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on 22 February 1999
The first Burroughs book I ever read, _A Princess of Mars_ still has the same power over me now that it did fifteen years ago. John Carter is the perfect hero, Dejah Thoris the perfect princess, and Tars Tarkas is the perfect loyal friend. Edgar Rice Burroughs rightly deserves the title of grandfather of modern science fiction. This is one truly magnificent, timeless adventure.
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John Carter, ex-captain in the confederate army is chased by Indians to a hidden cave. Finding himself paralysed by the narcotic plants growing in the cave, he by force of will breaks free of his body and is magically transported to Mars. There he finds danger and adventure amongst the 15 feet tall, warlike, six-armed race of Green Martians, and falls in love with Dejah Thoris a Princess of the much too human-like race of Red Martians.

This is one of the most influential science fiction stories of all time. Written almost 100 years ago it is still a great read and is an absolute classic piece of pulp science fiction. I have read my paperback copy of this story many times and had been looking for a good Kindle edition. This version has the potential to be great, but as it stands I can't recommend it.

The basic digitisation is fine - there are none of the bad scanning errors you often find with cheap copies of out of copyright books. Even the original artwork by Frank E. Schoonover is beautifully reproduced and looks stunning in colour on the PC and on my Android phone and not bad at all in black and white on my Kindle.

However there are several problems, some of which really are major errors.

First of all, the Foreword is counted as a chapter. In this book chapter numbering should not start until chapter 1 which comes after the Foreword. When we reach the real chapter 1 we find the first major problem. Chapters 1 and 2 are reversed in order, so the story opens with Chapter 2 which is then followed by Chapter 1.

The biggest problem though is that at the end of chapter 15 the text makes a jump from one scene at the end of the chapter to another at the beginning of chapter 16 that makes no sense. Checking against my paperback copy confirmed that there are about six pages of text missing.

Overall: - The story is of course worth 5 stars. It is a classic of pulp science fiction, but I am really disappointed in the presentation of this edition. The basic digitisation is 99% perfect and with the application of a final bit of care in the production, this version would have been worth 5 stars. However, with chapters out of order and pages missing, it really is unreadable in its present form, so I have no choice but to give it only1 star.

If I get notified that the publisher has fixed these rather careless errors I will come back to this review and update it. I really hope they do fix it, as this edition has a lot of potential.

Lastly - I really don't know what they mean by "Enhanced". I tried the book not only on my Kindle, but also on my PC and my Android phone, and there was nothing extra. All I can presume is that they mean it has the original full colour illustrations.
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on 16 June 1998
I can't even begin to count the number of times I have read Burrough's Mars series, and this is the greatest of them all. It has everything: swordfights, a love story, high adventure, ancient, advanced civilizations, and a naked princess who has no qualms about revealing her love for a man she hardly knows but loves with all her heart. No one other than Burroughs could have written a novel like this, and I'm glad no one else did. If you want to have a great read, I highly recommend this book.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs will always be remembered first and foremost for his creation of Tarzan, but it was the character of John Carter, who first appeared in "A Princess of Mars" who truly served as a template for other science fiction writers. From Lin Carter's "Green Star" series to John Norman's "Gor" novels there are tales of the man from Earth traveling to a strange new world and having wondrous adventures. John Carter was a gentleman of Virginia and Civil War veteran who finds himself looking down at his dying body in an Arizona cave. Opening his arms to the planet Mars, Carter is suddenly whisked to the Red Planet, where rival tribes battle while the planet's atmosphere continues to dissipate. Captured by a band of six-limbed giants, Carter soon earns their respect for his prowess as a warrior and forges a lasting friendship with Tars Tara's of the Tharks. But then the Tharks attack a fleet of airborne vessels and capture Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Helium, the greatest city on Barsoom (as the Martians call Mars). Of course, they get off on the wrong foot, since Carter knows nothing about the culture of the red humanoid race. But the lovely Princess of Mars has captured the Virginian's heart. Abandoning dreams of returning to Earth, he wants nothing better than to win her love. In the meanwhile, he has to protect her from the amorous attention of the depraved ruler of the Tharks, bring some semblance of civilization to the barbarian tribes, and stop all out war between the green men and red men from ending Barsoom's last chance for survival.
"A Princess of Mars" is the first of eleven novels in the Martian Series by Burroughs, most of which seemed to avoid the pitfalls of some of ERB's lesser Tarzan novels. If Dejah Thoris is not the most beautiful woman in the history of fantasy and science fiction, then she certainly has the all-time best name. John Carter is able to take advantage of the Red Planet's lesser gravity to do great feats of leaping about, but it is his innate intelligence and intense sense of personal honor that make him almost idealistically noble. When I first read every ERB novel I could get my hands on in Middle School, Tarzan was always Tarzan, but there was something about John Carter that somehow made him the greater hero in my eyes. Maybe it was the way he handled a sword or how he was always determined to make Barsoom a better place that made him seem Burrough's finest creation while Tarzan was finding lost civilizations in the interior of Africa. Certainly you will find ERB's most imaginative work, including the great game of Martian Chess, in this series. Do not stop at the first book, because while these novels are fast approaching being a century old, they hold up much better than the writings of Jules Verne or H. G. Wells. Not in terms of science, of course, but rather in terms of adventure fantasy.
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on 28 February 2012
A confession - I'm an ERB fan. I started with the Tarzan series and graduated to the Mars series. I first read Princess of Mars over 50 years ago as a young teen and fell in love with the incomparable Dejah Thoris - to me a merger of the best of Gina Lollobrigita's Queen of Sheba and Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. I love this series with it's amazing creatures and flying ships [see Star Wars Return of the Jedi for an idea of the martian flyers]. I lost my copy and bought this new one to remind me of the plot in readiness for Disney's John Carter blockbuster. This is fantasy adventure at its best and most original. Like the saturday morning serials at the cinema, this book ends on a knife edge - to be continued in the Gods of Mars. The film may combine parts of both books as some of the film's characters, notably the white Therns, do not appear until the second book.
As you race through this book you will think that you have seen similar things in Avatar and the Star Wars films but ERB, writing in the 1920s, was the daddy. He was even PC, as in "Gods" he explains how the first born, pure race are the Black men of Mars.
I went on to read all the follow on series of books. You will become involved in rooting for all the main characters - even Carter's Calot [ a martian bull terrier but 100 times bigger and uglier], who has undying love for his master. I hope the film lives up to the hype and becomes a successful franchise, which will encourage a new generation of readers to devour all the Martian books and then the Tarzan, Tanar of Pellucidar [inside the earth] and the Venus series as well. Enjoy these books!
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2012
"I have never told this story nor shall mortal man see this manuscript until I have passed over for eternity. I know that the average human mind will not believe what it can not grasp......"

Written in 1912 this book is well written for its time and has intrigued countless generations of readers. I get the feeling that this story is being told over a campfire.

Captain Carter is telling the story form memory as an old man of his adventures here on earth and on the planet of Barsoom (Mars). There are encounters with many strain creatures, situations, and yes even a "Princess of Mars."

This is a part is a series by the writer that brought us "Tarzan." The intro to the book alone will capture your imagination.

The Great Book of Tarzan
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Edgar Rice Burroughs will always be remembered first and foremost for his creation of Tarzan, but it was the character of John Carter, who first appeared in "A Princess of Mars" who truly served as a template for other science fiction writers. From Lin Carter's "Green Star" series to John Norman's "Gor" books there are tales of the man from Earth traveling to a strange new world and having wondrous adventures. John Carter was a gentleman of Virginia who finds himself looking at his dying body in an Arizona cave. Opening his arms to the planet Mars, Carter is suddenly whisked to the Red Planet, where rival tribes battle while the planet's atmosphere continues to dissipate. Captured by a band of six-limbed giants, Carter soon earns their respect for his prowess as a warrior and forges a lasting friendship with Tars Tara's of the Tharks. But then the Tharks attack a fleet of airborne vessels and capture Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Helium, the greatest city on Barsoom (as the Martians call Mars). Of course, they get off on the wrong foot, since Carter knows nothing about the culture of the red humanoid race. But the lovely Princess of Mars has captured the Virginian's heart. Abandoning dreams of returning to Earth, he wants nothing better than to win her love. In the meanwhile, he has to protect her from the amorous attention of the depraved ruler of the Tharks, bring some semblance of civilization to the barbarian tribes, and stop all out war between the green men and red men from ending Barsoom's last chance for survival.
"A Princess of Mars" is the first of eleven novels in Burroughs' Martian Series, which seemed to avoid the pitfalls of some of ERB's lesser Tarzan novels. If Dejah Thoris is not the most beautiful woman in the history of fantasy and science fiction, then she certainly has the all-time best name. John Carter is able to take advantage of the Red Planet's lesser gravity to do great feats of leaping about, but it is his innate intelligence and intense sense of personal honor that make him almost idealistically noble. When I first read every ERB novel I could get my hands on in Middle School, Tarzan was always Tarzan, but there was something about John Carter that somehow made him the greater hero in my eyes. Maybe it was the way he handled a sword or how he was always determined to make Barsoom a better place that made him seem Burrough's finest creation. Certainly you will find ERB's most imaginative work, including the great game of Martian Chess, in this series. Do not stop at the first book, because while these novels are fast approaching being a century old, they hold up much better than the writings of Jules Verne or H. G. Wells.
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VINE VOICEon 10 June 2007
"I have never told this story nor shall mortal man see this manuscript until I have passed over for eternity. I know that the average human mind will not believe what it can not grasp......"

Written in 1912 this book is well written for its time and has intrigued countless generations of readers.

Captain Carter is telling the story form memory as an old man of his adventures here on earth and on the planet of Barsoom (Mars). There are encounters with many strain creatures, situations, and yes even a "Princess of Mars."

This is a part is a series by the writer that brought us "Tarzan." The intro to the book alone will capture your imagination.
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on 22 September 2007
I read this book a long way back and it is to this day my favorite. The first three books of the ten part series are by far the best with the main characters of John Carter, Dejah Thoris and their martian friend, Tars Tarkas. Its very good adventure and story moves at a very quick pace. The way Burroughs has created the martian civilization is brilliant. One for Peter Jackson.
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on 8 March 2012
I read this and the other Carter books when I was young and loved them. The review I would have written has already been done (very well) by John Cousins; all I would add is this. These books obviously influenced the "Gor" series by John Norman, recently issued in a new edition after being, I believe, out of print for many years. Out of print, perhaps, because in terms of treatment of gender issues they make the Carter novels seem like "The Female Eunuch".

Of course the Carter books are not great literature. But if you like Conan Doyle, Wells or Verne you will like them.
I can't wait to see the film; it's possible my wife may even be willing to accompany me.
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