HBalikov's Reviews > John Carter of Mars, Vol 1

John Carter of Mars, Vol 1 by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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Jun 17, 2012

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If I may quote from Chris Gaines review: "The books are riddled with aspects of eugenics, chauvinism, racism, a primitive understanding of evolution, coupled with two dimensional characters and absurd 'science'...." This resulted in Gaines' disappointment and loss. For me it did not. By the time Edgar Rice Borroughs died in 1950 most of these elements had been discredited and discouraged....much the same for Borroughs views in Tarzan. But these were not books of science or even considered "science fiction" when they were first published starting in 1912. These are yarns that could be told around the fire at night and (almost in the Homeric tradition) entertaining in their constant action and threats of disaster or sudden death. Monsters, strange cultures and crazy inventions were entertaining. And as for the "absurd" elements, they were just part of the flow that appeared from time to time but were not the focus of the action or moral of the story.

Having said all that, I don't thing that I will be reading any more of the series during the next decade or so. Robert E. Howard must have learned a lot from Borroughs and his writing benefits from it.
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