Michael's Reviews > A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Dec 12, 2011

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Read in November, 2011

I tried reading this a couple times as a kid, but was put off by the ponderous writing style. I guess it was easier for me as an adult to embrace the formal nature of a story written in the early 1900s. Burroughs’ story had everything you would expect to find in a pulpy sci-fi adventure, and as much as I enjoyed the futuristic warfare and grueling duels to the death, I liked that John Carter introduces the savage four-armed Tharks to the benefits of treating animals with compassion even more. Despite that lesson learned, the Martians still fully crack up at the sight of one of their own being tortured and killed. It’s sort of like when I saw Hostel 2 in the theater and this guy laughed out loud during a scene where a young boy is shot and killed. Maybe it was nervous laughter, but he really seemed to find it hilarious. So, enlightenment doesn’t happen overnight, but Carter accomplishes quite a bit during his first visit to Mars. He does so much in fact, that you begin to resent him for being so good at everything he does. He kicks ass like an Ultimate Fighting Champion; he unites factions that have been warring for centuries; he wins the heart of the most desirable woman on the planet… Comparatively speaking, as a reader, it’s like being Brad Pitt’s non-famous, no money having, disfigured best friend. But that’s the stuff escapist fantasy fiction and its flawless heroes are made of.
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