Vale of Lost Women12. The Devil in Iron13. The Phoenix on the Sword (first submitted draft)Plus a number of fragments and outlines, and Howard's guide to Conan's world: "The Hyborian Age."All the stories are enjoyable, although a few are minor entries in the Conan canon. The superior works are "The Tower of the Elephant," "The Scarlet Citadel," "The Frost-Giant's Daughter," and "Queen of the Black Coast." The last story is the gem of the collection: a grand romantic tragedy that you will never forget. This is one of Howard's ultimate great works.The volume comes with a treasure trove of supporting material: illustrations by Mark Schultz that have a unique take on the character; an informative introduction and very detailed appendicies that go into the history of how Howard wrote the stories and some of his sources, and textual notes for the truly obsessed.This is simply a superb collection: long-time fans and first time readers will all find something to treasure in this salute to one of the major authors and founders of modern fantasy.

Finally--a complete package

First, let me say that this is one of the most important books to be released in a long time. Howard was more or less totally out of print when this book came out, which is utterly ridiculous; he's one of America's best authors/poets, he more-or-less defined the Sword & Sorcery genre... and even if you're too uptight to consider his writing classic (which it is...), these are some "good yarns." Yarns that nobody has been able to top in 60 years. His writing -takes- you to these places with a blend of unresistable exoticism and brutal, grim realism. And finally we get the original texts. I've compares some of the stories to the de Camp edits, and there are a LOT of changes. Surprisingly, most of them are stylistic--and I wouldn't say they're improvements over Howard's. De Camp was just a meddling fool.Ok, so it's not quite a complete package yet. There are two more volumes that have yet to come out. But if they are -anything- like the one I am holding in my hand, this is by far the most complete collection of pure REH Conan the world has ever seen!Not only does this edition have the first 13 Conan stories (in order of composition), but it also has the poem, Cimmeria. Everywhere I look online, this poem is missing its last stanza, but not here. And we get a small note about its inspiration from Howard. Moreover, this book finally puts into publication the synopses and fragments (at least, the ones pertaining to the stories herein) we've all read about online, but that few have gotten a chance to see. They're more exciting to read, somehow, than the completed versions by de Camp and Carter.And we get MORE treats: a second final draft of the Phoenix on the Sword, which provides more exposition about the Hyborian Age and Conan's character. As a general rule of thumb with Howard, the more the better--because these are all short stories, edited down to the most compact packages possible at the behest of his contemporary editors. But his writing is so tight to begin with, that a spare paragraph or line of explanation is pure gold to an audience who isn't purely interested in the action--and it's not enough to bother anyone who is.I was also pleased to find his "Notes on Various Peoples of the Hyborian Age," which I have been unable to find elsewhere, but which was also a lot shorter than I thought it would be.Basically, this is Ultimate Conan. The tales are captivating... a real treat, as others have described. And finally we can get EVERYTHING relating to them, in their pure form, in a nice package, and with copious illustrations (they aren't as bad as one fellow described them... but they aren't Frazetta either).Thanks, de Camp. You screwed everything up; Wandering Star and Del Rey will take it from here. Thanks guys, for all your hard work!

Elemental Myth Burns on the Page

In a society in which self-conscious irony has become standard in virtually every form of entertainment, these stories shine with the blinding light of 100% sincerity. This is pulp fiction elevated to the level of myth. Howard's hero moves through, and dominates, the Hyborian Age in much the same way that Beowulf and Odysseus do in their own, older, more respected, myths. Conan is a character hewn from the fabric of saga and legend; dark, dangerous, unpredictable, as much an embodiment of the forces of nature as a human being. His world comes alive as a wildly imaginative patchwork of ancient and medieval history, filled with haunting references to our own past yet existing as a independent world as lushly alive as any in fantasy.These stories have been more influential and imitated than practically any others in genre literature. But they have never been duplicated. Howard's prose is shocking in both its power and diversity, frustrating attempts at either imitation or parody. Sharp, hardboiled sentences drive home the fierce brutality of combat. Vivid, often lyrical, passages describe the sprawling majesty of the Hyborian world. Darkly ominous writing depicts the creeping horror of otherworldly sorcery. If you know Conan only from film, comics or pastiche novels, you don't know Conan at all. Read Robert E. Howard's fiery words and discover some of the most potent, most primal, fantasy ever written.

Howard's Barbarian Can Finally Be Seen

It's not a question of artwork. I like Schultz just fine. He may not be to some people's tastes, but Vol 2 and 3 will have different artists. I personally think it's cool that Del Rey kept the artwork; it's a classy move, one you don't often see in TPBs anymore.Nor is it a question of packaging. They ended up running the original artwork of the artist who appears on the inside. A bait and switch would have been to run a Frazetta cover and have different illustrators inside. The book is nicely packaged and has a great retail price. 98% of the people who buy it won't notice the niggling little things that may or may not be wrong with the production.No, what an online review really should be all about is the fiction, the stories, that Howard wrote. They get under your skin and make you want to jump around. It is impossible to calculate the influence of Robert E. Howard on the world of fantasy. And these stories have been inaccessible for far too long--over ten years!Now, they are even better. Presented in the order that Howard wrote them, and with fully-restored text, to boot. Now that's a project that deserves some attention. This is Howard's most famous work, and it took a lot of people's blood, sweat, and tears to get them out for public consumption. This is an auspicious time, quite possibly the beginning of a Second Howard Boom! Howard was an original. He is often imitated (badly) and never duplicated. He was lightning in a bottle. Read these, the true Conan stories, and you can see for yourself why Howard is considered one of the greatest adventure writers of the 20th century.
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