Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cimmerian sighting: The Tower of the Elephant dazzling on audio

“We saw men grow from the ape and build the shining cities of Valusia, Kamelia, Commoria, and their sisters. We saw them reel before the thrusts of the heathen Atlanteans and Picts and Lemurians. We saw the oceans rise and engulf Atlantis and Lemuria, and the isles of the Picts, and the shining cities of civilization.”

—Yag-kosha, “The Tower of the Elephant”

This week I’ve been listening to my new copy of The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Tantor Media) on my drive to work. So far the experience has been a delight: With a talented narrator (Todd McLaren) delivering unaltered, pure Robert E. Howard with passion and precision, fans of the Texan can ask for little more.

Listening to the stories—I’ve gotten through six of 15 discs so far—has reminded me of the brilliance of “The Tower of the Elephant,” Howard’s fourth tale of Conan of Cimmeria. Howard would eventually complete 21 Conan stories, a few of which are arguably better than “Elephant” (I’d place “Red Nails,” “Beyond the Black River,” and “Queen of the Black Coast” in this category, representing the pinnacle of Howard’s ability). Nevertheless, when judged against the entirety of his output, “The Tower of the Elephant” is certainly one of Howard’s best stories.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site.

3 comments:

David J. West said...

My wife just asked me what I want for an anniversary gift- If not Collected Poetry of REH, then I would want this.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Audiobooks are an absolute joy. I wrote an essay on that once...here's the link.

http://www.hackwriters.com/audiobook.htm

Brian Murphy said...

Hi Eric, thanks for sharing the link. Not surprisingly I agree wholeheartedly with you on the greatness of audio books. I didn't start listening to them until about 4 years or so ago when I got sick of listening to the radio on my commute to work. When I discovered them I felt like a man dying of thirst who crawls upon an unexpected oasis.