Two-Gun Bob: “Der finstere Barbar”

german reh

I haven’t held an actual copy in my hands as yet, but have been told that the new collection of Robert E. Howard stories from Festa is indeed out and about in the world — offered for sale on Amazon, German-style.

Cool cover. Dark.

Black, even — like the stories by the Texas author that lie within.

Of course, this news might not normally make the cut for Up and Down These Mean Streets — there have been many collections of the fiction of Robert E. Howard in Germany for decades now — but this is the one that includes my “The Dark Barbarian,” title essay from the 1984 book of the same name.

They popped me the reprint fee early last year (received on Howard’s birthday, as it turned out), and I’ve been waiting patiently to see the book hit print. And here it is.

“Der finstere Barbar.” Has a ring to it, you know?

And the late great Robert E. Howard remains The Dark Barbarian That Towers Over All.

(Unless, of course, you prefer lightweight nonsensical fare, in which case other books by other authors might suit your tastes better. Nothing wrong, at all, with P.G. Wodehouse, but he wasn’t much with barbarism tearing at the walls of civilization.)

If you want litcrit on REH, The Dark Barbarian still towers over all, thirty years later. A classic — the guys at Festa knew that, and I’m glad they didn’t embarrass me with some pretty brightly-colored un-Howardian cover. They asked for “The Dark Barbarian,” and it seems they knew what they wanted, all the way through.

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