Pick this book up without shame. It is much more than a guilty pleasure. This is Conan before the pulp arena transformed the image into a parody of itself.
This 1st book is a collection of short stories presented in order of when Howard wrote them. Because of this, the stories are not in chronological order, but this doesn't make for a confusing read. In fact, it allows the reader to see how the author and Conan evolve over time.
Yes, there are some stories in here that were obviously written for a quick buck, but the absolute gems make up the difference.
Don't expect an intellectual exercise into any philosophical questions. This is Conan .... Sheesh! You're going to get adventure, swordplay, swashbuckling (yes ... Conan was a pirate), dames in distress, evil wizards, and most important - Conan quotes. These subjects may sound cliche. You know what..... they are. But, they read fresh as the day Howard wrote them. ( 1930's ... I think)
Just get the book, o.k.? Most people are watching reality T.V. anyway