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Best of Robert E. Howard, Vol 1

Best of Robert E. Howard, Vol 1

Author: Robert E Howard
Rating: 8/10
Last Read: March 2014

Quick Summary: Collection of short stories and poems by Robert E. Howard. He created many different characters, the most notable being Conan the Barbarian.  Much of his work is in the "pulp fiction" style, and he includes many elements of horror in his writings (think of Lovecraft).

Pick this up if you like quick fantasy reads - especially nice before bed.  He is one of my favorite fantasy & pulp writers.

My Highlights

“You are young,” said the palaces and the temples and the shrines, “but we are old. The world was wild with youth when we were reared. You and your tribe shall pass, but we are invincible, indestructible. We towered above a strange world, ere Atlantis and Lemuria rose from the sea; we still shall reign when the green waters sigh for many a restless fathom above the spires of Lemuria and the hills of Atlantis and when the isles of the Western Men are the mountains of a strange land. “How many kings have we watched ride down these streets before Kull of Atlantis was even a dream in the mind of Ka, bird of Creation? Ride on, Kull of Atlantis; greater shall follow you; greater came before you. They are dust; they are forgotten; we stand; we know; we are. Ride, --loc 473

and man, the jest of the gods, the blind, wisdomless striver from dust to dust, following the long bloody trail of his destiny, knowing not why, bestial, blundering, like a great murderous child, yet feeling somewhere a spark of divine fire…. --loc 657

Thus far I was prepared; from now on we must trust to our luck and our craft. --loc 688

And what, mused Kull, were the realities of life? Ambition, power, pride? The friendship of man, the love of women–which Kull had never known–battle, plunder, what? Was it the real Kull who sat upon the throne or was it the real Kull who had scaled the hills of Atlantis, harried the far isles of the sunset, and laughed upon the green roaring tides of the Atlantean sea? How could a man be so many different men in a lifetime? For Kull knew that there were many Kulls and he wondered which was the real Kull. --loc 742

“Man, are you mad?” she asked, “that in your madness you come seeking that from which strong men fled screaming in old times?” “I seek a vengeance,” he answered, “that can be accomplished only by Them I seek.” She shook her head. “You have listened to a bird singing; you have dreamed empty dreams.” “I have heard a viper hiss,” he growled, “and I do not dream. Enough of this weaving of words. --loc 4190

“Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,” the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. “Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.” --loc 8337

“Nobody writes realistic realism, and if they did, nobody would read it. The writers that think they write it just give their own ideas about things they think they see. The sort of man who could write realism is the fellow who never reads or writes anything.” --loc 9766

He understood that selling window blinds, or drilling holes in sheet metal all week, or working at the rent-a-car counter at the airport is not enough to fill a man’s heart. --loc 9838

“There was pageantry and high illusion and vanity, and the beloved tinsel of glory without which life is not worth living,” wrote Howard concerning times gone by: “All empty show and the smoke of conceit and arrogance, but what a drab thing life would be without them.” For him, there is no meaning or beauty in life other than what we dream into it. --loc 9845

Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero

Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero

Wool (Silo Series)

Wool (Silo Series)