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The Right Hand of Doom and Other Tales of Solomon Kane (Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural) (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) [Paperback]

Robert E Howard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 April 2007 Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural

This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction by M. J. Elliot

The sixteenth-century Puritan Solomon Kane has a thirst for justice which surpasses common reason. Sombre of mood, clad in black and grey, he ‘never sought to analyse his motives and he never wavered once his mind was made up. Though he always acted on impulse, he firmly believed that all his actions were governed by cold and logical reasonings… A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things, and avenge all crimes against right and justice’. Immune to the attractions of the opposite sex, he seems drawn by some psychological distress beacon to places where he knows only that he will be called upon to defend the helpless or (more often) exact retribution on their behalf. Himself a Christian, possessed of enormous strength and skill in swordplay, he yet has little hesitation in calling upon the assistance of his Voodoo-practising friend N'Longa when strength, skill and Christian belief are not enough.

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The Right Hand of Doom and Other Tales of Solomon Kane (Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural) (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) + Haunter of the Ring: And Other Tales (Wordsworth Mystery & the Supernatural) (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) + The Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder (Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural) (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural)
Price For All Three: £8.07

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd (3 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840226110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226119
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just spectacular... 29 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most enjoyable books I've had the pleasure to read in a long time, its very much a page turner and the pace is break neck with the action following quickly upon the beginning of each of the stories.

While each story is in very many ways simple, proceeding very quickly through action packed escapades, daring do and ferocious battle (the fights, particularly sword fighting are probably the best that I've read) to a thrilling conclusion, there is some characterisation too. For instance while Soloman Kane is characterised pretty simply as a compulsive opponent of injustice, oppression and champion of the weak Howard also provides brief asides about how Kane doesnt acknowledge but is motivated by the thrill of risk taking, facing dangerous and testing his courage too. I didnt make the immediate connection between Howard the author of Soloman Kane and Howard the author of Conan, there is enough of a difference between the characters, their setting and adventures, or so I felt. The world that Kane inhabits is much more like that Tim Powers has written about in The Anubis Gates (Fantasy Masterworks) and The Drawing Of The Dark (Fantasy Masterworks) than Conan.

Like other books in the range, such as Dennis Wheatley's books are a product of its time but I really dont believe they are particularly racist really. Its all part of the narrative and no one ever complained that Tolkein's hobbits were discriminatory portrayals of people who are short. This is really pacey adventure reading and I recommend it to anyone who just wants a good entertaining courageous, good vs. evil read or fans of the books I mentioned.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This volume contains all of the Solomon Kane stories Howard finished in his lifetime. Although there are longer volumes that include fragments, or other authors' versions of Howard's unfinished works, this book is a "Complete Solomon Kane". The stories combine elements of horror and suspense with a slightly detached, amused tone to very pleasing effect. The stories are thrilling without being at all disturbing, and despite their often gruesome subject matter, offer much more in the way of speculative wonder than speculative dread. In many ways they are an optimistic and humanistic counterpart to Lovecraft's cosmic horrors. Kane might live in a world of ancient mystery and supernatural evil, but his will and cunning always allow him to triumph over his foes.

Howard's prose will not be for everyone. It is usually functional rather than beautiful, and sometimes even breaks down into clumsiness. Like Lovecraft, Howard has a tendency to over-rely on certain archaic or unusual words when creating atmosphere. However, these disturbances are invariably minor, and have little or no effect on enjoyment. Being reminded of the story-teller in this way is not really a problem in this type of writing. Overpoweringly, Howard's prose imbues his stories with a particular flavour which lingers on in much fantasy writing to this day. Although hard to label, it is that quality which allows us to use this kind of story as a springboard for our own imaginations. Because of this quality, I find the Solomon Kane stories excellent bedtime reading, a sort of appetiser for exciting and pleasant dreams ahead.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
By Davywavy2 VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robert E Howard is best remembered for his creation Conan, the sword-swinging barbarian who spawned a small industry of books, comics, games and films, but he wrote many other characters including the adventures of the lesser-known sixteeth/seventeenth century puritan Solomon Kane.
Kane shares many characteristics with Conan - mighty thews, a cold demeanor riven by mighty passions, unfailing bravery and an unerring sense of right and wrong and these stories might be seen as Howard taking the opportunity to write his stories in a world with pistols and cannon rather than sword and shield.
Certainly there's a wide variety of subject matter - Kane battles everything from bandits and slavers to ghosts, vampires and Cthonian horrors in his travels and some of the stories are excellent: 'The Footsteps Within' ranks as a wierd tale to match anything ever penned by Lovecraft.
However, there's a problem with these stories and I'm not going to skip over it - Solomon Kane was written at a time when as far as much of the west was concerned Africa was jungle from cape to Cairo populated by either blood-drinking cannibals or good-hearted by ignorant savages, and Kane spends a lot of his time slaughtering the first and patronising the second. From a modern perspective, some of these stories can be seen as quite spectacularly racist.
If you approach Solomon Kane in the way you would Conan - pulp fiction set in a fantasy world which bears no resemblance to ours - there's some highly enjoyable reading in here. However, readers should be aware that to modern eyes they may well have difficulty doing so.
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Everything that makes Batman a great character...
Everything that makes us love HP Lovecraft's cosmic horrors...
Everything about Indiana Jones that is loved and admired by thousands...
Eerie as Dr Who...
Magic as Tolkien...

Basically, everything that is best in life...

All in this. BUY IT! Or, if it still doesn't appeal, have your head examined...
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