Craig Clarke, proprieter of the literary blog, Somebody Dies, has been a busy man the last two years. Since the final week of December, 2007, Clarke has posted over two hundred entertaining and insightful reviews of genre novels ranging from westerns to hard-boiled noir to horror.
That was all well and good, but then last May Clarke discovered REH by way of Del Rey’s The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard. Clarke became a born-again, hard-core Howard-head and posted two more REH book reviews in fairly short order. In a mere six months, REH is now lodged in the midst of Clarke’s “Favorite Authors” list, right there amongst Lawrence Block, Ed McBain and Westlake. Clarke has also given Howard due honor by placing REH in his “Favorite Reads of 2009” list.
Here’s what Craig Clarke had to say about Robert E. Howard in his review of Crimson Shadows:
As a final note, I would just like to mention that, before being introduced to the work of Robert E. Howard, I was under the impression that fantasy was a tired genre with nothing to offer me. Also, short stories held no appeal. These two perceptions were turned on their ears upon entering Howard’s world. After only one book, The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard, I was an instant enthusiast, and Crimson Shadows has given me all the more reason to remain that way. It confirms my opinion (formed by the Horror Stories) that Robert E. Howard was a Great Writer and one who deserves to be reevaluated by those who feel that men who do their best communicating with swords, guns, and large fists are not to be taken seriously. This collection strongly suggests otherwise.
I would welcome Clarke into the fold, but considering he’s now a Howard fan, I’ll just say, “Welcome to the pack.”