And Their Memory Was a Bitter Tree

And Their Memory Was a Bitter Tree

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by Robert E. Howard
     
 

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As one of the three most important American pulp fantasy authors of the 1930s (with Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith), Robert E. Howard captivated readers with his indomitable, battle-scarred barbarian hero Conan. Though Howard's life ended prematurely in 1936 at the age of 30, Conan lives on as one of the genre's most enduring icons. This beautifully designed

Overview

As one of the three most important American pulp fantasy authors of the 1930s (with Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith), Robert E. Howard captivated readers with his indomitable, battle-scarred barbarian hero Conan. Though Howard's life ended prematurely in 1936 at the age of 30, Conan lives on as one of the genre's most enduring icons. This beautifully designed collection contains nine essential Conan stories along with a full-length Conan novel. Also included is The Hyborean Age, Howard's fascinating history of the raw, blood-drenched world Conan inhabited, an alternative Earth that preceded Tolkien's Middle Earth. And Their Memory Was a Bitter Tree features a color map of this realm and an interior painting by cult artist Brom, along with a series of Frank Frazetta's seminal Conan paintings, appearing for the first time with the stories for which they were created.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599290232
Publisher:
Underwood Books, Inc.
Publication date:
11/04/2008
Series:
Conan Series
Edition description:
Limited Edition
Pages:
640
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.40(h) x 1.80(d)

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And Their Memory Was a Bitter Tree 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are many good things about this volume to be noted and must be noted before coming to its rather MAJOR drawback. It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL book. From a graphic design standpoint its an amazing volume. It's great to see Frazetta's artwork finally IN a book of fiction and the new painting by Brom which serves as the cover llustration is equally fine. The typography, display type and overall printing quality are top notch. Terrific production values all around. The basic edition has an illustrated binding 'using the same graphics of the dust jacket' instead of cloth which I don't like...it demands a nicer binding. But its probably in keeping with its amazingly low selling point cost. Arnie Fenner designed the book and deserves a big thumbs up for his work here. Its too bad that he's also responsible for the MAJOR problem with this volume... The SINGLE drawback is the introduction by Fenner. Prior to publication word leaked out regarding the nature of Fenner's intro and it caused quite a stir on the net. I adopted a wait and see attitude myself to give Fenner the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe the quotes were taken out of context, etc, but was surprised to see the situation was worse than I expected it to be. Although an admitted labor of love for the publisher, the introduction is hardly a sympathetic one, where Fenner has stated clearly that in his estimation REH was 'simply not a great writer' that his work was apparently reliant on editorial input from Farnsworth Wright and that his work was basically repetitive and pedestrian. On a personal level he paints a picture of REH as a neurotic man who manufactured a 'he-man' persona that cannot be substantiated as one cannot trust the validity of the info in REH own letters, etc. Fenner is most certainly entitled to his opinions but it's an odd approach for a volume extolling REH's talent. Based on the intro and postings by Fenner on the net seem to show this as just apparent literary snobbery. He is certainly entitled to be a snob but why would anyone want an intro filled with it when one is attempting to sell a book on the virtues of said writer? But worst of it is, Fenner actually gets the facts wrong, as many scholars have pointed out. This major guffaw keeps the book from being what it should be. It's a shame. In a volume whose dust jacket is filled with praising quotes by other notable writers regarding REH's talents, the approach taken in the intro is incredibly odd. The intro is even stranger when compared to the now famous 'In Memoriam' by H. P. Lovecraft that is also included in the book. Too bad it cannot balance out the truly ugly intro. It could have been the premier REH 'art book' and I wish I could simply overlook the intro misstep and write it off. But I'm finding it hard to do so. A HUGE editorial mistake by the publisher....its really unfortunate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since Robert Howard's first Conan tale appeared in print in WEIRD TALES in 1932, the tales of the swashbuckling Conan of Cimmeria (please, NOT Conan the Barbarian!) have never gone out of print, and for good reason: one of the best pulp writers in his day, Robert Howard's fiction is pure storytelling rich in imagery and action, Howard's 'yarns' (as he liked to call them) always delivered what his readers expected: a well-told tale. Though Howard's literary canon included other notable figures -- King Kull, the dour Solomon Kane, and adventurers of all stripes, it's been the Conan tales that have been issued in everything from cheap, mass market paperbacks to sumptuous and elegantly designed tomes for collectors only. My first encounter with Conan in print was, as for many others, the Lancer paperbacks from 1966, with the dynamic Frank Frazetta paintings. Frazetta's art style is the ideal Howard illustrator, and indeed his art defines to this day the look of Conan: a tall, muscular, brooding man with a mane of black hair and a sword always by his side. Collecting eight Conan tales, this elegantly designed and beautifully manufactured book is the ideal gift book this Christmas for any Howard fan or indeed any Frazetta fan. The book is handsomely bound with sturdy sewn signatures, which means the book will last a lifetime, with care the dust jacket, commissioned from artist Brom, is repeated for the paper-on-board hardback itself. The interior art includes small black-and-white drawings by Frazetta and, of course, several of the iconic paintings that we've seen elsewhere, in art collections, but rarely in context. Here, we see them in context: the covers for the Conan novels as published by Lancer Books juxtapositioned against the Howard stories. The introduction to the book is by Arnie Fenner, a well known and highly respected figure in fantasy art circles, as he founded the magnificent Spectrum art anthologies, which are now issued annually. The foreword is a basic overview, and some of the assertions seem a bit too far-reaching for my tastes -- psychoanalyzing a writer is always a dicey proposition -- but it serves its purpose: to set the stage for the fiction that follows. The book is textually bookended by an oft-reprinted piece by fellow WEIRD TALES writer, an American original, H.P. Lovercraft, who penned an insightful essay in the wake of Howard's untimely and premature death by his own hand. (Oh, the stories we would never see! What else might Howard have written?) Though others have tried their hand at writing Conan-like stories, some in 'collaboration' with Howard using fragments and outlines, all of them have fallen significantly short of Howard's own fiction. Howard's storytelling, oft imitated but never matched and certainly not exceled, is a kind of storytelling that is abundantly rich in imagery, in action, and unsurpassed in pure storytelling. Howard took his fiction writing very seriously, and he always gave his readers their money's worth. If your acquaintance with Conan is only through the well known but laughable Conan movie, or in the comic books, you know OF Conan but don't know him at all in the literary sense. For that, you absolutely have to read an original Conan tale penned by Howard. There is no substitute for reading his stories you'll be hooked from the first paragraph, as Howard grabs and propels you through the story at whirlwind speed. Of course, with a book like this, one always wants more: more stories, more art (please, Brom!), more Frazetta art, the inclusion of Howard's own 'Hyborean Age' essay that gives these stories context, and an essay or two by a noted Howard critic or fantasy writer who has tried his hand at what Conan fans call 'sword and sorcery' tales. But rather than wish for what we want, be satisfied with what you get: a beautifully designed hardback book that will last under re
Ninja_Dog More than 1 year ago
While there are many routes to take in exploring Howard's world of Conan and the Hyborean Age, this particular publication is rather special. Starting with a biographical introduction of Howard's life and untimely death, you get a brief but sharp picture of who the man was and what kind of legacy his writing would leave. The main body of the book is loaded with some of the best Conan stories, each of them being introduced by the artwork legendary painter Frank Frazetta created in the 60's to go with these particular stories. The publication concludes with "In Memoriam," an essay/eulogy by HP Lovecraft, one of Howard's best literary colleagues, which both showcases his literary life and sets the tone for his posthumous legacy. Included in the inner binding of the book is a detailed map of Howard's fictional Hyborean Age, which I found to be particularly useful. While not a complete or chronological compendium of Conan stories, this beautiful harcover book is an excellent starting point for new Conan readers and an essential aesthetic piece for longtime Conan fans. While there are many routes to take in exploring Howard's world of Conan and the Hyborean Age, this particular publication is rather special. Starting with a biographical introduction of Howard's life and untimely death, you get a brief but sharp picture of who the man was and what kind of legacy his writing would leave. The main body of the book is loaded with some of the best Conan stories, each of them being introduced by the artwork legendary painter Frank Frazetta created in the 60's to go with these particular stories. The publication concludes with "In Memoriam," an essay/eulogy by HP Lovecraft, one of Howard's best literary colleagues, which both showcases his literary life and sets the tone for his posthumous legacy. Included in the inner binding of the book is a detailed map of Howard's fictional Hyborean Age, which I found to be particularly useful. While not a complete or chronological compendium of Conan stories, this beautiful harcover book is an excellent starting point for new Conan readers and an essential aesthetic piece for longtime Conan fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The_Beastlord_Slavedragon More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was excellent. The idea that Conan was seduced beyond the grave by a fierce ghost spirit animus, and that she took human form to battle for his life was an awesome tale. If t'was written in the Middle English third person narrative, it would have been yet another victory beyond the blackness of death, uhhh for Conan that is to say. Slave Child Beastlord
hasenbusch More than 1 year ago
I returned the book because of the intro and nudity.

Frank Frazetta is a masterful and talented artist and REH is the most prolific writer and poet and genius.

Recommend Blood & Thunder, The Life & Art of REH by Mark Finn.