A Princess of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess of Mars Cover

A Princess of Mars


John Carter, a Virginia gentleman and former Confederate officer, inexplicably finds himself on Mars. He discovers two species of warlike people there, the green men and the red men. They live in city states and seem to be in a continuous state of war with one another and among themselves. Carter is captured by the green men, proves himself a fierce warrior and becomes a chieftain. They capture a beautiful woman, a princess of the red men, with whom Carter falls in love. With many adventures and great battles, and just-in-the-nick-of-time swashbuckling, Carter saves the day, helps red men and green men form an alliance, and defeat their enemies. He becomes a hero and marries the princess. The ending is a cliffhanger with Carter suddenly finding himself back on Earth.

The description of Carter learning the language and ways of his captors and gaining the confidence of the tribal chiefs is like something out of Gulliver's Travels. The writing is what one would expect in the age of Verne and Wells, but the science fiction is much less sciency. The story seems comic-bookish and surely was aimed at a young audience. Burroughs' ability to write dialog is atrocious.