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The Grim Lands: 2 (Best of Robert E Howard) [Paperback]

Robert E. Howard

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Book Description

28 Dec 2007 Best of Robert E Howard (Book 2)
“[Behind Howard’s stories] lurks a dark poetry and the timeless truth of dreams.”
–Robert Bloch

“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”
–Stephen King

The classic pulp magazines of the early twentieth century are long gone, but their action-packed tales live on through the work of legendary storyteller Robert E. Howard. From his fecund imagination sprang an army of larger-than-life heroes–including the iconic Conan the Cimmerian, King Kull of Atlantis, Solomon Kane, and Bran Mak Morn–as well as adventures that would define a genre for generations. Now comes the second volume of this author’s breathtaking short fiction, which runs the gamut from sword and sorcery, historical epic, and seafaring pirate adventure to two-fisted crime and intrigue, ghoulish horror, and rip-roaring western.

Kull reigns supreme in “By This Axe I Rule!” and “The Mirrors of Tuzan Thune”; Conan conquers in one of his most popular exploits, “The Tower of the Elephant”; Solomon Kane battles demons deep in Africa in “Wings in the Night”; and itinerant boxer Steve Costigan puts up his dukes of steel inside and outside the ring in “The Bulldog Breed.” In between, warrior kings, daring knights, sinister masterminds, grizzled frontiersmen–even Howard’s stunning heroine, Red Sonya–tear up the pages in stories built to thrill by their masterly creator.

And in such epic poems as “Echoes from an Anvil,” “Black Harps in the Hills,” and “The Grim Land,” the author blends his classic characters and visceral imagery with a lyricism as haunting as traditional folk balladry. Lavishly illustrated by Jim and Ruth Keegan, here is a Robert E. Howard collection as indispensable as it is unforgettable.

“Howard had a gritty, vibrant style–broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life.”
–David Gemmell

“For stark, living fear . . . What other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”
–H. P. Lovecraft

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the hardcore fan or the new 27 Dec 2007
By Gary Privitt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book and the first volume, "Crimson Shadows", provides a very decent look at the work of a truly American author. Covering Howard's stories from Conan to his westerns, horror, and other genres, this is an excellant introduction for the new fan (and a great way to introduce him to new people), and a boon to hardcore collector. I've been reading Howard since 1965. This is a nice way to have a variety of his most excellant stories without having to carry several books with you at on time (not that there's anything wrong with that). The lavish illustrations by Jim & Ruth Keegan are reminicent of older illustration from the magazines that first published Howard and manage to capture the moods of the stories very well. Buy these'll not be disappointed.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROBERT E HOWARD (1906-1936) THE BEST OF THE BEST!! 7 April 2008
By Barbarian - Published on
First of all disregard the Disappointing and subjective review as the reviewer is "knocking" the Keegan's and their artwork, REH's boxing and cowboy stories, and more. I really like the boxing stories! In defense of the Keegan's they drew about 10 drawings for Red Nails and each drawing was in proper alignment with the story. To me, their wonderful visual artwork enhanced each and every story and added a lot of value! They drew from their heart and soul just like REH and I appreciated it very much.

I can't praise this book enough as anytime you can get a collecton of Robert E. Howard stories do so!! The man was and still is the Best of The Best!! Grab Vol 1 & 2 while you can. You'll be glad you did. They make excellent gifts, too!!

Quote from intro on page xvii - " Unpublished during Howard's life, but among the finest of his Kull tales, was By This Axe I Rule! The story is not, strickly speaking, one of "swords and sorcery" - there is no fantasy element other than the setting itself. In this tale, the ostensible villains are the consprators who hope to overthrow Kull, but I think the real villain is one more terrible than any other-worldly demon, nefarious sorcerer, or would-be assassins: it is the stultifying traditions and laws of an ancient society, inflexible rules that stifle and inhibit everyone, from king to servant. The last of a fantasy element made the story unsuitable for Howard's primary market at the time, Wierd Tales, while the imaginary antediluvian setting probably hurt it with the non-fantasy magazines to which he submitted it. A few years later Howard would rework the story considerably, turning it into the first of the Conan of Cimmeria tales, The Phoenix on the Sword. While the rewritten story was quite good, I'm not the only one who finds the Kull version superior: in my informal survey it outpolled the Conan version by almost three to one." Unquote - How about that folks:)

By This Axe I Rule is the first story in this book on page 1. What a great start and the last story is Red Nails which is one of my favorites. Everything in between is "gravy"! Enjoy and tell others about Robert E. Howard. Must reads The Best of Robert E. Howard Vol 1, Blood & Thunder, The Life & Art of REH by Mark Finn, One Who Walked Alone by Novalyn Ellis Price who was REH's girlfriend, Two-Gun Bob, The Last of the Trunk and The Never Ending Hunt by Paul Herman, Collected Letters of REH Vol1-3 and Poetry by Rob Rhoem, The Barbaric Triumph by Don Herron, Weird Tales, Marvel Conan Magazines during the 60's & 70's a black & white magazine writer Roy Thomas and Big John Busceman artist, any of Dark Horse Comics of Conan, Solomon Kane coming out in a few weeks, Kull, Pigeons From Hell, Kull, Cormac Mac Art, Steve Costigan, The Star Rover by Jack London, John Carter Princess From Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Hitchcock, and check out the video The Whole Wide World about REH told by Novalyn Price. Check out the REH Foundation & Forum!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert E Howard Classic!! 10 Jan 2010
By John Ferguson - Published on
A wonderful collection of REH stories! Great to see the renewed interest in this often under-rated Author and for Publishers like this one to be providing top quality volumes.
Well worth adding to your personal collection!
Highly Recommended!!
5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, in general 20 April 2008
By Bruce D. Wilner - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am, first and foremost, a diehard fan of Howard's sword-and-sorcery tales, particular his Conan series and, to a lesser extent, his Kull, Kane, and Bran series (in descending order). What we have in the last two volumes (#7 and #8) of the Ballantine/Del Rey series too often feels like a collection of lesser leftovers. I was never impressed by his Western-themed works nor by his two-cent street boxing efforts. To top it off, Jim and Ruth Keegan seem to have taken the quick way out of illustrating the works, foisting off the easiest possible substitutes for what should be action drawings. (As the simplest example, when Conan and Valeria must escape from a murderous giant snake in the novelette "Red Nails," Gary Manchess [in the same publisher's "Bloody Crown of Conan"] offers us a thrilling picture of the duo taking to their heels, with a slavering reptilian colossus in hot pursuit. In contrast, Keegan offers no better than a ho-hum representation of Conan standing there, utterly relaxed, as if he's about to start filing his friggin' fingernails.) This is made all the more disturbing by the Keegans' foreword that praises the excellence of the works, the outstanding opportunity to illustrate them, and (thank you very much) their own profoundly challenging efforts at slaving away to produce a handful of tres boring charcoals. No, by all means purchase the first six volumes of the series, but pass on these two!
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