Matt's Reviews > A Fighting Man of Mars

A Fighting Man of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Jun 25, 08

bookshelves: science-fiction, fantasy
Recommended for: Lovers of science fiction, fantasy, or comic books. Boys and girls of all ages.

'A Fighting Man of Mars' is the longest, and probably the best, of Edgar Rice Burroughs classic 'Barsoom' science fiction sword operas.

In this story, John Carter takes a back seat to an ordinary martian soldier. The story just gets better for it. This is the high water mark of the series, both in terms of imagination and the sophistication of the story telling.

The villain of this story is a power mad tyrant who plans to conquer all of Mars using a combination of super science and an uncountable teeming horde he has built up through a program of forced breeding. As usual, his plans are overthrown because they come between the love of a man and a women, because real men will sacrifice everything and endure any hardship for the sake of those who they love.

And, as we will see in this book, so will real women.

As usual, the text is littered with Burroughs admonishments for what it means to act manly and noblely, and the story is a mixture of orthodox morality and deeply subversive jibes at what was politically correct in his day. Burroughs goes after class consciousness, sexism, statism, militarism, hedonism and any number of other things with a concealed but earnest and deadly vengence which is somewhat reminiscent of his stories heroes. He also manages while writing in the early '30's to foresee many of the questions and difficulties which will be raised by the super weapon driven WWII still more than a decade a way at the time. And, as usual, he manages to do this while writing an entertaining, easily readable adventure story filled with wonder and imagination.
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