Thoughts on "John Carter - The Barsoom Series"
I decided to pull out a bit of a classic here and review a series that I fell in love with as a child, and then again as an adult. A series that, like so many others that read it, created in me a passion for science fiction and fantasy that I have carried with me to this day and had helped inspire my own desire to write and create fantastic worlds to thrill others.
First off, if you have seen the recent movie, "John Carter of Mars", forget almost everything you watched, except that it took place on Mars and had characters named John Carter, Thuvia, etc... The rest of this movie, in my opinion, was a waste of about two hours of my life.
For those of you that have never read this series, I have to say that it is, without a doubt, Edgar Rice Burroughs best work, and that is even considering that the Tarzan series, which was also great, but not what I would consider his best. His style of writing was ahead of his time and had the ability to draw you in and keep your interest.
One of the other things that makes his work great is the fact that he is writing for almost any audience. Once you get past the STYLE of the speech in the book, which tends to be along that of an older style and sometimes a little confusing to people who are not familiar with it, you are immersed in the story almost from the start. He placed the perfect about of "carrot" in all the right places to keep the reader moving forward and not allowing them to get too bored at any point.
As you read though these novels, which are not very long and when purchased as the collection shown here, are fitted together so that there is no chance you will get mixed up, you build a relationship with the characters. You start to feel as though you know them, or at the very least and either identify with or see yourself in them. This only serves to increase the pleasure in reading them.
I think that no library is complete without this series, or without at least SOME Edgar Rice Burroughs in the collection, but preferably this series. After you have completed it, and fallen in love with the style and author, then move on to the Tarzan series next and then to his other works... personally I was also fond of his westerns, but that is a review for another time
Here are some links to other ERB stories or collections you might like, I know I did.
The Movie... Why???
Hollywood seems to be set on destroying all the literary masterpieces with poorly designed movies based loosely on the content of the books. The movie John Carter of Mars would probably have been fine, if it were seen by someone that had never known that it was based on a book, and had not read it if they did.
Look at other books that have been butchered in the movie-making process. Hunt for Red October, Sum of all Fears, The Iliad, Almost all the stories by A. Dumas that were made into movies, and there are many others.
It's like Hollywood takes the book, says "OK, we will use this as a suggestion." Then writes a new story that is loosely based on it.
I do understand the reasoning behind it. There are some parts of books that might be lost on the masses, that will not provide the "Instant Gratification" that people are looking for these days. They do not want to bore people with the details, just get them to the juicy bits... the blood and guts, so to say.
John Carter of Mars attempted to, it appears, push all the books that were written about John's adventures on Mars into a single two-hour movie, and it was a disaster.
READ THE BOOKS AND FALL IN LOVE WITH MARS AGAIN!!!
Some other links that you might find interesting if you like Edgar Rice Burroughs.