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A princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A princess of Mars (original 1912; edition 1963)

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Series: Barsoom (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,594952,306 (3.63)1 / 225
Title:A princess of Mars
Authors:Edgar Rice Burroughs
Info:New York: Ballantine Books, 1963, c1939 159 p. ; 18 cm.
Collections:Challenge Books, Your library, 2012 Books Read

Work details

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1912)

  1. 30
    Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherwordly Stories by Leigh Brackett (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Brackett was inspired by Burroughs and often does him one better.
  2. 20
    In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S. M. Stirling (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: In the Courts of the Crimson Kings is an homage to Burrough's Barsoom books.
  3. 10
    The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Two early 20th century works of speculation on extraterrestrial life from two of the great unfettered imaginations of English-language literature.
  4. 10
    Almuric by Robert E. Howard (Michael.Rimmer)
  5. 00
    The swordsman of Mars by Otis Adelbert Kline (Sylak)
  6. 12
    Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock (artturnerjr)
  7. 12
    Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Anyone notice any similarities between the two?
  8. 01
    The dream-quest of unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft (artturnerjr)

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English (94)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
The science in this hundred year old science fiction novel by the author more famous as the creator of Tarzan is obviously ludicrous. However, his imagination in describing alien cultures and ways of thinking draws the reader in and makes this for the most part an engaging read, though the literal "with one bound (in low Martian gravity) he was free" and many fight scenes become a bit repetitive. The final scene where John Carter returns to Earth is strange and haunting. I am sure I read at least some of the many sequels. ( )
  john257hopper | Aug 21, 2015 |
I understand that a lot of people love this book, but to me the narrative is stodgy and the story too picaresque to be really involving. Also the Idea that one could astral project as it were from one planet to the next is just too silly to be acceptable. ( )
  EnsignRamsey | Aug 8, 2015 |
A Princess of Mars is a pulp fiction space western. Filled with colonial ideology, the tale follows John Carter, a military American who escapes being chased by Native Americans only to find himself mysteriously transported to Mars. As he learns about the various cultures on the planet and tries to fit in, his American ways of living often prove better and more successful than the traditional methods of Martians. First captured by the giant green men of Mars, Carter finds his great strength (due to being used to Earth’s gravity) and abilities gain him power and prestige. Later, he attempts to aid another captive of the green men, a red woman similar in size and number of limbs to Carter, and to return her to her home city.
The tale does have some fun and clever aspects (such as the description and personality of Woofa), but it is clearly a very old paperback, not focused on deeper-meanings or creating well-developed and explained societies. While the Martians live in an extreme environment, the detailed and sophisticated societies of Le Guin or Herbert are not to be found here. Overall, the book is a quick read, and it is fun to tag along with Carter through his adventures. ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
After fleeing from Apache Indians while prospecting near their territory following the Civil War, John Carter finds himself transported to the planet Mars where he quickly impresses the violent Green Men with his earthly muscles and mad fighting skillz. His captivity overlaps with that of Dejah Thoris, princess of the Red Men - her beauty... and poise in the face of imminent torture decide his immediate devotion. Many escapes from peril occur. Makes me want to read Tarzan. Probably not more of this series though. Love that all the creatures are violent (with varying degrees) since Mars is the god of war - that's just what happens there. ( )
  dandelionroots | Apr 21, 2015 |
Let's see what this is all about.


Well, I had no plans to see the movie, but now that I've read the book, I'm curious. This book seems to be the basis for many of the action movie tropes we've grown accustomed too.

The only way I can describe it is a marriage between Gulliver's Travels, Star Wars and Gladiator. It's easy to assume that Lucas lifted a lot of material from this story. The near misses and accolades, not to mention the prose is very much Gulliver's Travels. And as for Gladiator, well...that movie seems to be based entirely on this book. ( )
  fabooj | Feb 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burroughs, Edgar Riceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbett,BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ilmari, SeppoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nelson, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoonover, Frank EarleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my son Jack
First words

To the Reader of this Work:
In submitting Captain Carter's strange manuscript to you in book form, I believe that a few words relative to this remarkable personality will be of interest.
I am a very old man; how old I do not know.
"Was there ever such a man!"
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the French version of "A Princess of Mars," even though the literal English translation of the French edition's title might suggest otherwise.
Norman Bean is a pen name for ERB
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
This swashbuckling adventure on Mars isn't strictly a space opera, since protagonist John Carter doesn't use a spaceship to reach the red planet. But Burroughs' 1911 novel, the first in a long series about Barsoom (the natives' name for Mars), depicts aliens and other planets in ways that will be familiar to anyone who has seen Star Wars. It's one of the most influential interplanetary adventures in the genre. You can read io9 contributor John Marr's posts about the Barsoom novels here, if you'd like to learn more about the books.
A Duel to the Death

The Green warrior decided to close in and end the battle; just as he rushed me, a blinding light struck full in my eyes, so that I could not see Zad's approach and could only leap blindly to one side to avoid his mighty blade.
It caught me in the left shoulder; but as my vision cleared a sight met my astonished gaze that almost made me forget the fight Standing on her chariot with Sola and Sarkoja, my beloved Dejah Thoris turned on Sarkoja with the fury of a tigress and struck something that flashed in the sunlight from her upraised hand. Then I knew what had blinded me at the crucial moment, and how Sarkoja had found a way to kill me without herself deliver the final thrust!
Sarkoja, her face livid with baffled rage, whipped out her dagger and aimed a terrific blow at Dejah Thoris - and Zad was once more advancing on me with reddened blade, I felt the steel tear into my chest and all went black before me ...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345331389, Mass Market Paperback)

Although Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) is justifiably famous as the creator of Tarzan of the Apes, that uprooted Englishman was not his only popular hero. Burroughs's first sale (in 1912) was A Princess of Mars, opening the floodgates to one of the must successful--and prolific--literary careers in history. This is a wonderful scientific romance that perhaps can be best described as early science fiction melded with an epic dose of romantic adventure. A Princess of Mars is the first adventure of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who unexpectedly find himself transplanted to the planet Mars. Yet this red planet is far more than a dusty, barren place; it's a fantasy world populated with giant green barbarians, beautiful maidens in distress, and weird flora and monstrous fauna the likes of which could only exist in the author's boundless imagination. Sheer escapism of the tallest order, the Martian novels are perfect entertainment for those who find Tarzan's fantastic adventures aren't, well, fantastic enough. Although this novel can stand alone, there are a total of 11 volumes in this classic series of otherworldly, swashbuckling adventure. --Stanley Wiater

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:26 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Let the adventures begin, as Captain John Carter finds himself transported to the alien landscape of Mars--where the low gravity increases his speed and strength exponentially. Taken prisoner by Martian warriors, he impresses them with his remarkable fighting skills, and quickly rises to a high-ranking chieftain. But the heroic Carter's powers thrust him right in the middle of a deadly war raging across the planet--and a dangerous romance with a divine princess.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.63)
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1 13
1.5 4
2 44
2.5 12
3 176
3.5 52
4 218
4.5 21
5 110


13 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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The Library of America

An edition of this book was published by The Library of America.

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Tantor Media

3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100186, 1400109108, 1452606781

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An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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