Two-Gun Bob: Contemplating the Ivory Tower

As I was suggesting a few weeks ago, I was pretty sure Brian Leno wouldn’t be able to resist buying Conan Meets the Academy, the new collection of essays, all by academics, on Robert E. Howard’s most popular creation. If ever a guy was in the grip of the Completist Impulse, it’s Brian.

Of course, buying the book and then actually reading it are proving to be two very different things. . . .

I was talking to Brian on the horn when he first got the copy in and was glancing over it. He landed on the “essay” about stylometrics (you don’t even want to know), filled with graphs, charts, word counts. Brian sighed, and muttered under his breath: “My god. You’d have to be one dusty son-of-a-bitch sitting in a study somewhere to want to read something like this. . . .”

The plan now is to skip the stylometrics piece entirely, but Brian is attempting to read some of the other contents. He’s grumbling, but promises that if he can slug his way through, he’ll do some kind of review.

Meanwhile, he noticed a review by another Brian — Brian Murphy, one of the former bloggers on The Cimmerian website, who dove into Academy on his personal blog.

This Brian once gave my two critical books on REH some nice words. He doesn’t seem as impressed with the new collection, but while you’re waiting for the other Brian to come through with some opinions, you can see what New Brian thinks about the essays flung screaming from the ramparts of the fabled Ivory Tower.

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