Black Hounds of Death

Black Hounds of Death - Robert E. Howard Up front, let me be clear that my review is based only on the first story of the book, the novella BLACK CANAAN. Although I enjoyed it quite a bit, I decided that I have many other books that I want to read more than this one, so I may return to it again someday.

That being said, I enjoyed the prose of Robert E. Howard quite a bit. His writing style was clear and lucid, and made the tale a quite visual and easily imagined experience. The vocabulary used was quite modern, if not for the subject matter it would be difficult to tell that this story had been written so long ago.

BLACK CANAAN was an interesting (if that's the proper term) glimpse into race relations and fears of the deep south in years gone by. I'm sure that the author had a political point he was attempting to make with a metaphor, but it wasn't apparently obvious to me and I didn't spend too much time trying to toy it out, just concentrated on the story at hand.

The Lousiana bayou/african voodoo aspect of the story and setting was different than what I usually read, and I enjoyed this quite a bit for its breezy pacing and somewhat unique characters. It has some supernatural elements that worked pretty well, but to me the suspense of the build-up evaporated in the denouement, as the resolution lacked the horror I had anticipated, though it tried. Maybe it was more shocking at the time of release.

Overall, I didn't find this initial story compelling enough to keep reading the rest of the book at the moment - but I will likely find a "Best of" list for this author and read some choice selections in the future. I have a feeling this book is mid-quality output.