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A wonderful story let down by careless digitisation.
on 29 September 2011
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.