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Generously illustrated with artist Staples's mood-enhancing black-and-white drawings, and including many of the author's poems serving the same purpose, this first-ever collection of 60 stories and sketches of terror represent most of the styles employed by the young dean (1906-36) of American horror, who also created Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, and Conan the Barbarian. Originally published in pulp magazines, these tales are often beautifully literate, the energy of Howard's writing nearly palpable. Vocabulary and language structure transport the reader in time and place, as exemplified in the medieval opener, "In the Forest of Villefere." The horrors include warped humans, monsters, werewolves, and fantastic beasts in period pieces, along with ordinary people in unusual modern circumstances, as in "The Touch of Death." The stories are not all horror. "The Spirit of Tom Molyneaux" is in effect a thrilling and inspirational, if now politically incorrect (through its use of dated language), sports fantasy. Recommended for all libraries.