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Are the Conan Books Any Good?


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#1 Berserker

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 09:43 PM

I'm a big fan of Conan, but the film not read the book. Been a member of the forum for a bit and in doing so have noticed many quote's from what must be the Conan novels. The reason I love the film (1st one) so much is the short dialog, and whole ethos of the values, eg riddle of steel, Conan prier to crom at the battle of the mounds and the speech Conan gives when you first hear him speak the..... crush your enemies one. Love it, pure magic. Back to the quotes that are at the end of so many peoples quotes, there just as good as the ones in the film if not better! Are the books really written that well? through out? If so WOW!

Edited by Berserker, 26 April 2005 - 09:43 PM.

"In battle I'd rather face 10 men protecting there families and homes, than 1 with nothing to loose."

"You first smell your enemies breakfast on his breath when you clash, then a second time when you empty his guts onto the battle field."

"An enemies blood tastes sweeter than a 1000 honey covered whores."

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#2 budgie

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:24 PM

I'm a big fan of Conan, but the film not read the book.  Been a member of the forum for a bit and in doing so have noticed many quote's from what must be the Conan novels.  The reason I love the film (1st one) so much is the short dialog, and whole ethos of the values, eg riddle of steel, Conan prier to crom at the battle of the mounds and the speech Conan gives when you first hear him speak the..... crush your enemies one.  Love it, pure magic.  Back to the quotes that are at the end of so many peoples quotes, there just as good as the ones in the film if not better! Are the books really written that well? through out? If so WOW!

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Berserker,
pick one up and try for yourself..

most of the books can be obtained from any second hand bookshops for next to nothing, the original Roberty E Howard stories tend to be short and fast paced.. you may even recognise some scenes from the movie too ( or rather scenes that the movie drew inspiration from).. the later pastiche novels by other authors tend to be longer and also variable in quality...

Onwe word of warning though, you will find the Conan in the novels is slightly different from the movie adaptation but the only real way of knowing is picking one up and read for youself..

now, what you waiting for.. go buy...

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#3 Berserker

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:30 PM

Thanks just need to find a second hand book store now!
"In battle I'd rather face 10 men protecting there families and homes, than 1 with nothing to loose."

"You first smell your enemies breakfast on his breath when you clash, then a second time when you empty his guts onto the battle field."

"An enemies blood tastes sweeter than a 1000 honey covered whores."

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#4 aguaman

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:55 PM

Thanks just need to find a second hand book store now!

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Pick up a copy of THE COMING OF CONAN THE CIMMERIAN by Robert E. howard at any new book store. It's a deal for what you get. You won't regret it...
Explore The Barbarian Keep-- The infamous Conan and Robert E. Howard web site

#5 Berserker

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 11:04 PM

Is that Conan novels from the start?

How many novels/stories are there?
"In battle I'd rather face 10 men protecting there families and homes, than 1 with nothing to loose."

"You first smell your enemies breakfast on his breath when you clash, then a second time when you empty his guts onto the battle field."

"An enemies blood tastes sweeter than a 1000 honey covered whores."

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The boys are back in town!

#6 Bear

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:26 AM

There are many,many, all are good. you will like some better than others. they can be hard to find. Theres a list here somewhere of REH original. probably about 60 Tor novels, many more, and the stories continue.

#7 Jay@Paradox

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:57 AM

There is indeed quite a lot of Conan stories. A bibliography is available at http://www.conan.com...liography.shtml. It is not completely updated though, but we'll make that happen as soon as possible.

/ Joakim, CPI

#8 Ironhand

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:14 AM

FYI, Berserker, Robert E. Howard only wrote one Conan novel, The Hour of the Dragon. Otherwise, he only wrote short stories and novelets. The vast pile of Conan novels, called pastiches, are all by other authors, and most are poor imitations, although a few are good.

The best of the quotes you will see here are mostly typical of Howard, who was a terrific writer. The quote about "Crushing your enemies" originated with a Mongol Khan, and was lifted by Milius for the movie.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#9 Strom

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:36 AM

Thanks just need to find a second hand book store now!

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In the past going to used bookstores was the way to find Robert E. Howard Conan stories from the old Sphere and Lancer paperbacks. But, those stories were editied and some contained stories finished by authors other than Howard. Now, as aquaman said, the best solution is to get The Coming of Conan and The Bloody crown of Conan as these stories are the stories as Robert wrote them. So pluck down the coin and see Conan as Howard envisioned him. And yes, there is alot of "Wow!" in any Howard story!!!

However, the used bookstore is still the best place to find pastiche Conan stories. Let us know what you think.

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#10 Jery

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 10:38 PM

Guy I know, who doesn't looks like he had ever read a book, laughed at Conan books. After the reading Howard he loves the storys. He's a real tough guy alas he's in jail now.
A friend of mine with a doctor title also likes REH's Conan.
Can it be a better recommendation that the fact various people who has read Howards Conan tales love it?
The Cimmerian made no attempt to match wits and intrigue with Thutmekri and his Shemitish partner, Zargheba. He knew that if Thutmekri won his point, he would insist on the instant banishment of his rival. There was but one thing for Conan to do: find the jewels before the king of Keshan made up his mind, and flee with them.
"Jewels of Gwahlur" by Robert E Howard

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#11 Orkin

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 10:58 PM

Quotes? Any one in particular? :)
? ?When I can not stand alone, it will be time to die,? he mumbled, through mashed lips. ?But I?d like a flagon of wine.?
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#12 Jery

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 09:13 AM

Ah yes, they say Conan novels are better then the films.
The Cimmerian made no attempt to match wits and intrigue with Thutmekri and his Shemitish partner, Zargheba. He knew that if Thutmekri won his point, he would insist on the instant banishment of his rival. There was but one thing for Conan to do: find the jewels before the king of Keshan made up his mind, and flee with them.
"Jewels of Gwahlur" by Robert E Howard

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#13 Kane

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 12:47 PM

Quotes? Any one in particular? :)

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Over on the Age of Conan website, I've started a thread where I'm putting up quotes and other material written by Howard. Seems that most of the on-line gamers have never read any of the stories. :o
So, if your looking for some material written by REH, or you want to put up some of your favorites, check out the following;

http://forums.ageofc...hread.php?t=157
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And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#14 Merlin

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 11:43 PM

. . . the speech Conan gives when you first hear him speak the..... crush your enemies one.

Don't think this represents Conan's philosophy, though. In the film, it's something that that enslaveable, impressionable version of Conan's captors have indoctrinated in him. The real Conan does not enjoy women's lamentations -- that kind of cruelty is more associated with civilized men.

#15 korak

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 01:35 AM

I agree absolutely. Conan wanted revenge against Thulsa Doom. If Conan's enslavement had been a fruitful experience, then Doom would have been justified. Conan wanted revenge for what he had done--- killed his mother and people, and made him a slave and a gladiator. Doom wasn't doing him any favors with all that.

#16 Thurkon

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 03:20 PM

I agree absolutely. Conan wanted revenge against Thulsa Doom. If Conan's enslavement had been a fruitful experience, then Doom would have been justified. Conan wanted revenge for what he had done--- killed his mother and people, and made him a slave and a gladiator. Doom wasn't doing him any favors with all that.

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The problem with the quote, however great of a movie moment it is, is twofold. First, it doesn't represent Conan, you are right. Second, he rattles it off like a mindless automaton. Conan an indoctrinated slave-automaton? Yeah, right. I think Milius really missed the boat here.

What's so funny about the film is that there is really so little of Howard's Conan in it. You have The Thing in the Crypt, but that's a de Camp pastiche. The Wolf-Woman is bastardized from the comic...you can see that in Conan Chronicles #7. The stealing of the Eye of the Serpent is slightly reminiscent of The Tower of the Elephant. There's the Valeria/Belit bit. The crucifixion is somewhat like that in A Witch Shall Be Born, but in the movie Conan must be saved by sorcery. Yowsa.

So what else is Howard? Well, there's the enslavement and subsequent gladiator training, and the Snake Cult with it's Eye of the Serpent, and then there's Thulsa Doom and the snake/man transformation...but wait, that's all Kull.

What's funny is there's more Kull here than Conan! In fact, there's more Kull here than in the Kull the Conqueror film!

#17 Kieran

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 03:52 PM

What's funny is there's more Kull here than Conan! In fact, there's more Kull here than in the Kull the Conqueror film!

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And interestingly enough, Kull the Conquerer appeared near identical to Hour of the Dragon in terms of plot
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#18 korak

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 09:16 PM

The Kull movie was also an expansion of By This Ax I Rule, the Kull story that Howard changed into the first Conan tale. Most of the characters and the basic conspiracy premise were actually based on this story. The similarity with Hour of the Dragon is partly Howard's.

#19 terryallenuk

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 10:10 PM

Kull the Conqueror was originally going to be Conan 3.

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#20 korak

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 02:16 AM

Guess what else? Phoenix on the Sword was originally By This Ax I Rule. :)