Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No. 19 - One Who Walked Alone -
Robert E. Howard: The Final Years

by Novalyne Price Ellis

Started: March 10
Finished: March 14

Notes: I first became aware of this book a few years ago when I discovered the movie based upon it. That movie is "The Whole Wide World." The author was a girlfriend of writer Robert E. Howard and this is her recollections of the last years of his life. I've been wanting to read this one for some time, as I'm a fan of Howard's.

Mini review: A sad, tragic tale, and unfortunately a true one. Howard was a complex character, as I suppose are most humans. He was also a torn man, and full of tragedy, and a weak man in many ways despite his reputation as sort of a tough hombre. And he seemed to know it and to live it and, eventually, to die by it. The writing here is fair, but only fair. It builds toward the end, and that helps a lot. Only a true Howard devotee or scholar really needs to read this. Still, the ending is strong enough and sad enough to make this book worth reading. I honestly don't know if I'll ever be able to read another Howard story the same again.

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