Tony's Reviews > A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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's review
Mar 19, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

The bad news is I seem to be getting in the habit of reading books my Goodreads Friends do just so that I can answer their questions. More than not this means re-reading books I enjoyed much earlier, but that I don't remember the details about.

Just the other day I had look up an answer from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, a book that I've already read three times. I had read that section of the book just fifteen minutes earlier, and I still couldn't answer it. I couldn't even find it after going back and looking.

The good news, however, is that I last read Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars (and the whole Barsoom Series) about fifty years ago in my early teen years. I forgot how much I really enjoyed this book, but I'm not getting any younger, and it's time I started reading some of the hundreds of books I have here that I haven't read at all yet - well, just as soon as I finish Re-reading A Confederacy of Dunces....

I hear the movie John Carter bombed. Of course it did! Who but us old science fiction fans ever heard of John Carter? He's not like Burroughs' Tarzan that is part of the national vocabulary. At least if it were called John Carter of Mars, it might have brought out the sci fi fans.

I expect to see the movie some time this week, so at least I'll have a recent memory of it. I'll edit this review after I've seen the movie.....

Addendum: 3/24/12 - I saw the John Carter movie on Thursday and was delighted by it. The end credits clim it was based on A Princess of Mars, one of eleven Barsoom novels and only some of them featuring John Carter, that I had read about fifty years ago. I re-read the first and have no intention of rereading the others. My only problem with the movie was that I think they might have taken some major subplots from some of the other Barsoom novels.

The movie did an excellent job of beginning with ERB and his "Uncle Jack" as in the book. This device was also used at the end of the movie and also had several additional John Carter flashbacks - his wife and child - which really helped.

Beyond that, much of the original plot was still there, and I thought they did a really wonderful job with costumes, sets, make-up, especially the Martian tattoos and the non-human Martians and animals. I was especially delighted that the Martian flying vessels were exactly the same as on the old paperback covers from my boyhood. Carter's pet, Woola, was also delightful - I know - I use that word too much.

Most of the reviews gave it a "C" but my review would be at least an "A-."
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