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By Carol on 10-29-11
A Classic of Action Fantasy
This isn't science fiction, since there's absolutely no scientific basis for any aspect of the story--the space travel, the physiology of some of the alien races, the ability of a human being to produce offspring with a humanoid whose reproductive process involves laying and incubating eggs (but it was written in 1917, so I'll cut it some slack on its lack of genetic verisimilitude).
Despite some silliness in the underlying premise, once Our Hero arrives on Mars, the sociology, technology, and theology of "Barsoom" that is revealed over the course of this and the next two books of the trilogy ("Gods of Mars," "Warlord of Mars") is fascinating, and a great example of what I believe fantasy authors today call "world building." As sheer fantasy/adventure, this Burroughs trilogy, like the more famous Tarzan series, is a prototype. John Carter, southern gentleman and adventurer in the post-Civil war era, is an Indiana Jones type, and if his mode of transport to Mars is not particularly realistic, it is certainly dramatic.
This book is, as mentioned, the first of a trilogy. "Princess" and "Gods" both have good old-fashioned cliffhanger endings, with everything wrapping up in"Warlord." Other titles in the series are spinoffs.
There are several narrations of this book available on Audible, and I sampled all of them before choosing Jack Sondericker's. He did a splendid job, and I'm sorry he didn't narrate the other two books. I note he narrates the "Left Behind" series and a number of Westerns; those who listen to "Princess" will probably see some logic in this.
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