Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Gods of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

To be honest, I expected this book to be bad and it was, but I also expected it to be bad in a good way, and it wasn't. That the strange and exotic creatures were wholly unrealistic, even pantomime in the caricature nature, didn't bother me, I expected that but taken along side the most ridiculous set of coincidences, the combination proved to be a disaster. Carter moves from cliff hanger to cliff hanger with all the abondon of a tired actor in a jaded circus side show. At no point did the story ever seen remotely interesting, credibility didn't even get out of bed, and Burroughs doesn't even try to push himself. He has a formula for literary glue and he sticks to it. I'll have to look up some reviews for future John Carter novels, maybe they got better as they progressed, but based on this appalling parody of self, I think I'll look further afield for more sci fi pulp. Dan Dare maybe, or Flash Gordon...?


Grimsby Mariner said...

Burroughs is one of a very few writers of SF & Fanasy of the thirties that I never got on with. I much prefer Clarke Ashton-Smith & Robert E Howard. Smith was very much in the Lovecraft vein who I also find a great read. None of them of course are great writers but they do tell a good story.

moif said...

I only know Robert E Howard's work from Conan, of which I've only read a couple, and I don't think he wrote them... though maybe he did write the first.

Clarke Ashton-Smith doesn't ring any bells at all. I shall have to look him up on Wikipedia!

moif said...

T'was L. Sprague de Camp's books I read, so it was.