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A Princess of Mars (Barsoom #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  40,973 Ratings  ·  2,887 Reviews
Her oval face was beautiful in the extreme, her every feature finely chisled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Similar in face and figure to women of Earth, she was nevertheless a true Martian--and prisoner of the fierce green giants who held me capti ...more
Paperback, Fall River , 204 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Sterling (first published February 7th 1912)
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D.J. Edwardson Has some mild romantic elements, but tastefully done. Quite a bit of violence, but generally not overly graphic. No language issues. Suitable for…moreHas some mild romantic elements, but tastefully done. Quite a bit of violence, but generally not overly graphic. No language issues. Suitable for around 12 and up.(less)

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2.5 stars. I know, I know. I can hear you out there saying “2.5 stars for one of the ALL TIME PULP SF CLASSICS" and looking at me like I just made a mess on the floor.
Rest assured, I'm not trying to drop gastronomical "leftovers" in the PULP SF punch bowl and my rating does not indicate a dislike for the book. As mentioned below, I was probably between 3 and 4 stars on the book EXCEPT FOR ONE THING THAT DROVE ME BAT SHIT NUTSO. So please let me explain my rating before you begin planning to hoi
Will Byrnes
Oct 25, 2016 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some years back David Bowie asked the musical question, "Is there life on Mars?" Had he read A Princess of Mars he might have known the answer.

Back in the early 60’s I fell in love. Not with a girl, (well, there were one or two cracks opened in that young heart, but we do not speak of that now) but with reading. And the brazen hussy that led me down that path was none other than Edgar Rice Burroughs. Of course there were others, all vying for my immature attention, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimo
Old-school pulpy goodness. Fun classic full of manly adventures and good cheesy romance between an awesomely manly man John Carter (did I mention manly?) and a scantily-clad beautiful (and at necessary times appropriately helpless) princess Dejah Thoris among the red landscapes of Mars Barsoom.
And let's not forget John Carter's favorite Barsoomian "dog" Woola. Who in my head, thanks to the otherwise forgettable movie, will always look like this insanely adorable menacing monster-cutie - SQUE
mark monday

John Carter travels to Barsoom to live, love, and fight amongst the Green Men, the Red Men, and the White Apes! his Earthman physique combined with Barsoomian gravity means he's incredibly strong and can jump like a giant-sized super-grasshopper!

John Carter arrives there nekkid! everyone is nekkid! they only wear weapons and ornaments! the Red Race knows what Earthers look like and they think all the clothing we wear is apalling and disgusting! i agree!

Jason Koivu
Jun 23, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
I'm not saying I didn't like it, but what in the hell was that?!

Okay, I kinda am saying I didn't like it, but I didn't HATE it either.

A Princess of Mars is a forerunner in the sci-fi genre and as many of them suffer from ignorant science, so suffers this one. Modes of transportation are silly, alien races are simplistic at best, etc etc...(I know I'm nitpicking).

On the other hand, one has to be impressed with the guesswork a fictional novelist made regarding living conditions on another planet
Jul 15, 2008 Werner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of action-oriented science-fiction
It can be said at the outset that Burroughs was not a very deep nor a very disciplined writer. His disdain for research often shows in his work, and it does here; and in his science fiction (he would write voluminously in this genre --this novel sparked a series, and he produced two other popular sci-fi series as well) consistent and well-thought world building wasn't his strength. For instance, his Martian children incubate in eggs and hatch only when they're able to eat solid food --but his Ma ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy, audiobooks

Transcript from the John Carter sessions
(from the files of Dr. Wm (Bill) Loney, Doctor of Psychiatry)

Carter: So where were we last time, doc?

Doctor: We were talking about representations of things that are ideals for you, and how they are expressed in imaginative fantasies.

Carter: What was that?

Doctor: (sighs) You were telling me about Barsoom and your adventures there.

Carter: Yeah... that's right. I traveled there, you know? It's Mars, actually.

Doctor: How did you know it was Mars?

Carter: There
Richard Derus
Rating: 3* of five

The Book Review: No one ever nominated Burroughs for the Nobel Prize.

The Movie Review: Seriously, what was all the butt-hurt over this movie about? Yeah, the title stank. Shoulda called it Barsoom and had done with it. The hunky young actor who played John Carter wasn't likely to get an Academy nod. Dejah-Thoris was mildly pretty. The f/x were just fine, and that leaves the script, which was every bit as finely crafted as the book.

It was perfectly acceptable summer-afternoon wa
Jan 17, 2017 Owlseyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, us-lit

He died at 75, with a wish-list for the afterlife: “I want to travel through the space to visit other planets”.

Edgar Rice Burroughs outsold the combination of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner, at his time. He ventured far (and wide) in the realm of imagination. Maybe he "caught" kids and teens first, then adults, definitely. I was one of the "caught-ups" in this vast world imagined, when I was a teen; I read Tarzan whenever possible and all the pulp fiction I could grab.

Ray Bradbury was rig
Oct 27, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs was not the book that transformed Burroughs into a publishing success, that honor belongs to Tarzan of the Apes.

However, this was the book, published in 1912 that effectively began a career that would change the face of American literature in various genres from then on. The stamp of Burroughs influence can be seen in the works of Heinlein, Clarke, Bradbury and countless others as well as film and television. Flash Gordon used the Barsoom series as a t
Megan Baxter
I came to this having enjoyed the terribly-named movie version much more than I had expected. Not deep, but pulpy fun. (Seriously, John Carter? "A Princess of Mars" was too girly? "John Carter of Mars" might have, what, given the impression it takes place on Mars?!?) I didn't know how much of the book had made it into the movie, but I was hoping for some of the same kind of pulpy fun from this.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement
Jun 25, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of sci-fi, fantasy, or comic books. Boys. Girls who like boys.
'A Princess of Mars' is the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs 'Barsoom' books, set on a mythical Mars, and the first introduction of the character of John Carter, 'Warlord of Mars', 'the greatest Swordsman of two worlds', and something a demigod of war himself. It is a giant in the history of science fiction, fantasy, and modern superhero stories, and a rollicking good adventure story filled with wonder and imagination. Modern 'Swords and Sorcery' and 'Space Opera' are both deeply indebted to this w ...more
Jun 19, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sta je sa piscima ranih godina proslog veka koji vole da koriste onesvescivanje kao vid transporta u nove svetove, ili spavanje ili sta god ?

Alo dobro sem te male zackoljice knjiga je izuzetno zabavna, power fantazija koja odlicno tece i prepuna maste. Hell lako je videti kolko je znacajna knjizica posto jako puno klisea u svetu sci fi-a vuku korene odavde.

U svakom slucaju preporuka.
Lynne King
There were very good reviews of this book by Edgar Rice Burroughs and, as it looked to be such an interesting subject, I couldn’t wait to read the book. My expectations were high.

I’ve always been interested in space, planets and the stars, and purchased a rather splendid telescope about six months ago so that I could enjoy this “hobby” of mine even more. Nothing just gives me greater pleasure than looking out over the foothills and distant mountains, and at the stars. It’s magical. I then though
Sep 15, 2014 Petergiaquinta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars marks a milestone in my career as a reader. Like Scout Finch, I cannot remember not being able to read, so I’ve got a lifetime of reading under my belt, but for the first time now, with A Princess of Mars, I have read a book in an electronic format.

It seems rather late for me, doesn’t it? What with Nooks and Kindles and iPads and the Internet being around for so long already, but I just haven’t warmed up to the idea of reading books electronically. I read
Elijah Meeks
Jan 05, 2010 Elijah Meeks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Mars series of Burroughs are classic adventure novels and their setting on the dying Red Planet allows Burroughs to move away from the racialist dogma found in the Tarzan series. While falling into a classic paradigm of the great hero who overawes and out-competes the "natives", it contains such moments of great humanity, even for people who have four arms and tusks, that I always find it uplifting. The style of Burroughs' adventure writing has always appealed to me and his stories create a ...more
May 16, 2013 Alex rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let's not try and pretend that Princess of Mars is some kind of unique trailblazing original that Science fiction and fantasy writing owes some huge debt to. Authors had been writing about Sci-fi concepts involving other worlds and other cultures for a long time, and as early as the 17th Century we have an example (The Blazing World) of a writer imagining another world full of beasts and bird-men, whose entrance is located at the North Pole. Popular Victorian author Edgar Bulwer Lytton wrote abo ...more
This is a good pulp novel from the Golden Era. For the first half of the book, I was totally hooked. John Carter, a former Confederate soldier and prospector, falls into weird dream that has him waking up on Mars -- without a stitch on. Burroughs loves his primitives. Carter soon discovers he can jump extreme distances, and knock out 12 foot giant insects and apes with a one punch. It's an atmosphere thing, but one that he me wondering if Carter was some sort of early Earth version of Superman. ...more
Melissa McShane
I couldn't believe how much I liked this book. I thought it would be your typical early-20th-century Anglocentric sexist thinly-veiled allegory of Western cultural dominance. Then I got over myself. Like H. Rider Haggard (a near-contemporary of Burroughs, and probably a more direct influence on the Barsoom novels than Jules Verne or H.G. Wells) Edgar Rice Burroughs has some attitudes that modern readers find uncomfortable, but in the context of his time, he's a remarkably liberal thinker.

John C
Sep 20, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My paperback cost $1.25, an expensive replacement back in the 1970's. My original was only 35¢ when my father bought it. This was one of my first ERB novels & is possibly my favorite series of his, but it hasn't aged as well as I thought it would have. He's not as racist or sexist in this as some, the action is nonstop, & the overall plot is pretty good, but there are just too many coincidences.

It's not really SF as much as a fantasy. The science is pretty magical. Radium, specific rays
Mar 05, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly good read. Solidly space opera.

As an adventure, it works just fine.

Others have documented Burroughs' shoddy research, but cut the guy some slack--he lived before the invention of modern physics. That said, he commits several gaffs which are perplexing for their crudeness. For example, after he identifies Mars' year as twice as long as an Earth year, he has his hero staying on Mars ten years and returning to Earth with only ten years elapsed. He doesn't even try to explain how John
Nicolo Yu
Feb 10, 2016 Nicolo Yu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
One of my recent resolutions was to read more of the classics, and A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs certainly fit the bill. I wished that I read this sooner for i certainly enjoyed it.

This book was certainly a classic, as it was seminal for its genre of interplanetary romance. But that was not the only genre it influenced. The others were quite obvious, sword and sorcery; a little bit of western; and my favorite, superheroes. In fact, I believe John Carter is Superman.

Obviously, John C
Some thoughts on A PRINCESS OF MARS:

I really want a Woola.

Tars Tarkas is a total badass.

Saddest ending to a sci fi book? Quite possibly!

The JOHN CARTER movie was a remarkably faithful adaptation.

John Carter, the character, is less of a Mary Sue than I thought he would be.

This book is an amazing combination of really awesome science fiction and Victorian novel.

No, really.

John Carter is very much a 19th century gentlemen, and yet he deals with the four-armed, green-skinned Martians with great aplo
Aug 15, 2016 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I can't even pretend to be objective about. I know it's flawed -- it was Burroughs' first novel, and it's occasionally a bit sloppy, entirely too reliant on coincidence, and (remembering that it was first published in 1912) has a couple of, shall we say, uncomfortable ethnic depictions (relatively mild, but they're there). But.




Barsoom is my absolute favorite imaginary world -- a world of giant, four-armed savage green hordes, noble warriors and beautiful m
I really enjoyed this novel despite its obvious flaws. After all what else do we have of a book when finished except the impression it left upon our emotions. I can see why this work is a classic of pulp science fiction. I enjoyed reading a work which inspired some of my all time favourites in the entire universe of science fiction. Yet despite inspiring those works this is something different and unique. I must admit that the book has not aged well when compared to other classic works published ...more
The version i read is not this GR version but some old british copy from 1936 i got from the library.

There are two great things about this novel that i want mention before i talk about its flaws. First ERB prose have aged surprisingly well, was smooth, easy to read the narration of JC. He wrote so imaginative that he created well crafted characters, powers,alien cultures, a whole world like it was so easy, very impressive for a pioneer work specially that had no Sword and Planet tradition of Mar
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I’m not usually a fan of classic SF but decided to give Princess of Mars a try after reading Michael D. Sellers’ John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood.

Well I can’t say my views on classic SF have changed now that I’ve actually read the book. It felt outdated (and sometimes downright ridiculous) and the never-ending descriptions were just too much for me. What really bothered me though is John Carter himself. The first-person narrative is annoying and makes his character even less likeable. He is
Feb 15, 2012 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Great, old school science fiction pulp. I had a terrific time reading this and I really regret not having found my way to Burroughs John Carter stories sooner then this. I think Carter may arguably be one of the first super heroes since the Martian atmosphere and reduced gravity make him abnormally strong. He's square-jawed and willing to settle things with his fists and is the kind of guy you want on your side when the trouble goes down. A lot of fun and I can't wait to read more of his adventu ...more
Peter Meredith
Jan 17, 2012 Peter Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie trailer for John Carter of Mars and I said, "Holy crap! I read that book years ago. I decided to refresh my memory and found another copy(actually it was the first three books in the series in one volume)
My 15-year old self gave this five great big stars. That boy back then didn't understand about sexism or colonialism or any other ism, except the princess is hot-ism!
Now, thirty years later, as a man I understand all about sexism and colonialism and I don't care! The princess is
Scott Rhee
It was an odd but courageous decision by Disney Studios to make "John Carter", a movie based on a series of relatively forgotten books written at the turn of the last century by an author that few people (except for die-hard sci-fi geeks like myself, of course) still read, let alone recognize. Perhaps that's why the movie was considered a bomb. Poor marketing and a niche audience, unfortunately, tend to birth cinematic bombs, but one could always hope that it will become a cult classic, as it wa ...more
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Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.
More about Edgar Rice Burroughs...

Other Books in the Series

Barsoom (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Gods of Mars (Barsoom, #2)
  • The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3)
  • Thuvia, Maid of Mars (Barsoom, #4)
  • The Chessmen of Mars (Barsoom, #5)
  • The Master Mind of Mars (Barsoom, #6)
  • A Fighting Man of Mars (Barsoom, #7)
  • Swords of Mars (Barsoom, #8)
  • Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom, #9)
  • Llana of Gathol (Barsoom, #10)
  • John Carter of Mars (Barsoom, #11)

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“In one respect at least the Martians are a happy people, they have no lawyers.” 87 likes
“A warrior may change his metal, but not his heart.” 32 likes
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