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Gulliver of Mars
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Gulliver of Mars

2.89 of 5 stars 2.89  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Lieutenant Gulliver Jones, U.S.N., arrived on Mars in a most unexpected fashion and promptly found himself head-over-heels in adventure. For Mars was a planet of ruined cities, ancient peoples, copper-skinned swordsmen, and weird and awesome monsters. There was a princess to be rescued, a River of Death to be navigated, and a strange prophecy to be fulfilled.
Here is a long
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1905)
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Jan 17, 2011 Werner rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers very interested in the history of science fiction
Edwin L. Arnold had some reputation in his own day as a writer of highly melodramatic science fiction, mostly based on this book and on his Phra the Phoenician --which I haven't read; and based on this one, won't!-- both are mentioned in older editions of The Anatomy of Wonder, and some critics, including Richard A. Lupoff (who wrote the introduction here) think both books, especially this one, influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels. (Arnold's works hadn't appeared in an American editio ...more
If you took a second-rate version of Jonathan Swift and combined him with a second-rate version of Edgar Rice Burroughs, you'd wind up with the author of GULLIVAR OF MARS.
It's very hard to know what to make of this book. At certain times, it feels like parody or satire; at others, it comes across as a straight-laced adventure novel. In that respect, it's a whole lot like Mark Twain's A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT, but nowhere near as pointed and topical.
The story (theorized by some
"Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation" is the last fictional book from Edwin Lester Lindon Arnold (1857 - March 1, 1935). The book is also known as "Gullivar of Mars", and in both cases there are editions of the books using the alternate spelling "Gulliver". Along with his book "The Wonderful Adventures of Phra the Phaenician" he appears to have greatly influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs with regards to his Barsoom series, though some people dispute this. Phra is seen as similar to John Carter, ...more
I find myself liking it piecemeal; interesting ingredients are present, but something about their assembly and presentation doesn't work. I can't tell if Arnold is doing this deliberately--reflecting Gulliver Jones's essential obtuseness and failings as a hero--or if Arnold hadn't the craft to make use of it properly.

Consider the ideas that are intimated, but never carried through: the ancient Martian civilization that had traveled to, or possibly from, the Egypt of the pharaohs; Jones's languag
Published several years before the much more famous A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it nevertheless shares many similarities: a US military man finds himself on a dying Mars with the remains of a once great culture, where he falls in love with a Princess who he must rescue. There is a also a river of death, on which all the bodies of the dead are shipped on for their final journey.

Nevertheless, the stories are very different. I know I'll get in trouble with the general Sci-Fi commun
I read this book mainly due to my interest in it as an influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Mars stories. It is definitely a product of it's time, very different in prose style and construction from a science fiction pulp of the Golden Age, very far removed from modern science fiction. I enjoyed it anyway, mostly for it's oddness and archaic sensibilities. I can see why it is considered to have been an influence for the Barsoomian Mars tales.

It is a very quick read and if you have the time
This is the story of Lieutenant Gulliver Jones of the United States Navy magically appearing on Mars. He has a number of adventures there, such as saving a Martian princess and going down a River of Death. Sounds like the hero John Carter created by Edgar Rice Burroughs...but this was written in 1905, while Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" was written in 1911. It would seem that British author Arnold influenced the American Burroughs....but Burroughs' book is by far the better one...
I have a much older Ace edition. Some folks say that this is the book that inspired Burroughs' John Carter series. It came first, certainly, and there are some similarities, but they are relatively minor. I give it a three for being a very early and imaginative book, but the story itself probably deserves 2 stars.
It's interesting from a History of SciFi standpoint as one of the earliest novels of travel to Mars, and an obvious source of inspiration for Burroughs's Barsoom. But it's just not actually very good.
Turn off brain, sit back and have fun.
The book Gulliver's Travels was superb satire combined with imaginative visits to four unique lands.

Gulliver of Mars was not satire although the author clearly showed his dislike for "slothfulness" and touted the industrious Victorian gentlemen of his time. Gulliver Jones traveled through two countries on four areas of Mars with just two different races. Burroughs's many Martian books included five humanoid races and the eighteen-foot-tall Green Men of Mars. Arnold's Gulliver encountered mostly
Read this and Princess of Mars back to back. Both are awful in their own way but were Princess is boring, pointless and has a main character with no personality. Gulliver of Mars is interesting and exciting with a lead that at least has a pulse. Of course Gullivers main character trait is that he's a complete tool but at least thats something. Its amazing how angry and frustrated this book made me due to its flaws. There really seemed to be a decent story trying to get out but the author never s ...more
John Desmarais
Reading this book, as a "modern" science fiction reader, can be an odd experience. Writing styles change over generations, and this book most definitely reads like OLD science-fiction, complete with the overly florid language of the period. It is also one of the primary inspirations for the John Carter books, so from an genre historical perspective there are good reasons for fans of those stories to read this book. Unfortunately, the story moves at a ponderous pace. Very little actually happens, ...more
This was not nearly as good as I had hoped it might be. While I can see, perhaps some inspiration points for the Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian Tales, this was still a very different type of book. It falls more in the tradition of The Travels than actually something like Gulliver's Travels or A Princess of Mars. While it was not a bad read it did not live up to my expectations and was little disappointing.
Oct 04, 2014 Sam rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: did-not-finish, 2013
Rarely do I find a book to be too boring to finish; I normally force myself to finish what I start. In that sense (and probably others as well) I'm somewhat of a masochist. Maybe its character building (one can hope), or maybe I just find the torture of not finishing to be greater than that of slugging through the mire. That being said, I could not force myself past the hundred page mark of this book. It is one of, if not the most boring books I have ever read, and I'm the type of person who enj ...more
I read this book mostly just to examine the claim that the John Carter stories have their roots in this pre-dating work. I can certainly see how such a claim can be made. There are similarities in both protagonists being military men from earth's past, both men come across brutish races and more refined races. These races are in conflict with one another. There is a princess of the more refined race as a love interest - and numerous other crossovers.

But I have to say in terms of pure enjoyment,
Some of the prose(in fact most of it) is delightful however it just isn't that gripping a book..I has little concern over the visit to Mars via a flying carpet as I have read books with similiar strange premises which have come good..Clive Barkers Weaveworld the story of a fantastic realm in tapestry for example..but once in Mars the story plodded.
Some half good ideas of a nation of lazy pleasure seekers and slaves but all in all a book that reads as a travelogue with little of true
Norman Cook
This was a chore to get through. The vocabulary and grammar are very old fashioned, filled with long, obscure words and prosaic descriptions. The characters are without empathy. The plot is hard to follow. It is a far cry from the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs who many have cited being inspired by Arnold.
Oct 01, 2010 Larry added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no-one!
I didnt finish this book, I just couldnt go on any further, it was annoying me! Not only the fact that the people on mars spoke English, but also how the chharacter got there (in a flying carpet!!) Just stuf and nonesense really and incredibly hard to read in places!
So this was the one that led Burroughs to write A Princess Of Mars...a pretty feeble climax (such as it is); only maybe really about half a book's worth of stuff happened. And most of that in Adolescentland.
Robert Lent
If you liked Burroughs' Mars books, give this a try. Published befor Burroughs' books, this may have been the prototype book.
Ryan Day
The author completely fails at writing believable dialogue. It's so bad I threw the book in the garbage.
Jesse Hebert
Vintage sci-fi/fantasy adventure story from 1905 and a likely influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs.
It was ok but it was not as a hoped it would be.
Berkley McLean
Berkley McLean marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
Nadine Higgins
Nadine Higgins marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Laura marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2015
Jaka Yzma
Jaka Yzma marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2014
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Edwin Lester Linden Arnold, (1857 – 1 March 1935) was an English author. Most of his works were issued under his working name of Edwin Lester Arnold.
Arnold was born in Swanscombe, Kent, as son of Sir Edwin Arnold. Most of his childhood was spent in India, but he returned to England to study agriculture and ornithology. He became a journalist in 1883, and published his first books A Summer Holiday
More about Edwin Lester Arnold...
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