Thursday, September 12, 2013

John Carter

Last summer there was a box office bomb released entitled "John Carter". It was a movie based on books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I did not see it because it was so universally loathed until this summer. To my surprise I thought it was pretty good. It it not a classic but it was very entertaining and inventive. So I decided to check out the source material for the book and learned that there is a series books about the character and the planter Mars written buy the same man who created Tarzan. The books are freely available online because they are so old and the copyright expired. I read the first in the series quickly and really enjoyed it. I judged the book based on the fact that it was written so long ago. The author could not have simply ripped off other author's ideas - he had to use his own  imagination and to that end I thought the book was great. The simple touches like the characters ability to jump far and have great strength due to the change in gravitational pull from Earth to Mars was a great touch. The monsters in the book were not really monsters and the humans did not really act all the humane. I remain pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy these books and the "simple" story telling from this author. Sometimes I find the descriptions of the battle scenes a little sparse but I can add my own imagination to those sections and maybe that is what the author intended. I admit that I know little about Burroughs, but rest assured I will learn more soon. There are many books in this series, the Tarzan stories and so much more. The first book in the series is the source material for the movie. I suspect there was a plan to make more. Maybe one day they will. I think there are more great stories to tell. Maybe it was the wrong time. Maybe it would make a better TV show so there is more time to develop the stories and characters. Regardless, if you like a little science fiction, action and a dash of romance, this book and subsequent sequels are for you.

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