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At the Earth's Core

(Pellucidar #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,054 ratings  ·  296 reviews
At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs Cutting through the earth in an extraordinary burrowing device, David Innes and Abner Perry fear they may be incinerated in the planet's fiery core. Instead, they come upon Pellucidar - a savage, primordial world hidden several hundred miles beneath the earth's crust. There in an eerie, subterranean realm of vast oceans, lush jun ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Wildside Press (first published April 1914)
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Charles  van Buren
The beginning of the incredible Pellucidar adventures

This is the first volume of one of Burroughs' most popular series. He even brought Tarzan into it in TARZAN AT THE EARTH'S CORE, a very shrewd move which attracted even more readers. When I was a kid, I read and re-read the whole series with the Tarzan volume being my favorite. This is a lively tale serialized in April 1914 in 'All Story Weekly'. Don't look for accurate science. Burroughs was not known for his research and remember when it was
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First paperback edition of At the Earth's Core, 1962. Cover by Roy Krenkel.

"At the Earth's Core" is a 1914 fantasy novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first in his series about the fictional "hollow earth" land of "Pellucidar". It first appeared as a four-part serial in All-Story Weekly from April 4–25, 1914. It was first published in book form in hardcover by A. C. McClurg in July, 1922

In Burroughs' concept, the Earth is a hollow shell with "Pellucidar" as the internal surface o
“At The Earth’s Core,” first published in 1914, is one of Edgar Rice Burrough’s most imaginative works. It is the first of seven books in the Pellucidar series and imagines a world inside the earth (five hundred miles beneath the surface) where the most advanced species is reptilian and the humans are still living in the stone age. As ludicrous as it sounds now, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there were many who believed in the possibility of a hollow earth world with entrances ...more
Maybe I’ve been reading and listening too much from Bob Fletcher; about (secret) underground facilities* by the hundreds in the US and in other nations, meant for the wealthy, when catastrophe strikes; one like Nibiru planet (called Planet X?, that’s OK)… incoming….maybe this August or a few months later, into 2016, passing by, "close" to our planet.

(planet X?)

Maybe it was the memories of Jules Verne Journey to the center of the Earth that has drawn me to this book of Burroughs. The fact is, t
Jason Koivu
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi, adventure
Wow! I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did! Other Burroughs books I've read were okay or worse, imo. At the Earth's Core struck a chord with me.

One reason I dug it was because we get into the story fairly quickly. Adventure books of the era, such as Conan Doyle's The Lost World, take FOREVER to get into the meat of the story. In this one, there's a little preamble, but generally speaking we hope right in with a pair of dudes delving into the depths of the earth. They discover a para
2.5 stars. Solidly between 2 stars (it's okay) and 3 stars (I like it), this classic pulp science fiction adventure is the first of the Pellucidar series about a hidden world (complete with a sun and a moon) located in the center of the Earth. I am a fan of Pulp SF and liked the idea behind the series and the general pace of the adventure. The only reason I didn't rate this higher was that I was not as fond of the main character as I have been of other pulp heroes (e.g., Eric John Stark by Leigh ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
At the Earth's Core, published in 1922, was the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar novels. I’ve always found his books to be highly entertaining and ingenious in their imagining of strange worlds and that’s certainly the case with this one.

The book opens with a framing story, as the narrator encounters a solitary and rather disheveled European somewhere in the wastes of the Sahara Desert. The man is named David Innes and he has a strange story to tell.

Professor Perry has invented a machi
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A dreamy yet sometimes nightmarish excursion into the world beneath our world: Pelucidar! With ugly cavemen, beautiful cavewomen, armies of ape-men, a wide variety of dinosaurs, man eating reptile birds that rule the underworld, and giant mechanical mole machines, Burroughs packs a lot of oomph and pizzazz into this science romance. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series which also includes a Tarzan story! ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Edgar Rice Burroughs could be called The God-father of cheesy fantasy adventure. He can boast of influencing many later fantasy writers from Robert E. Howard to even John Norman, but that is not exactly something you would want on your resume. I had a brief obsession with Tarzan when I was nine but, asides from that series, I've found Burroughs' pulp adventures to be trite and silly. At The Earth's Core is no exception. Except for a rather exciting beginning, in which our intrepid but boring her ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pure pulp adventure. An eccentric old inventor, Abner Perry, builds a giant “iron mole” vehicle which takes him and his friend David Innes on an unexpected expedition to the earth's unexplored core. They end up in an upside down world where time doesn't exist and the human inhabitants are the slaves and lab rats of a prehistoric race of pterosaurs (yes, you read that right). Humans are mercilessly stalked, captured, and herded by armies of ape-men. Dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts are arou ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
How about this: hollow Earth, evil ape-men, hypnotic reptile overlords, cave-people, time madness, monsters, and a stolen scientific secret? You get all that and more in “At the Earth's Core”!

David Innes, a muscular mine-owner backs his professor friend's drilling machine and wind up accidentally burrowing into the big hollow world in the center of the Earth: Pellucidar. This is first-wave Burroughs, so we get all the goodies: princesses, jungle survival, escape plots, traitors, the works!

Marts  (Thinker)
Dec 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, sci-fi
I enjoyed this Burrourghs title.

At the Earth's Core is all about an inventor Abner Perry and a young wealthy gentleman David Innis. Perry invents a vehicle referred to as the 'iron mole' which has drilling properties so powerful it can drill into the earth's core. Innis goes with Perry on a test run and ends up reaching earth's core which amazingly, is hollow. At the hollow core is a world called Pellucidar with stange beings like Mahars and Sagoths. They make aquaintances with Ghak, Hooja and
Patrick Gibson
Catching up on a book I should have read when I was a teen. Damn entertaining -- you know it is so.
J.Aleksandr Wootton
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sensationalized mashup of early sci-fi progressivism, "Noble Savage" theory, humanism, florid prose, and era-typical prejudices and pop-paleontology in a Jules Verne setting. Simply destined to become a movie that Mystery Science Theater would (and did) lampoon; nothing special.

Burrough's setting does introduce two somewhat-interesting ideas:
(1) Gravity is an attraction towards planetary crust, not planetary core, such that a hollow world could support life on its inner surface as well as its o
T.I.M. James
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although a good part of my to read pile is there to be reread, there are a run of older books that I have never read before, and some of these are the Pellucidar series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Burroughs is, of course better known for his preeminent creation, Tarzan but he had great success with some of his other creations including John Carter of Mars and this series.

Pellucidar is another world, hidden beneath the surface of our own, miles and miles beneath our crust it exists, more primitive th
A supremely enjoyable adventure novel marred by a few major flaws, AT THE EARTH'S CORE rehashes all the usual Edgar Rice Burroughs cliches but does so in superior fashion. For one thing, the mythology of Pellucidar is more clever and interesting than what we got from his BARSOOM or CASPAK novels. The "hollow world" plot device is, of course, patently absurd, but Burroughs does a surprisingly good job of selling it by providing enough pseudoscience to enable readers to suspend their disbelief to ...more
David B
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another stalwart ERB hero travels to a lost world where he encounters dangerous men and even more dangerous beasts, this time at the center of the earth.

It seems that Burroughs had a little more discipline in his world-building here than usual. Instead of setting his story on an alien planet inhabited by whatever crazy melange of monsters and superscience his fruitful imagination could produce, he created a pretty consistent Stone Age world that exists under the thumb of some telepathic holdover
Rex Libris
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first volume in Edgar Rice Burrough's Pellucidar series. Pellucidar is a "hollow earth" realm, existing on an inner portion of the earth. The earth is hollow, with a miniature sun at the core, and the concave surface of the inner globe is Pellucidar. Thus one can look up and see the other side of the world. in this aspect, it is a precursor to Ringworld and Rama.

In this establishing story the protagonist and an inventor friend have created an automatic mining machine. It malfunction
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Now that was fun, mind-bending, but fun. I had no expectations of anything beyond a kill-‘m caveman, giant purple monster story, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not in the characters, they were highly predictable, but the world was wonderfully imaginative. I really can’t wrap my mind around it yet, but it was fun trying. Maybe that was aggravated by the way he messed with time. I don’t want to give anything away so I really can’t say any more than, it gets more mind-bending the farther you read. ...more
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Loved this one. First in the series.
Timothy Boyd
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the Tarzan or John Cater books but still a great read. Burrougns tells a nice fast paced story. Very recommended
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of the Pellucidar series, "At the Earth's Core" is typical Burroughs fare in the science-fantasy genre that includes the Barsoom and Venus series, among others. And like those others, it's Saturday afternoon TV in all its campy, eye-rolling so-bad-it's-embarrassing-to-be-caught-with-this stuff (the 1976 movie with Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, and Caroline Munro is a classic in this genre) best. The book is really 2.5 stars, but as usual, I rounded it up.

The plot is as described and so
Vicky Hunt
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Burrough's Imagiscape Turned Inside Out

Though I've been a long time fan of Burrough's fiction, this is my first book of the Pellucidar series. I've read most of the Tarzan series, and all of the Caspak Trilogy. I've read the first in the Princess of Mars series. It looks as though this one was written just a couple of years after Tarzan's first issue, early in his career. It is very scaled down... lots of action which the book jumps right into with an excellent frame narrative and combat that ma
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This one's a story I'm somewhat familiar with, thanks to the ultra-cheesy Amicus film adaptation of 1976 starring the late Peter Cushing and Caroline Munro. I found AT THE EARTH'S CORE to be a typical outing from Burroughs, not as strong as the Tarzan story I've read by him, and seemingly written for little children despite a couple of gory passages. This comes across as a light retelling of JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, except our heroes find themselves in a fantastic, prehistoric-style w ...more
Translator Monkey
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun ride. Burroughs was a master at this sort of writing, as were a number of pulp novelists of the day. Is it formulaic? Of course - you don't pick up books of this sort expecting Thackeray. Lots of plot holes, lots of character dynamics that wouldn't fit very well into contemporary life; this type of fiction seems to lend itself to forgiveness of these literary sins. A cracking read. ...more
Dylan McIntosh
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s amazing how ERB could create such a creative and fascinating world in a time that there was much to canabalize from for his world building. It was a bit outdated from a perspective of the treatment of woman, but overall an good read. Looking forward to the follow on stories.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantasy
Not unlike the basic premise of The Princess of Mars, our hero here, David Innes, along with Dr. Abner Perry ride a massive drill he's invented deep into the earth, where they discover an underground civilization (Pellucidar) of primitive humans, flying monsters, and ape like creatures.

Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although this wasn't as good as the last Burroughs I read, this turned out to be a very good book. The entire landscape of Pellucidar is fabulous. The man has a way with world building. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Pretty poor stuff
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A swashbuckling breeze of a book! Imagine a hollow earth, inhabited by strange beasts and stone-age humanoids. The hollow space is lit by a perpetual sun which floats at its center. A small moon rotates synchronously with the earth, so that it casts a permanent shadow over one region of the land called Pellucidar.

Into this strange world crashes David Innes, with the help of Professor Perry and his mole-like vessel, the "Prospector." With their superior know-how, Innes and Perry are destined to
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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

Pellucidar (8 books)
  • Pellucidar (Pellucidar, #2)
  • Tanar of Pellucidar (Pellucidar, #3)
  • Tarzan at the Earth's Core (Tarzan, #13; Pellucidar, #4)
  • Back to the Stone Age (Pellucidar, #5)
  • Land of Terror (Pellucidar, #6)
  • Savage Pellucidar (Pellucidar, #7)
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