Reviews by Mark Armstrong

Alleys of Darkness

by Robert E. Howard

I like Howard's humor stories a lot--perhaps more than his Conan stories.

"Alleys of Darkness" features a naive narrator, much like the talkative barber Whitey in Ring Lardner's "Haircut." Added in is a great deal of hyperbole. The violence in this story is an exaggerated cartoon violence.

Dennis Dorgan resembles Elzie Segar's Popeye quite a bit. He resembles him so much that I suspect that Popeye may have been an inspiration or model for the character.

This isn't the absolute best Dennis Dorgan story I've ever read, but it's not a bad sample. Howard's humor stories can be very addictive. I recommend reading both Howard's fighting sailor stories (Dennis Dorgan and Steve Costigan) and his westerns (including Breckinridge Elkins--who is a lot like Li'l Abner).

Reviewed on 2008.11.30

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