Many people seem to believe that Conan is simply action stories about a half-naked barbarian. While it is true that these stories are written to be fun and exciting, do not underestimate the complexity or originality contained within this beautfully crafted volume!
Robert Ervin Howard MADE the Golden Age of Pulp. If you love Fantasy, you will probably find these either brilliant or offensive. The strength of your reaction will be a sign of the power of these stories. If you love fiction in general, these stories mark the dawning of a whole new genre.
If you are interested in the origins of fantasy, there are three authors who you must read: Robert E. Howard, Micheal Moorcock, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Here is a chance to read the work of the master who started it all. Both Moorcock and Tolkien were greatly influenced by the work of Robert E. Howard. If you know your history or your mythology, you will know what you are immersed in when you look around the Hyborian Age. If you do not, you will still find yourself in a complex, intricate and realistic world which only Tolkien has matched.
Perhaps most importantly, these stories are incredibly beautifully written. In the words of Stephen King: "Howard's words are so charged with energy they seem to give off sparks." In my words, Howard wrote with a passion and a vitality that is matched by so few authors throughout history, that you could count them on one hand.
No one has ever captured the grim realities of combat more accurately. There is a seething undercurrent of genius behind all the excitement and adventure, and dark portents of mankind's folly weave beautifully crafted themes into the tapestry of the stories.
(For an example of some truly brilliant poetry, have a look at Always Comes Evening by REH. You'll see what I mean about his writing.)