Kathryn's Reviews > The Mastermind of Mars

The Mastermind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Sep 05, 10

bookshelves: space-opera, on-my-nook
Recommended for: Burroughs fans
Read on September 04, 2010, read count: 1

The Mastermind of Mars is the sixth book in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Mars series. (The first is A Princess of Mars. If you like ridiculous space opera, I recommend this series. The first five are available on Project Gutenberg; I got this one and the seventh in e-book form from B&N, as The Third Martian Omnibus.)

This is one of the better of the seven Mars books I have read. The hero, Ulysses Paxton, is another Earthling who, like John Carter, has traveled to Barsoom to find a new life among the red men. He awakes on Mars to find himself inside a mysterious compound led by a scientist who has perfected a means of transferring brains between bodies, so that a wealthy old empress may purchase the body of a beautiful young slave and regain lost youth. The scientist sees nothing wrong with this behavior, as he believes that all people can and should act only in their self-interest. He calls Ulysses Paxton a "sentimentalist" for believing in loyalty and affection as motivating forces. The tension between the "sentimentalist" and what you might call the "rationalist" perspectives is a continuing theme of the book, with two cities of red men demonstrating the excesses to which each can be taken, and Ulysses, of course, demonstrating the third way.

And - naturally - Ulysses rescues the damsel in distress and rides off triumphantly into the sunset.
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