Monday, May 26, 2008

Conan On Audio (The Cimmerian, Not The Late Night Guy)

I was quite pleased to discover last night that BrokenSea Audio Productions has seen fit to bring some of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories to life on audio. Free audio! Give it a go:

Howard is my favorite writer. Not on literary merit, to be sure. The reason he's number one is that he was able to make black ink combine with pulp paper in such a way that it pulses in your hands. Roll up those sleeves because the passion spills over the edges of the page. Howard wrote with fire and fury and didn't give a damn about refinement or the liberal use of adjectives.

Caveats (Now that you've already gone and clicked on the link): Howard was a racist. He was a small town Texan writing during the depression era. That he was a racist shouldn't come as too much of a shock. You'll hear that worldview spill over into some of his stories. Where it does, I don't see it as particularly vicious, but some of you may be offended.

Also, though I've downloaded them, I haven't listened to these yet myself. I tried a few seconds worth just to make sure they weren't selling timeshares instead of reading Conan stories. The bit I listened to seems to have been narrated by either Randy "Macho Man" Savage or some other wrestling/surfer dude. Whoever he is, he's into it.

I have read both of these stories. Of the two stories so far posted "Red Nails" is by far the more powerful. There's something dread and claustrophobic about the whole thing that made me put my book down a couple of times and take in deep gulps of air. It's definitely one of the darkest Conan stories I've ever experienced.

Take up your sword, gulp your own air and dive straight into the heart of Hyboria.

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