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The Land That Time Forgot
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Book Discussions > The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 31, 2013 06:21PM) (new)

This is the discussion thread for our chosen June, 2013, Classic SF/F Novel:


The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs   The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

U-boats, treachery, dinosaurs, cave men, nudity, violence, and a cute dog. From 1918, so it's public domain and free in electronic form from Project Gutenberg and Amazon.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

i have fond memories of seeing the movie in the theater back in the 1970s...i loved it....its a great adventure story, as long as you dont think to deeply about it....just put your mind out of gear and let the story pull you along, and that's the type of thing EBR was best at. it may not be great lit, but it's cool pulp fiction...AND its got dinosaurs!!!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Spooky1947 wrote: "i have fond memories of seeing the movie in the theater back in the 1970s..."

I'm sure I've seen the movie at some point, but I'm afraid I've conflated it with numerous similar movies of islands with lost tribes and dinosaurs, including multiple adaptations of Doyle's The Lost World and even crossovers with Wells's Island of Dr. Moreau as well as various takes on the Bermuda triangle.

I hadn't read the book of The Land That Time Forgot until just last week, and I found it somewhat disappointing. It wasn't nearly as much fun as ERB's A Princess of Mars John Carter series.

I was surprised to discover that I was more than halfway through the book before we finally reached the island (Caprona / Caspak). The majority of the book was a World War I story of action on a U-boat. (I'm trying to ignore the unbelievable coincidence of Miss La Rue's fiancé just happening to be the commander of the U-boat that attacked her passenger ship.)

And speaking of reaching the island of Caprona, does anyone have any idea how they got there? They start out crossing the Atlantic and along the British coast, and end up off the coast of Peru (or more likely Chile, given the icebergs.) I know the compass had been tampered with, but sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, across the Indian Ocean, somehow missing spotting any land such as Indonesia, Australia, or New Zealand, crossing the Pacific, and reaching Peru? Great gas mileage. :)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

LOL..i just rember the movie...it had dinosaurs, that was good enough for a kid back then. :)


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Spooky1947 wrote: "LOL..i just rember the movie...it had dinosaurs, that was good enough for a kid back then. :)"

The US SyFy channel made their own adaptation of tLtTF a few years back (probably for their Saturday night B movie reel), and I see they are re-running it next Sunday (June 9), so I asked my DVR to grab it for me, just for jollies.


message 7: by Corinne (new)

Corinne | 11 comments I was surprised at how easy it was to read TLTF. I thought it was going to have obsolete language and difficult references. Yes, of course it does require you to suspend disbelief, but then again isn't that what fantasy is for? It was a stretch that no one noticed that the sun was in the wrong place in the sky as they were traveling, though. I'm at the part where they discover the island. Looking forward to being introduced to all manner of strange things, and finding out if Miss La Rue and the protagonist end up together.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

EBR was good at writing easy-to-read prose...it just has that "flow" to it, thats the best way i can describe it. Stephen King ans Isaac Asimov have that sort of "flow" for me, NOT the same style, none of them are writeing down to the reader (no 'run, tip, run'), but just a joy to read. To many authors let their style get in the way of the story. But then that's why English Profs the world over look down on EBR...Ghods forbid the reader should ENJOY getting lost in a story....


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 04, 2013 06:55AM) (new)

Corinne wrote: "it does require you to suspend disbelief, but then again isn't that what fantasy is for? It was a stretch that no one noticed that the sun was in the wrong place in the sky as they were traveling, though...."

Yes, I think I would have enjoyed the first half more if they'd been fighting over a spaceship instead of a U-boat. The problem with a U-boat is it's so mundane. However heroic the adventure, it leaves the storyteller open to questions like didn't anyone notice the sunset was in the East? or, how do you get from the English Channel to Peru and never once spot land?


message 10: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments My audio copy is still on hold...


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote: "My audio copy is still on hold..."

You mean you pressed the pause button ?


message 12: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments G33z3r wrote: "Jim wrote: "My audio copy is still on hold..."

You mean you pressed the pause button ?"


I wish. Hasn't gotten that far. For some reason, the library can only share out 1 copy of the file at a time & I'm not the one with it.
:-(


message 13: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 04, 2013 05:51PM) (new)

Jim wrote: "For some reason, the library can only share out 1 copy of the file at a time & I'm not the one with it...."

Ah. Well, since TLtTF is old enough to be Public Domain, you can get an audiobook version from Librivox as MP3s. (They have volunteers read out-of-copyright works into public domain audiobook versions. It's not like a professionally-voiced reading you'd get from a CD or Audible, but it's free and available anytime!)


message 14: by Corinne (new)

Corinne | 11 comments If you have a Kindle you can get the free version on Amazon. That's what I did.


message 15: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments Good idea, although I've rarely listened to a Libervox recording that I liked. Maybe I'll get lucky. I'm picky about the reader. I'll try it & let you know.


message 16: by Gene (new)

Gene Phillips | 36 comments Since I recently came across a book that collected all 3 Caspak stories under the name "Land That Time Forgot," I want to make sure you're not talking about the whole trilogy, just the first part.

Coincidentally I just reread the sequel, THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT, and recommend it for a group read.


message 17: by Xdyj (new) - rated it 3 stars

Xdyj | 418 comments Just read it. I find it a page turner but also quite generic.


message 18: by Corinne (new)

Corinne | 11 comments What are some other early fantasy novels that any of you have read? Are they formulaic or diverse from each other? Which ones would you recommend?


message 19: by Corinne (new)

Corinne | 11 comments Jim wrote: "Good idea, although I've rarely listened to a Libervox recording that I liked. Maybe I'll get lucky. I'm picky about the reader. I'll try it & let you know."

oops I meant the print version.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Xdyj, yep, "quite generic" fits...its at its core action-adventure pulp fiction, something EBR was a master of...no more, no less, and it isn't prentending to be anything else. EBR wasn't trying to create great art that would forever stand the test of time, he was writeing for the most pure of reasons: to tell a story in an entertaining way. EBR hit that mark more offten than not in his stories. And that is why Time has not Forgotten him. :)


message 21: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments I just haven't had time to sit & read lately, Corinne. Actually, I have a paperback of this & most of ERB's other books. It's spring time with a great amount of rain here, so I spend my evenings falling behind on the mowing, weeding, & other chores. I just mowed the fields over the past few nights for the 2d time in 2 weeks! Wonderful for the horses & the feed bills, but not so good on my schedule.

I can listen to audio books while mowing. I got the Librivox recording & started it this morning on the drive in to work. I only had a few minutes as I had to call Mom & talked to her the rest of the drive in. (No one else wants to talk to either of us at 5am & traffic is very light, so it works out.) The reader isn't great, but not terrible, either. I think I can get through it, so thanks for the suggestion.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

One thing about ERB, all his heroes are cut from the same cloth: perfect gentlemen adventurers, adept at fisticuffs, crack shots with firearms, and true Renaissance men, knowledgeable in all matters of science, history, and literature alike. In the Caspak stories, this applies to Bowen, Tom, and Bradley (and is similarly true of John Carter). They all seem to recognize ancient foliage and life forms, often identifying them by name. Also, they are all babe magnets.


message 23: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments I'm a little over halfway through the book now. I don't know that I'll read another ERB book any time soon. My memories of them were much better. The convenience of the plot, the sudden love & other things are just grating at times. Still, it's kind of fun. Definitely a blast from the past.


message 24: by Gene (new)

Gene Phillips | 36 comments One odd thing about Tom Billings in PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT is that though he's a crack shot he never acquits himself in any hand-to-hand struggle in that novel. Possibly he does better in the final series-novel.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Gene wrote: "One odd thing about Tom Billings in PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT is that though he's a crack shot he never acquits himself in any hand-to-hand struggle in that novel...."

The main thing I recall about Tom is summed up in this sentence:
Laying aside my rifle, pistol and heavy ammunition-belt, I left Ajor in the cave while I went down to gather firewood.
What could go wrong? :)


message 26: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments Actually, he kicks the butt of several guys at once, then lays down & goes to sleep only to wake up tied. Dummy. He also knocked down Baron Von Baddy the one time they mixed it up, then took his word he'd be a good boy. Sheesh!

I finished it & think I'll keep my good memories from now on. I have the other 2 books as Librivox audio recordings & the story begs to be finished. They're much like the first 3 Barsoom or first 2 Tarzan books in that way. Really one story, but I just wasn't that thrilled, unfortunately.


message 27: by Corinne (new)

Corinne | 11 comments Jim wrote: "I just haven't had time to sit & read lately, Corinne. Actually, I have a paperback of this & most of ERB's other books. It's spring time with a great amount of rain here, so I spend my evenings ..."

Hmmmm. maybe I should check out audio books. Then I could actually get some cleaning done instead of sitting in bed, reading. If only I could get paid for reading....


message 28: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments Corinne, at different times I was mowing, weeding, crocheting, vacuuming, dusting, & pruning, all while enjoying an audio book. None of those chores take much concentration, just repetitive things I have to keep up on like driving 45 minutes on my commute. They're fantastic. I find myself in a much better mood most of the time because I'm fully occupied & little frustrations just don't have the same impact.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote: "I have the other 2 books as Librivox audio recordings & the story begs to be finished. They're much like the first 3 Barsoom or first 2 Tarzan books in that way. Really one story,...."

You have to read all three books, through Out of Time's Abyss, to get the full description of the odd chain of human development and reproduction ERB has set up for Caspak's natives.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Michael wrote: " I think that I will tackle Caspak #2 soon, especially if it continues the story of Lys and Bowen...."

Book 2 (The People That Time Forgot) is the story of Tom, Bowen's old friend and college roommate, who on obtaining the manuscript-in-a-bottle that is book 1, mounts a rescue expedition. Book 3 (Out of Time's Abyss) is the story of Bradley, one of the crewmen with Bowen, who you may recall when missing in book 1. Not that the characters don't make a few brief crossover appearances. As Jim said, they are really one story.

Michael wrote: "I was a tad upset at the ending of the book, but we can go more into that as people progress through the book....."

Go for it. You can always use the spoiler tag if you're worried.


message 31: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue | 39 comments I'm just at the part where they find the river in the cliff face, and I suddenly have a distinct memory of reading this book before. I didn't remember any of the U-Boat stuff, however. Is there another book with an impenetrable continent (except for submerged river), or could I have completely forgotten the first part of this book?


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 10, 2013 07:34PM) (new)

One perk of getting old is that everything on my bookshelf seems fresh & brand-new again!

(Two years ago, I read Revelation Space, and it was half way in that I realized I'd already read it — and that was only a decade old. Also, when I watched the TV series Neverwhere, I kept whispering, "this seems very familiar.")

There is a cliff in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, it leads up to the plateau, and I believe they ride a boat up a river (the Amazon?) to get to it, but they climb it rather than sail under it.


message 33: by Drew (last edited Jun 11, 2013 09:28AM) (new)

Drew | 11 comments I just finished TLtTF last night, and it was an enjoyable read. As I have not read many sci-fi/fantasy classics, it was cool to see how the genre worked 100 years ago.

As has been mentioned before, I was surprised that the crux of the book was about the interactions between the soldiers as opposed to fighting dinosaurs and cavemen. The dinosaurs seemed more like part of the scenery behind the drama taking place between the U-Boat crew members & passengers.

It's been a little while since I read the first in the John Carter series, but it seems like TLtTF and Princess of Mars were very similar (exotic location, tough honorable soldier protagonist, romantic pairing that takes to each other immediately). I wonder if all of ERB's works use this formula, as I imagine the Tarzan series is somewhat similar to this as well.

All in all, a fun read!


message 34: by Gene (new)

Gene Phillips | 36 comments I finished LAND today and will probably start ABYSS tomorrow. There's surprisingly little politics in it for a WWI story, though it's interesting that the saboteur aboard the sub claims to be a "IWW" member who hates both sides on principal. I enjoyed the slow buildup to reaching Caprona but ERB really parcelled the info out slowly. That's the case with PEOPLE also; all this buildup with the "Weiroos" (great name) and you barely see them. I'm sure that they make more of an appearance in ABYSS.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Drew wrote: "but it seems like TLtTF and Princess of Mars were very similar (exotic location, tough honorable soldier protagonist, romantic pairing that takes to each other immediately). I wonder if all of ERB's works use this formula,..."

Pretty much. Caspak 2 & 3 each have different male leads, but as soon as they reach the island they each find a local beauty contest winner to team up with.


message 36: by Xdyj (last edited Jun 16, 2013 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Xdyj | 418 comments Gene wrote: "I finished LAND today and will probably start ABYSS tomorrow. There's surprisingly little politics in it for a WWI story, though it's interesting that the saboteur aboard the sub claims to be a "I..."

I think the little politics in it did not age very well. It's hard to imagine a story written today would cast a caricature of labor activist as the bad guy or show the chauvinism of early 20th century in positive lights, let alone the biological racism stuff & possibly patronizing attitude towards women.


message 37: by Gene (new)

Gene Phillips | 36 comments PEOPLE definitely does not age well in the arena of sexual politics. In comparison, the character of Lys in LAND is fairly forthright, even if hero Bowen is overly protective toward her. Lys even kills one of the villains with a handgun.


message 38: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue | 39 comments Just finished. The evolutionary biologist in me was cringing at the odd mix of creatures from vastly different Eras (Mesozoic & Cenozoic), and the idea of the different early hominids existing together. It's also evident that this was written when eugenics was popular.

I guess I need to read the next book to figure out where he was going with the hominid evolution from the lowly Alus to the Galus. He makes a point about the lack of children and old people, so I wonder if the evolution was personal, in that an individual could become a member of the next higher race.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Sue wrote: "I guess I need to read the next book to figure out where he was going with the hominid evolution from the lowly Alus to the Galus. He makes a point about the lack of children and old people,..."

ERB does indeed lay out the entire hominid lifecycle of Caspak in the third book, Out of Time's Abyss, right up to the mysterious Weiroos. An evolutionary biologist's head might explode. There's enough to offend everyone.

Let us know when you've finished book 3.


message 40: by E.D. (new)

E.D. Lynnellen (EDLynnellen) | 126 comments I can't think about the 70's movie versions without thinking about Doug McClure, which makes me think about The Simpsons, which makes me giggle a little.

No offense intended to McClure fans. Just saying.


message 41: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2172 comments Me too, E.D.! LOL!


message 42: by Xdyj (new) - rated it 3 stars

Xdyj | 418 comments Just read the 3rd book. (view spoiler)


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Xdyj wrote: "Just read the 3rd book. [spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


message 44: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue | 39 comments Read the spoilers. That's about what I figured.

Almost forgot that the wildlife biologist in me cringed at his world where the wildlife doesn't become active until noon, and stays active until well after dark. Animals are nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular. Noon - 10pm or so just doesn't happen.

I know it's a little detail, but it bugs me.

This is why I also sometimes have trouble watching movies. If a movie is supposed to be set in the sub-tropics but is clearly happening in a Northern Boreal Forest, I get mad. I remember one movie where the main character was harvesting corn while Spring Peepers were calling in the background. I think the movie industry needs me to be their "ecological consultant", so they don't mess up these easy details.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

im with you Sue....but the movie peeps dont care about getting it right, they care about keeping the bean-counters happy


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Sue wrote: "Animals are nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular. Noon - 10pm or so just doesn't happen...."

But, I know some people who live like that. :)

Of the many liberties with science & logic that ERB takes, that would not make the top of my list.

Sue wrote: "If a movie is supposed to be set in the sub-tropics but is clearly happening in a Northern Boreal Forest...."

Thanks to TV shows such as Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica, it's now well known that most other planets in the universe have temperate forests...


message 47: by E.D. (new)

E.D. Lynnellen (EDLynnellen) | 126 comments Sound in the vacuum of space. Every time a spacecraft "wooshes" by, every sphincter in my body puckers.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Star Wars got slamed for that back in the day E.D. but thats something i can let slide in a true Space Opera...a quote i once read about TRUE Space Opera..."the suns may not thunder, but by god, they SHOULD!!"


message 49: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue | 39 comments G33z3r wrote: Thanks to TV shows such as Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica, it's now well known that most other planets in the universe have temperate forests...


I hadn't thought about that, but it's so true.


message 50: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue | 39 comments E.D. wrote: "Sound in the vacuum of space. Every time a spacecraft "wooshes" by, every sphincter in my body puckers."

Yet another reason why I love the show Firefly. Space was silent.


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