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John Carter of Mars

(Barsoom #11)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,072 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Menace from Space

No sooner had John Carter fought off the seemingly invincible giant warrior attacking the mighty city of Helium than he was faced with a more terrifying challenge from the gulfs of space. Skeleton creatures from Jupiter were plotting the conquest of Mars - and their first act was to kidnap the red planet's Warlord!

Cover art by Michael Whelan.
Mass Market Paperback, 167 pages
Published April 1979 by Ballantine Books (first published 1964)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"John Carter of Mars" is the 11th and final volume in Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic John Carter series, and is comprised of two novellas of varying quality. The first, "John Carter and the Giant of Mars," first appeared in "Amazing Stories Magazine" in January 1941; the second, "Skeleton Men of Jupiter," first appeared in that same publication in February 1943. (For full details on the complicated publishing histories of these tales, I refer all interested parties to the ERB List, one of the ...more
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
And so the series ends, not with a bang but with more of a thud or a splat. The 2-star rating is an average of the two stories that make up John Carter of Mars. The first, Giant of Mars, is frankly terrible -- if I'm remembering correctly, it was ghost-written by Burroughs' son for use in a children's chapter book or some such. I don't know if there's a single paragraph in the entire story that doesn't have some kind of colossal violation of previously-established Barsoomian canon -- they have ...more
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was the last entry in ERB's Martian series, and is interesting primarily only to completists. It contains two longish short stories, "John Carter and the Giant of Mars," which is a young-adult story written in collaboration with his son, John Coleman Burroughs. It is very thin.

The second story doesn't even take place on Mars but on Jupiter and is called "Skeleton Men of Jupiter." It's also very weak.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, this was a bit of a shock to the system after the eminently readable, richly plotted stories with their well-imagined characters that I've been reading recently. Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars felt a lot more like a Thongor story. It is apparently the 11th novel in the Barsoom series, and is a very thin book containing two stories. It was very clunkily written, partly because it was written to be serialised, and probably also because it didn't quite end up getting ...more
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sword-and-planet
The last gasp of the Barsoom series, constructed from snouts and entrails.

The only thing to take away from "The Giant of Mars"--other than some truly substandard writing--was the army of human-brained, four-armed white apes, bearing pew-pew rayguns and riding giant predatory birds. And if you need to have the awesomeness of that explained, then you are clearly in the wrong place. Did you take a wrong turn on your way to a Nora Roberts discussion?

"Skeleton Men of Jupiter" is the raw form of an
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The original John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a true sci-fi classic. The series of several books chronicles the adventures of American John Carter, who "dies" on Earth and finds himself inexplicably awaking on Mars. It is a combination of swashbuckling adventure, sci-fi worlds, and romance. The entire series is a good- and timeless- read. BTW: The recent movie was not particularly faithful to the novel, and completely failed to capture the flavor of the hero, John Carter. ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's nothing I can say about this book that hasn't been said countless times already.
It consists of two novellas. The first one was written by Burroughs' son, and it's god-awful. Apparently, it started out as a children's book; all I know is it reads like a bad '80s cartoon. It might make an OK bedtime story for your six-year-old, but that's about it. Plus, it's largely inconsistent--not to mention totally incongruous--with the rest of the John Carter series.
The second novella is standard
Paperback Junky
I'm so sad it's over!!!!!!!! ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This eponymous volume in the series is actually two novelettes: "John Carter and the Giant of Mars", and "Skeleton Men of Jupiter". Both were written fairly long into his career, during World War II, and I imagine that at this point he could churn out these pulp stories in his sleep.

Just as in the Tarzan series, he tends to rehash a lot of his plot elements, and at this point, having Dejah Thoris kidnapped yet again has become pretty tiresome. Yet that is what happens in "...The Giant of Mars".
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Carter the immortal, is of again to rescue his love Deja Thoris the Red Princess of one of Mars most powerful kingdoms. John Carters ability to perform incredible feats of strength, and marshall prowess due to the lesser gravity of Mars makes him a formidable oponent. Respected by the most warlike people on a very warlike planet. John carter is good friends with Tars Tarkas. One of the green men of Mars. Green giants with six arms and two legs. Which allow them to wield a lot of weapons. ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book turn out to be interesting. The action and adventure kept your mind wondering. I had a hard time trying to get away from the book and do other things. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in science-fiction and is an adventurous person. If you don't like reading about aliens or science-fiction you might not like it. This would be a good book for young adults and older. It was a graphic detailed novel.
Stephanie Ricker
Earlier in the week I read John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which was absolutely hilarious. Giant three-legged rats are attacking the telepathically controlled birds used as transport! Oh no, Carter has been captured by the dreaded skeleton men of Jupiter! Classic scifi is adorable. You'll be happy to know all ended happily if fairly egocentrically with Carter consistently saving the day and being pretty cocky about it.
The only real clunker in all of this latter-day stuff is the first story here--in third person and seemingly written in a bit of haste. Fortunately though in "Skeleton Men" we get back to first person and JC's slightly tongue-in-cheeky, vigorous style.
Zach Naylor
And so Edgar Rice Burroughs' sweeping catalogue of pseudoscience-fiction comes to an end, decades after the fact, in "John Carter of Mars." This collection of two tales is one of contradictions; it represents beginnings and endings, new stories which aren't wholly original, new direction cut abruptly short, and the twilight years for the King of Pulp. A strange mix of momentous and ignominious, this one is, almost enrapturing in its fallibility.

"Carter" opens without fanfare in the oft-maligned
Adrian Colesberry
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this whole series. It's pretty sexual and macho and they're all massive page-turners.

Same review for each.
Philip Athans
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say... Edgar Rice Burroughs is one of the SF/fantasy genres undisputed masters.
In this final collected works book there are two John Carter of Mars stories. The first is a concise story very much like all of the ERB 'Mars' stories with some interesting imagery but nothing too exciting; it fills in for a quick read. The next story, equally as short, ends the series and is a fun,unique story. I really wished the last story had been a full novel as the concept, plot and characters are some of the more interesting of ERB's novels.
All the ERB books are fast paced, unrealistic,
James Troxell
The first story is as dreadful as everyone says. Better left forgotten. It almost got cool with the weird rat ritual in the catacombs but other than that was laughably bad. His son did not have the talent he did.

The second story is so bittersweet to read. It introduces a fantastic new setting which was clearly meant to be explored further and a decent story to introduce these elements. Albeit it felt a bit rushed. It's sad such a historic franchise ended on this note. We'll never know the full
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This final volume of ERB's Mars books was published in book form posthumously, after he died in 1950, the two stories making it up having been published separately in Amazing Stories magazine in the 1940's. In both, Dejah Thoris has been kidnapped and John Carter is off to rescue her. In the first story, he has to deal with a giant. In the second one, she has been transported to Jupiter where Carter has to deal with the Skeleton Men. Good ERB adventures.
Conclusion of the John Carter series - very hit or miss, as the first novella was actually written by his son, (with ERB providing editing services) and is noticeably less quality than all other books in the series.
The second novella, "Skeleton Men of Jupiter", is much better, and it's a pleasure to be engaged in another John Carter adventure.
Kenny Bertin
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. Loved the story and the story line. I really like the movie too, just wish it had stayed the same as this book.
Hannah Russell
Jun 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, scifi
That's it? Well, that ending was sucky.

At least I've now read all the official John Carter books, I can cross them off my list and I never have to read another John Carter tale of monotony again.
I am reviewing the HarperCollins Publisher Ltd First Canadian Edition omnibus of the first three Barsoom books (A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and The Warlord of Mars), confusingly titled John Carter of Mars. This is not the 11th book.

This book has me torn in so many ways. First, the packaging. I get why they went with the title John Carter of Mars, as it matches the movie adaptation. And it was the reason I picked the book off the shelf. But to have the book titled as such and then for
Joe Aguiar
Final book in the epic 11 book Martian Tales series from Edgar Rice Burroughs is actually two short stories together. The first, "John Carter And The Giant Of Mars" is a fun tale that has Carter's love, Dejah Thoris kidnaped by Pew Mogel,one of Ras Thavas' synthetic men, who has learned his master's secrets. Mogel plans to use Dejah as a hostage to force the surrender of Helium and from there, he plans to use Helium's resources to conquer all of Barsoom. With him are his horrid creations, an ...more
I started reading this series 15 years ago and I've only just finished the final entry (I would have got here sooner, but a 9 year gap of near illiteracy sort of slowed me down).

On this last book I have mixed feelings. The results are disappointing, and I think that's because Burroughs himself wasn't alive to genuinely translate these two stories into book form as he had with most of his serialized stories. I imagine that he could have compellingly joined the narratives of “John Carter and the
B. Reese
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
The first half of this book is awful. John Carter and the Giant of Mars is of questionable authorship, and kind of the black sheep of Barsoom. And I can see why. It brings nothing new to the series and is barrely even a pot boiler. Sort of a kids books, sort of something else, you really can skip it.

The Skeleton Men of Jupiter though brings back to his top form. John Carter back in action and trapped in the usual formulaic plot of rescuing Dejah Thoris. Setting the story on Jupiter is a welcome
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book consists of 2 parts "John Carter and the Giant of Mars" and "Skeleton Men of Jupiter"

John Carter and the Giant of Mars (Read from 19 to 20 July 2010) *
First of all John Carter and the Giant of Mars is a bit of a con despite what it says on the book it is not by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but by his son John Coleman Burroughs, it's very doubtful if ERB had any input at all. Unlike the rest of the series it was initially written as a children's book in the "Big little book" series it was
Robert Saunders
These were considered "planetary romances" according to one source back when this series from the creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs, was written. This series of about 10 books started in 1912 and culminated around 1948. There's an odd mention of a book in 1964, but the other had been dead for 14 years by then. Plus there are a few shorts published in some pulp periodicals of the 1940s (where many of these stories appeared in years prior).

Today we call this stuff sci-fi, but it's quite
Stephen Brooke
We have two different works here, combined in one book. First is a novella, ‘The Giant of Mars.’ It is a pretty bad bit of writing. It was not actually written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which helps explain things — ERB at his worst could still turn out a decent bit of adventure. ‘Giant’ was ghost-written by his son, with Burroughs’s input. He tried that approach a few times near the end of his career (‘Tarzan and the Forbidden City’ is apparently another).

The other story is ‘Skeleton Men of
Victor Orozco
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
The final adventures of John Carter and it ends with his name on the title. Fitting in that this series started with his Princess and is the reason why he is of Mars forever more. Like the last book this is not one story but a collection of several stories. It took away alot that unlike the last book this wasn't one long adventure cut up into two parts but two different adventures. The book suffered because I'm pretty sure that rather abrupt ending wasn't what E.R.B. wanted to leave off, for he ...more
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Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.

Other books in the series

Barsoom (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • A Princess of Mars (Barsoom, #1)
  • The Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2)
  • The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3)
  • Thuvia, Maid of Mars (Barsoom, #4)
  • The Chessmen of Mars (Barsoom #5)
  • The Master Mind of Mars (Barsoom #6)
  • A Fighting Man of Mars (Barsoom, #7)
  • Swords of Mars (Barsoom, #8)
  • Synthetic Men of Mars (Barsoom, #9)
  • Llana of Gathol (Barsoom, #10)
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