Friday, January 25, 2013

Reflections: A Princess of Mars

Adam C. Zern opines on Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars:

"I have very mixed feelings toward A Princess of Mars.  I was one of the few who went to see the film adaptation of Burroughs's stories, John Carter, when it was released in theaters last year.  I liked the movie enough in order to be interested in the mythology and characters presented.  I'm still trying to work out exactly how I feel about the book.

The science fiction is entertaining, sometimes a little odd.  I'm more than willing to accept a few odd elements if a story is good and characters are compelling.  But A Princess of Mars is very inconsistent in that regard.  At times the story moves too slow, getting bogged down in superfluous details.  Other times the story moves far too quickly, leaving out details that would have made good sense to have included.  The characters are affecting as well as dull.  It's a strange combination.  I will say, however, in the end I did accept John Carter as a true hero in the classic sense of the word, and I felt saddened that his world of peace and happiness was taken from him at the end of the book.

The big question now is whether or not I will continue to the series.  Maybe.  I don't have any overriding impulse at the moment, but I can see myself gravitating back to it after a long hiatus away from it.  At that point perhaps my feelings toward the first book in the series will be more definite."

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