23 March 2009

Thoughts On: Blood And Thunder: The Life Of Robert E. Howard

Phew! It's been a while since I actually, y'know, READ a book. I've had this one, a biography on Conan writer Robert E. Howard, sitting around a while. I must've ordered it online a year ago.

Stupid audio books, you've ruined me...

This is a biography of Robert E. Howard, the small town Texan who wrote tall tales for a living back when endless magazines existed to sell them to a voracious reading audience.  His most famous creation is Conan The Barbarian.





I love writer biographies.  One of my favourite books is L. Sprague de Camp's biography of another Weird Tales author, and perennial inspiration for crummy movies, H.P. Lovecraft. I enjoy reading that book more than I actually enjoy reading Lovecraft.   Same case here, although Mark Finn isn't nearly as much corny fun as a biographer as de Camp.

I've read only nominal amounts of Robert E. Howard. His sword and sorcery is actually his least interesting stuff, although it does surge along at a pretty good clip. His horror, when it's on the money, is excellent and moody, such as "Pigeons From Hell". His westerns are frequently very amusing and easy reads. I never read any of his boxing stories, of which he wrote many, because ... well, do I really need to explain why I DIDN'T read boxing stories?