Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Robert E. Howard Guide - Patrice Louinet

I picked up a copy of the signed, limited hardback edition of this book on Friday morning at Howard Days this year, and I’m glad I did because that edition was completely sold out by the end of the day. Now that I’ve read it, I’m even more pleased to have a copy, because it’s an excellent book.

The author, Patrice Louinet, is one of the top scholars on Robert E. Howard’s life and work, and he wrote this book as an introduction of sorts for people who are not that familiar with those subjects. It includes a biographical chapter, a section debunking common myths and misperceptions about Howard and his work, discussions (in varying depths) about fifty of Howard’s stories, some talk about adaptations of Howard’s work in other media, coverage of Howard’s poetry and correspondence, and some background on Howard publishing, including a section on the late Glenn Lord, a man it was my honor to know and be friends with for several years.

Louinet has stated that there’s not much in this book that will be new to veteran Howard fans. That may be (although there’s some of the publishing stuff I don’t think I’d come across before), but that doesn’t matter. I still really enjoyed it, especially the discussions of the various stories. What Howard fan doesn’t like seeing what another Howard fan thinks of this story or that story? I’m always interested in what someone has to say about old favorites such as “Wild Water”, “The Vultures of Wahpeton”, and “Beyond the Black River”, as well as Howard stories that I haven’t read multiple times.

The hardcover edition of THE ROBERT E. HOWARD GUIDE may be sold out, but the trade paperback edition is very much available and I give it my highest recommendation.

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