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John Carter of Mars (Barsoom #1-3)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,581 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Interplanetary perils and swashbuckling adventures on the Red Planet await you in "John Carter of Mars," a thrilling trio of science fantasy novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Written during the heyday of the pulp fiction era, these bestselling, epic blends of derring-do and dazzling romance permanently remapped the terrain of fantasy and science fiction. Lavishly illustrated ...more
ebook, Library of Wonder, 504 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Fall River (first published 1912)
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Jul 22, 2011 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sf
This edition collects the first three books from the Barsoom series featuring John Carter's adventures on Mars. With an attractive cover, occasional illustrations within and an introduction by James P. Hogan, this is a fine, although somewhat bulky volume. Here follows my thoughts on each of the stories as I read them.

A Princess of Mars

This is an epic, science-fantasy adventure as John Carter is introduced to Mars and the variety of strange creatures and civilizations that inhabit it. For some r
the gift
this is edgar rice burroughs's first published work, the first three mars (barsoom) books. princess of-, gods of-, warlord of mars, combined in one, collecting his serials in 1912. read one lit crit that declares it is barsoom and john carter that burroughs loved most, began with, figured out plot before it became formulaic...

trying to read this as if the intervening century of pop culture did not exist, but this is not possible. this work, this pattern, this mythic resonance, is everywhere, and
Guy Gonzalez
Mar 05, 2012 Guy Gonzalez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, research
I'm not quite sure how I'd never read any John Carter stories, not even the comics, nor do I remember exactly what prompted me to pick up this collection sometime last summer, but I'm glad I did.

Definitely dated, Burroughs' style is crisp enough to overcome the old school sensibilities, and his pulpy characters and non-stop action make each of these novels legitimate page-turners. From the amazing world-building of Princess of Mars, to Gods of Mars' insane cliffhanger ending, to Warlord of Mars
David Maine
Feb 07, 2012 David Maine marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Hey people! I just stumbled across this Kindle book at Amazon for 99 cents! It contains the first three books in the John Carter of Mars series, a terrifically fun bunch of books that serve as the spiritual ancestor iof any number of fantasy-adventure books, including (ahem) my own Gamble of the Godless, but also plenty of others. ERB was the creator of Tarzan, so there you go. I plan to reread these ASAP, but in the meantime you could do a lot worse than this series for some mid-winter pick-me- ...more
May 09, 2011 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't see how Tarzan became more popular than any of the John Carter stories. Maybe Tarzan was more adaptable as the John Carter series are far more complex. Either way I loved all three of the books and plan on reading the rest of the Barsoom series in the future.
Adelaide Metzger
(This review is for the first two books in the series).
"...There is no other mortal on Barsoom who would have done what you have for me. I think I have learned that there is such thing as a friendship, my friend." (Tars Tarkas on pg 123).
When you ask people who have read the John Carter series what they think of the character, you'll most likely get a response along the lines of "masculine and steamy" from women, "heroic and bada**" from men, and "brave and courageous" from everyone. What most
Feb 14, 2010 Bradford rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting because it is early, EARLY sci-fi (same guy who wrote Tarzan), but the writing and story are absolutely awful. In fact, the book is fun on a so-bad-it's-good level. Written first person style, John Carter is a Civil War veteran magically plucked from Earth and dropped into the middle of warring nations on Mars. John Carter is stronger, braver, smarter, and more humble (as he tells us unironically)than any other creature on the exotic planet. Every Martian man wants to be him, will fo ...more
Francisco Azevedo
John Carter was entertaining but made me scratch my head at some glaring inconsistencies and the amount of "deus ex machina" going on.
I found the world of Barsoom as created by ERB, all-in-all, mildly compelling. But still incredibly flawed. Some of his science fiction ideas (like radium loaded bullets that explode on impact) can be quite believable and innovative. Others, though, (like the inexplicable 8th ray that permits levitation) are completely far-fetched. In political terms, one can tell
Jun 03, 2010 Joann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always heard the name Edgar Rice Burroughs but never read anything by him until I heard this first book on Books on Radio and fell in love with the characters from the book. I am now reading the next in this series. There was a total of 11 books on the life of John Carter and I am sure I will enjoy each one and the only sad part is that there will be no more!
May 27, 2008 J.D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of high adventure
Cheesy as only early 20th century adventure fiction could be, but riveting nonetheless. Absolutely mesmerizing storytelling, set on a fantastic Mars that could never exist in real life, but one that's more vivid than reality.
Dec 05, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1fiction, box1
Haven't read these books since - well a long time ago. Still one of the giants of early science fiction.
Mar 12, 2013 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One day, just as I had begun to read Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Mars Trilogy, I was looking through the stamps at the Post Office, and to my delight, there was a 2012 stamp honoring Burroughs and his Tarzan. I bought some!

The Mars Trilogy conveniently brings together three shorter works, which include A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and The Warlord of Mars. In 1912, these writings began as true pulp fiction--Burroughs being one of the first Science Fiction writers before it was even called
Jennifer Risley
Jul 19, 2012 Jennifer Risley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very little like the movie.
I suggest if you want to see the movie watch it before reading the book.

This book I thought, especial for when it was written, very well wrote and interesting. John Carter, was really a Chaotic Good man. who did what ever it took to save the people he loved, even if he didn't realize he loved them. His rushes to save his partarn even after his died try to save his body. Which nearly kills him.

He states that he is not a hero. And he is and isn't. He is a
Ryan Long
Mar 18, 2012 Ryan Long rated it it was amazing
Fusing popular romance with the prose of late 19th-Century authors like Mary Shelley, Edgar Rice Burroughs created a whole new genre almost single-handedly.

The Chronicles of Mars depict a war-torn and dying world of racial unrest, where men are scarcely more than the playthings of kings, Warlords, and self-proclaimed Gods. Burroughs' John Carter is a retired Confederate Army mercenary who dies in an attack by a band of Native Americans. While Burroughs never makes this back-story an explicit tal
Apr 03, 2012 Josiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read. It was very enjoyable to follow the adventure of the unstoppable John Carter. It is not very often anymore that we get to hear stories of the hero who cannot be bested. In more recent decades we seem to look more towards the little guy who does great things, which is great in its own way. Maybe we like to be able to relate as little people who can accomplish things despite that. I prefer, however, the epic warrior hero who is more than enough to take on any challenge ...more
Dave Birchbauer
Jul 18, 2012 Dave Birchbauer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Initially, I found it difficult to read because of its 100 year old writing style. Some of the first books I read were Burroughs Tarzan series which helped fuel my love of reading.

The book is in constant motion, I can't recall is sitting still for more than a page or two. It is about John Carter, an old west miner/gunfighter/swordsman and all around tough guy/gentleman who is mysteriously transported to Mars where his adventures instantly begins. Early on he meets the woman who steal
Elijah Kinch Spector
The First book (read June 4, 2008):

Anyway, A Princess of Mars is essentially "world-building 101" for anyone interested in science fiction and the like. Very little (if anything) had been done along these lines before it, and the picture it paints is really pretty stark, if at times simplistic. Thankfully, it also moves very, fast: by less than 20 pages in, the lead character has already "died" (sort of) twice before the story has even gotten started.

Now, I'm far from the first one to say this,
Jun 20, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, this edition (Barnes and Noble Essential Reading) is easily the most poorly-edited volume of literature I have ever experienced. There is probably at least one typo per page (missing periods, misspelled words, errant quotation marks) and one recurring error that wears on you after about the seven-hundredth time it happens. The error? The letters "th" incessantly replaced with the letter "m" ( as in "mat" for "that", "me" for "the", "man" for "than").

Also, do not let the fact that this
Apr 15, 2010 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Favorite line so far:

"I verily believe that a man's way with women is in inverse ratio to his prowess among men. The weakling and the saphead have often great ability to charm the fair sex, while the fighting man who can face a thousand real dangers unafraid, sits hiding in the shadows like some frightened child."

This book is FUN. John Carter has got to be the least flawed hero ever, but I'm seeing the whole book as one big juicy Frazetta painting in my mind, and I'm loving that.

More later.

**I w
Feb 18, 2013 Cleverusername rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for the first three tales of Barsoom.

Edgar Rice Burroughs has prose like I've never seen. These books are pulpy entertainment at its best... and the distinct worlds that Burroughs creates and populates with characters both literally and figuratively alien defies are so lush and detailed that it's easy to see why the adventures of John Carter sparked so many other imaginations that would eventually create nearly every other great adventure, science fiction, and fantasy story you could
Aug 20, 2015 tsukino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza

Libro letto per curiosità e con il quale volevo chiarire i dubbi nati dopo aver visto il film; scopo parzialmente raggiunto :(
Tre romanzi figli del loro tempo e la loro età si vede tutta.
Partiamo dai difetti: i personaggi sono piuttosto superficiali, basta, per esempio, una sola parola per convincere anche il tizio che fino a cinque minuti prima era super cattivo e spregevole a diventare un sant’eroe e a rinnegare tutti i suoi (sbagliati) ideali.
Le situazioni sono molto inverosimili, John Car
Todd Stockslager
Jun 04, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Review title: The model for Saturday-morning serials and blockbuster movies
George Lucas surely grew up with a well-read copy of Burroughs' Martian tales with curling, discolored, and dog-eared pages. From this fertile planetary field today's reader can trace the roots of the Star Wars franchise in its invocation of the elder master's Martian landscape peopled with its kaleidoscope of races, and the roots of the Indiana Jones franchise in his larger-than-life hero John Carter. Small wonder that t
Ea Solinas
Apr 28, 2015 Ea Solinas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing his Barsoom series, people didn't know a lot about Mars except that it seemed to have canals.

So Burroughs came up with his own elaborate fantasy world, populated by green barbarians, airships, multi-legged beasts and giant hairy white apes. John Carter is a bit of a Gary Stu, but at least he's a pleasant one -- and while The Mars Trilogy starts rather slow, the following stories are fast-paced and brilliant.

During an Apache attack, ex-Confederate soldier J
May 21, 2014 Corwin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is specific to the Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading paperback Edition. The book is a collection of three classic tales of Martian adventures experienced by Earth-born adventurer John Carter. The books were written a century ago, in the very early days of science fiction. However, reading the stories back-to-back is probably not the best way to enjoy them, and this edition is marred by an annoying number of typos. While I've read other works by Burroughs, this was the f ...more
Aug 06, 2015 R.A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great plot, characters, and worldbuilding. This deserves to be called classic sci-fi.
Apr 10, 2015 Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary science fiction / action/ adventure story telling, combined with astute social commentary on religion, racism, war, love, economics. Considering that these books were written between 1917 and 1919, these stories are literary marvels, rivaling Mark Twain. In an age when Nikola Tesla was literally "electrifying" the world, Burroughs was a literary revolutionary of science fiction. In an age when many scientists, including Tesla, believed that Mars was inhabited with intelligent being ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Vivian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adolescent boys
"With a snarl he sprang toward me with naked sword, but whether Salensus Oll was a good swordsman or a poor I never learned; for with Dejah Thoris at my back I was no longer human--I was a superman, and no man could have withstood me then."

I read these books when I was a kid and I enjoyed them. Now? Not so much. lol
Tony Laplume
Mar 20, 2015 Tony Laplume rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a weird sort of way, Burroughs didn't just create modern science fiction with John Carter, but updated Jonathan Swift's social satire as well.

And one of these has been largely ignored over the past century.

The writing itself is hardly the selling point today. If you like Stan Lee, you will probably love the writing, but for serious readers, it's a little hard to take this stuff completely seriously. But it's weirdly compelling all the same, not just because of the world building but because o
Nathan Dehoff
Dec 27, 2014 Nathan Dehoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Burroughs is best known for Tarzan, he also wrote a series of books about the red planet, which combine light science fiction with swashbuckling adventure. I don't know that they're that popular anymore, but they were definitely highly influential. I wonder if Burroughs was the first to introduce Martians with green skin. Others, however, were red and yellow, black and white. Even though John Carter was a Confederate officer in the Civil War, he seems to recognize the different sorts of Ma ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Talk about trite. I rolled my eyes so hard every time everything happened. Only read this if you want to glimpse back through the chasm of time into a world where women were seen but not heard, and racism wasn't a thing because it was automatic behaviour.
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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)
  • A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)
  • 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)

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