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WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:
Wilk: 4 Stars “…I liked this book but I am known to like crap…”
Rick: 1 Star “…The character of Solomon Kane is a blood thirsty sadist with a death wish for all blokes that are not into the English Protestant god, English tea, boiled meat and side of blood pudding…”
(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)
Book: “The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane” by Robert E. Howard
“With Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard created more than the greatest action hero of the twentieth century—he also launched a genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery. But Conan wasn’t the first archetypal
adventurer to spring from Howard’s fertile imagination.
“He was . . . a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan. . . . A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things. . . . Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect—he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane.”
Collected in this volume, lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Gary Gianni, are all of the stories and poems that make up the thrilling saga of the dour and deadly Puritan, Solomon Kane. Together they constitute a sprawling epic of weird fantasy adventure that stretches from sixteenth-century England to remote African jungles where no white man has set foot. Here are shudder-inducing tales of vengeful ghosts and bloodthirsty demons, of dark sorceries wielded by evil men and women, all opposed by a grim avenger armed with a fanatic’s faith and a warrior’s savage heart.
This edition also features exclusive story fragments, a biography of Howard by scholar Rusty Burke, and “In Memoriam,” H. P. Lovecraft’s moving tribute to his friend and fellow literary genius.” (from Amazon.com)
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Movie: “Solomon Kane” by Michael Bassett (James Purefoy)
“Captain Solomon Kane is a brutally efficient 16th Century killing machine. Armed with his signature pistols, cutlass and rapier, he and his men unleash their bloodlust as they fight for England in war after war on all continents. As the story opens, Kane and his band of pillagers are carving a bloody path through hordes of defenders in an exotic city in northern Africa. But, when Kane decides to attack a mysterious nearby castle to plunder its rumored riches, his mission takes a fateful turn. One by one, Kane’s men are picked off by demonic creatures until he alone is left to face the Devil’s own Reaper — dispatched from the depths of Hell to lay claim to his hopelessly corrupt soul. Though Kane at last manages to escape, he knows that he now must redeem himself by renouncing violence and devoting himself wholly to a life of peace and purity.” (from Amazon.com)
WILK’S SHOW NOTES:
This Month we discussed “The Savage tales of Solomon Kane.” It started off normal, but all of a sudden she went into labor in the back of a taxi! Well, it wasn’t the birth that we had expected, but like it or not that baby was coming into this world! Over the hilarious but sweet objections of the very forthright cab driver, we rolled up our sleeves and began the outrageous but heartfelt birth process. Fluids? Check. Extremely exaggerated labor pains? Check. A healthy beautiful baby boy named, Caleb? Check. Somehow, our discussion swerved—we couldn’t really get into the minutia of these dark tales while we were lost in the wonder of new life. However—we all got over it. Kids are literally full of crap, in every sense of the word, because they poop inside their pants—which brings me back to “literally.”
That being said, Solomon Kane was a big, healthy, plate of blah. The author committed suicide—something, Wilk (me), threatened to do if Ryan and Rick kept going on and on about him. For some reason his views on life and the world kept coming up as if they meant a goddamn thing. The conversation about Robert Howard went on for too long. Let me save you some time. He wrote a bunch of stories about people killing other people, and sometimes there was magic. He had a first name for a last name, which may have contributed to his death and his stories were comically racist and could never be read aloud to people of different races and cultures without a lot of wincing and uncomfortable stares.
Rick flat out disliked the books, the style of writing, and the entire nature of being as it related to the author. Wilk thought it was strictly ok—good train reading or something that would be ideal for a younger audience. Overall, not terrible. Ryan liked it the most of the three—and the style/genre of writing it represented. The movie was decent—but had too much CGI as is the style. It wasn’t terrible or remarkable, but an excellent companion piece to the books. Of anything, the movie could have been a little more hardcore (not in a porn sense but even so that would not have really hurt it). It lacked…gravitas (again, porn could help that). It was forgettable. Despite having great supporting actors, the lead did not really convey a sense of urgency. But it’s on Netflix so check it out.
Until next month—remember to cram a tray of mints into your armpits, because there is no deodorant in outer space!*
In other notes, Ryan mentioned a website which contains a chronology of Solomon Kane’s life which can be found at this website: http://www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Solomon.htm). Also, Rick podcast this episode from Culver, Indiana in a vacation home that was owned by relatives of the famous author, Kurt Vonnegut (who also spent time in that area). For more information about the Vonnegut Families of Lake Maxinkuckee check out this website: http://www.culver.lib.in.us/vonneguts.htm.
UPDATE: The website for the vacation home Rick mentioned on the podcast is now live and can be visited here (it contains booking information if you wish to stay there): http://www.thevonneguthouse.com.
* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.