Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Princess of Mars” as Want to Read:
A Princess of Mars
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
read book* *Different edition

A Princess of Mars (Barsoom #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  29,589 ratings  ·  2,287 reviews

Mars, a dying planet, is the backdrop for this adventurous planetary romance. Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" is a classic sci-fi pulp novel containing epic sword-fights and narrow escapes. The book proved to be highly influential on later science fiction authors like Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke.

Kindle Edition, 172 pages
Published (first published 1917)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Princess of Mars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Princess of Mars

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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!

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 - SQUEEE
Jul 15, 2008 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Will Byrnes
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...more

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...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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...more
Jun 25, 2008 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
Elijah Meeks
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
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...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
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...more

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...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...more
Melissa Proffitt
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...more
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
Peter Meredith
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...more
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
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...more
Sexist, oddly over detailed like some science fiction can be, a hero who can do no wrong - not really a great read to my taste. I'd say 3 stars for inadvertent laughters.

But this was a special read. You see, it was chosen by someone and read aloud to me, all the way through. I did take a few turns but not very often. I listened while tired, a couple times I fell asleep, and once I had been in tears (unrelated girl stuff) and the chosen method of soothing was to pick up the book and read to me......more
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
I've honestly been meaning to pick up Burrough's Barsoon series ever since I first read Tarzan a few years ago and was told that he'd written this sci-fi adventure series set on Mars. While I don't read a ton of contemporary science fiction novels, I find myself drawn to early sci-fi (though I still haven't read a ton of the pioneering novels like this one). Once I heard the movie was coming out, I decided it was high time to jump into these books.

I was surprised to learn that Princess of Mars...more
Dave Russell
This is the type of novel in which...

...characters show up outside rooms at the exact same time other characters are imparting information that it is crucial for the eavesdropper to know. Example: While hiding in this giant room ornament the main character overhears, "Ah here comes my royal psychologist now. He will tell us what he learned from scanning the thoughts of my dead guards."

...the main character, John Carter, is able to learn the language of Mars (luckily all the races of Mars speak t...more
Katherine Coble
Mar 01, 2012 Katherine Coble rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Katherine by: Johne Cook, Editor Raygun Revival
This was a fine read. The story kept moving, many of the characters were interesting.

It only gets three stars because the two least-interesting characters were...John Carter and the titular Princess of Mars. That lost it one star.

The thing that lost it a second star seems trivial but actually isn't, to me at least. The Princess of Mars...has breasts. Like most women in these types of stories, TPOM is the hottest, mostest bosomy piece of sex to ever exist in the universe.

Except she isn't a mamm...more
Nicolo Yu
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...more
Not sure how I've overlooked this for so long... you'd think when I went thru my Conan the Barbarian stage back in middle school, I would have stumbled across the Barsoom series as well. Decided I'd better check it out before seeing the John Carter movie coming out in a few weeks.

This novelette is a fun, quick read that definitely helped set the stage for both the fantasy and sci-fi genres. There's plenty of manly adventure, and the occasional bit of dry humour. Yeah, the character development...more
Paul Kemp
Clear prose, great action, rapid pacing, and an interesting world. I'm amazed this novel was written in 1917. If you haven't read as part of your tour through the classics of the genre, add it. You won't regret it.
The bad news is I seem to be getting in the habit of reading books my Goodreads Friends do just so that I can answer their questions. More than not this means re-reading books I enjoyed much earlier, but that I don't remember the details about.

Just the other day I had look up an answer from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, a book that I've already read three times. I had read that section of the book just fifteen minutes earlier, and I still couldn't answer it. I couldn't even find it after goi...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy & Sci...: Essays on A Princess of Mars 1 7 Dec 27, 2013 07:37AM  
Excellent book 5 54 Dec 11, 2013 02:58PM  
need to read all 11? 25 163 Nov 25, 2013 09:37PM  
John Carter of Mars 62 197 Nov 25, 2013 02:54PM  
Nerds & Encre...: A Princess of Mars 28 10 Sep 30, 2013 05:16PM  
Albuquerque Sci-F...: BOM 10/2013-Burrough's First Three Martian Books 1 3 Aug 28, 2013 07:58AM  
  • Almuric
  • The Voyage of the Space Beagle
  • Gray Lensman (Lensman, #4)
  • Space Viking
  • Northwest of Earth (Complete Northwest Smith)
  • The Man of Bronze (Doc Savage #1)
  • The Space Merchants (The Space Merchants #1)
  • Star Born (Pax/Astra, #2)
  • Metropolis
  • Time for the Stars
  • The Ginger Star (The Book of Skaith, #1)
  • Mission of Gravity (Mesklin, #1)
  • Lest Darkness Fall
  • Swords Against Wizardry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #4)
  • Mosses from an Old Manse
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...
Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan, #1) The Gods of Mars (Barsoom, #2) The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3) The Land That Time Forgot (Caspak, #1-3) Thuvia, Maid of Mars (Barsoom, #4)

Share This Book

“In one respect at least the Martians are a happy people, they have no lawyers.” 57 likes
“Yes, I was a fool, but I was in love, and though I was suffering the greatest misery I had ever known I would not have had it otherwise for all the riches of Barsoom. Such is love, and such are lovers wherever love is known.” 19 likes
More quotes…