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Suddenly projected to Mars, John Carter finds himself the captive of the savage green men of Thark. With him is the lovely Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium. And between them and rescue lay a thousand miles of deadly enemies and unknown dangers.
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By Darwin8u on 09-23-14
Everyman Civil Warrior = Martian Hercules
Edgar Rice Burrough's popular John Carter/Barsoom novels started with 'A Princess of Mars'. I can only imagine reading this cowboy in space novel when it was first published. It was absolute pulp (violent fights, naked women), but like all of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels it can't be contained by any simple labels. Burroughs is able to explore ideas of eugenics and race, war and peace, love and family, all layered into a fast-paced, violent Martian travelogue. Burroughs loves supermen. The idea of John Carter having amazing strength because of the different gravities of Earth and Mars allows an everyman Virginian Civil Warrior to become a singular Martian Hercules.
Obviously, this is an extraordinarily influential sic-fi novel. It influenced everybody from Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon) to George Lucas (Star Wars) to James Cameron (Avatar). It is hard to watch Han Solo walk without thinking of John Carter's swagger or dream about Princess Leah in chains without my subconscious somehow floating back into visions of Princess Dejah Thoris in -- yes -- chains. It is a shame that Disney's John Carter movie didn't do better. I would love to see further efforts to make films out of the Barsoom series. It is a strange world where a movie that makes $200M+ globally and is still judged a failure.
20 of 27 people found this review helpful
By Jim "The Impatient" on 01-22-14
Wish Upon a Star
IT WAS LOGIC, GOOD EARTHLY FEMINE LOGIC
If you have read "At The Earth's Core", you will be amazed in how similar the plots are. In both books John or David enter their new world in the nude. The gravity is less, although more so on Mars. He is taken prisoner, but is aloud to roam around and make weapons and plan his escape. He meets a dark haired Princess who is naked on Mars and scantly clad In Pellucidar. He falls in love each time. He kills for the Princess, but immediately follows that up by insulting the princess through his ignorance. Each time he could have proclaimed her his wife, but he does not. Both men are great physical specimens of Man and are rich. There are ape like creatures and humans on Mars and in Pellucidar. There are tall 8ft to 14ft creatures in both who lay eggs. Telepathy takes place in both books.
Princess of Mars, differs in the way John gets to Mars, has more and better characters. Sola is an interesting character and the ten legged Woola is very cute. This story is a little longer and has more fighting. I liked Princess of Mars better then At The Earth's Core. It seemed like more time and thought was put into this book.
Some of the weakness are glaring. I was very disappointed in how he got to Mars, basically he wishes upon a star. At one point he says he was in the military so long that he can't help, but follow orders and ten minutes later he is leaving his post to see his girlfriend. At one point he just happens to hear a plot against him at a most opportune time. He often explains things by saying, "I don't know why, I just knew it."
I was not crazy about the narrator. The books starts out by the author saying he is around 100 years old, but he does not age and that he seems to be around 30 years of age. The narrator ignores this and reads it like an old man talking, slow and gravely.
15 of 22 people found this review helpful