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Del Rey The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian (Conan Of Cimmeria, Book 1) [Hardcover]

Robert E. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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"Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities . . . there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars. . . . Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand . . . to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."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 thieves and reavers.In a meteoric career that spanned a mere twelve years before his tragic suicide, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the genre that came to be called sword and sorcery. Collected in this volume, profusely illustrated by artist Mark Schultz, are Howard's first thirteen Conan stories, appearing in their original versions-in some cases for the first time in more than seventy years-and in the order Howard wrote them. Along with classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast," The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian contains a wealth of material never before published in the United States, including the first submitted draft of Conan's debut, "Phoenix on the Sword," Howard's synopses for "The Scarlet Citadel" and "Black Colossus," and a map of Conan's world drawn by the author himself.Here are timeless tales featuring Conan the raw and dangerous youth, Conan the daring thief, Conan the swashbuckling pirate, and Conan the commander of armies. Here, too, is an unparalleled glimpse into the mind of a genius whose bold storytelling style has been imitated by many, yet equaled by none.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent tribute to Robert Howard June 27 2004
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great stuff! July 8 2004
I read the Frank Frazetta covered ACE Conan books back when I was 14 and thought they were great. This book brings Howard's beautiful, dark, barbaric vision back to life, without the politically correct editing that marred those books I loved so much. I can't wait for subsequent volumes. I give this book my highest possible recommendation.
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IF you are sick and tired of the over-blown LOTR hype and fed up with the hordes of Tolkien rip offs, this is the book for you. Howard is THE fantasy craftsman of the 20th century. He predates even the supposed father of fantasy Tolkien. The truth be known, Howard had success before Tolkien and this collection of Conan stories shows us why. While there are some duds here, classics like the Tower of the Elephant and the Phoenix on the Sword are gems of fantasy literature. Howard creates in Conan a character of savage fury, intelligent humor, deep honor and free spirit. It is a refreshing reminder of a style of fantasy without the angst ridden common man hero archtype. Conan is a man with personality and life that has very rarely been matched in fantasy since.
While it is true that Howard allows a certain amount of sexism and racism to creep into his work if you look for it, the true theme that prevades much of Conan - Howards study of the degredation of civilization and the battle between barbarism and ordered society is what really stands out in most of the work and indeed in Conan's thought and action.
If you prefer heroes who exhibit human qualities and needn't ride into the sunset ona white stallion at the end of the day, look no further.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought on a whim and completely blown away... Feb. 20 2004
I bought this book because I had searched for any Conan story by Robert Howard for almost a year. It all started when I watched the first Schwartzenegger film and was blown away by the amazing narrative and monolithic storyline; I suspected the narrative had been lifted directly from the books, I happily discovered this to be true. After an extended search I came across this collection, bought it on impulse, and am extremely happy with it. The illustrations are a nice touch but find the work a bit uneven. I am also greatly suprised by Howards association with Wierd Tales and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. His writing style is amazing, an educated and macho prose style best described as a combination between Lovecraft's own and Ian Flemming. His action sequences are particularly special as they communicate a real visceral experience, you can smell the blood and metal in his writing. Within the context of his contemporaries he can stand toe to toe with anyone, and I mean anyone without exception. It's a mistake to target this work to fantasy fans, with the exception of Tolkien I really don't like the majority of "FANTASY" writing. His work is like Tolkien in the respect that it is penned with a strong respect for history and mythology, incorporating enough of it into his narrative to grant it a sense of familiarity and weight. This is the kind of work that straddles genres and should appeal to far more than a predisposed genre based audience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tribute and Collection Feb. 13 2004
Over the years, Robert E. Howard's (REH) Conan stories have been muddied by an uncountable number of pastiches as well as occasional over-aggressive editing (let's just say REH was sometimes not too politically correct). And it has always been difficult to find his works collected in one place, or, at least gathered into several volumes. Hopefully, this is the start of a collection of the complete works of REH on Conan.
What we are given here is largely pure REH, untouched by modern hands and in all his bloody glory. The volume collects about one-third of Howard's Conan output and has the bonus of collecting synopses of several of the stories, drafts, fragments, Howard's notes on the Hyborian Age and its people, maps, and even a Howard poem ("Cimmeria").
Part of what is amazing about REH is the sheer volume of output he produced in a relatively short span of approximately 12 years. When you consider that in addition to his Conan work he was also cranking out westerns, boxing stories, horror stories, and nearly every type of adventure story imaginable, and doing it all on a typewriter where starting a second draft meant starting over at the beginning, it is phenomenal. Imagine what his output would be had he had access to a word processing program.
A minor criticism: some of the illustrations. I generally love Mark Schultz's work, but his Conan is sometimes a little too modern in appearance or maybe even a little too "Prince Valiant" like. A prime example is the frontispiece. This image just doesn't evoke Conan for me. But the majority of the art in the book is great. A better depiction is found on page 297, now that's the Conan I know and love. Guess Mr. Schultz (who I do admire greatly) and I will have to disagree over some of his interpretations of Conan.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert E Howard's undiluted vision
I can give this nothing but 5 stars. Any real Conan fan is going to buy this knowing it is Howard's stories and none of the overly edited, or pastiche stories. Read more
Published on March 22 2005 by daknight
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rage of Conan
This book is awesome! I have previously read a great deal of fantasy novels, including various Tolkien works, a massive amount of Forgotten Realms and what not. But Robert E. Read more
Published on April 6 2004 by Korn
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal
For Conan lovers this book is a must. No one tells it like Robert E Howard. He was, and still is in many a mind, the best epic fantasy writer ever. Read more
Published on March 15 2004 by ray
5.0 out of 5 stars At LAST! Pure REH!
At last a volume of Conan tales untainted by overlording editors and PC sensitivity. For pulp realism and ripping ytarns, these are great. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by S. L. Shrewsbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Howard's REAL genius shines...
I've collected many copies of old, worn out, out of print paperback books that had Robert E. Howard's Conan stories...edited and co-authored by Lin Carter or Sprague de Campe. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by Bryan S. Sampsel
5.0 out of 5 stars 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! Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Claude Avary
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest fantasy character ever
All the original Conan tales in one book, and in the order they were written, finally. This collection is an exciting, fast-paced invitation into REH's Hyborian age, as the reader... Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by John J. Gormly
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time!!
When I first heard about a book collecting the tales of Robert E. Howard's swordsman Conan I was very encouraged. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by Richard A. Tucker
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