Sunday, March 3, 2019

Another Classic...

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs was first serialized in 1912, "during the heyday of the pulp fiction era". It is the first book in Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. The blurb on the back describes it as an "epic, swashbuckling Red Planet tale of derring-do and dazzling romance." I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading it, but even though there's a lot of detailed description to go along with the action, and the prose is decidedly old-fashioned, I thought it was kind of fun. And I ended up really liking John Carter who narrates the entire tale.



"I have determined to write down the story of the interesting periods of my life and of my death. I cannot explain the phenomena; I can only set down here in the words of an ordinary soldier of fortune a chronicle of the strange events that befell me during the ten years that my dead body lay undiscovered in an Arizona cave."






What else this novel contains:

  • Woola, the loyal ten-legged Martian 'hound'
  • sword fights and battles to the death
  • an imaginative Martian landscape
  • the warrior race of tusked and multi-limbed green martians
  • Dejah Thoris, the beautiful red martian princess (in need of rescuing)
  • adventure and romance


I'm glad I read this one. I think I might check out the movie now to see how it compares. And who knows, I might even read the next book in this series to see what happens to John and Dejah next.  Best of all? Since A Princess of Mars is less than 250 pages, it counts as my Classic Novella for Karen's Back to the Classics reading challenge. 

Happy Reading!

25 comments:

  1. It is interesting to see how prose changes with the decades. I remember seeing black and white films with Johnny Weismuller as Tarzan, probably on the Midnight Movies I watched as a kid. :)

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    1. I wouldn't mind giving Burroughs' Tarzan novels a try and see how they hold up. :)

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  2. I love how even in Mars women need a man to rescue them :) Does sound like a fun read and something different for sure!

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    1. :D It would have been even more fun if the princess had ended up having to rescue John!

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  3. Get out! I never see anyone review these! I loved these as a kid. I re- read it recently and while it has definitely aged (I mean the prose is definitely old fashioned lol) I still thought it was fun. :) Oh and the second one is pretty good. The first three are the best, I think.

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    1. It was pretty fun. Have you read any of Burroughs' Tarzan books? I'd kind of like to give those a try, too. :)

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    2. I have read a few! Off the top of my head I think Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar and Tarzan the Invincible (?) are pretty good? Tarzan and the Forbidden City wasn't bad either. :)

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  4. Sounds like this was a fun read! I have to admit, I am kind of curious about these old pulp novels. I have a copy of She by H. Rider Haggard which I want to give a whirl one of these days.

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    1. I've always meant to read an H. Rider Haggard book....either She or King Solomon's Mines. You'll have to let me know what you think of She if you get a chance to read it. :)

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  5. I'd be curious to know how the film compares to the book.

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    1. Yeah, I've never seen the film so it would be interesting to see how similar it is to the book.

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  6. Sounds like fun! Like Wendy, I'll be curious to know how the film compares to the book. :)

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  7. This is where John Carter came from? (I still can't believe I sat through the movie!)

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    1. This is the book where it all began. :)

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  8. Sounds like a super fun read! I'm curious about the film too.

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    1. Yeah, I never saw the film, but I'm really curious about it now. :)

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  9. Oh, this one is on my TBR from last year. I loved the movie and look forward to reading it. I have read I think all Tarzan books as a child and loved them. Maybe I should readre then this summer))

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    1. I want to read some of his Tarzan books now that I've read this one. :)

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  10. Hi Lark, hanks for this review. This sounds like a great book to start with if someone is not that familiar with science fiction. A Princess of Mars is a classic and for someone like me who doesn't know the genre that well its probably not heavy technical sci fi where I would be lost. I also love the pulp covers of sci fi and fantasy books.

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    1. It is not heavy on the technical or science-y stuff. And since you read so many classics, I doubt the descriptive style of Burroughs' writing will bother you. :)

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  11. I enjoyed this one, too! I think I'll read some of the Tarzan books for my next foray into pulp fiction.

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    1. That's what I want to do, too! :D See how the Lord of the Jungle really began.

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  12. I'm always looking for new Sci-fi book suggestions! I'll definitely have to keep this one in mind. I'm just about to start reading Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis.

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    1. Ooh...I hope it's good! :) Thanks for commenting.

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