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The Efficiency Expert Paperback – August 3, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463751761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463751760
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,366,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of the most iconic figures in American pop culture, Tarzan of the Apes, and it is impossible to overstate his influence on entire genres of popular literature in the decades after his enormously winning pulp novels stormed the public's imagination.

The Efficiency Expert, first published in 1921 and often overlooked by Burroughs' fans, is a cracking tale of young Jimmy Torrance, an upstanding college graduate in post-World War I Chicago who inadvertently rubs shoulders with mobsters and ends up framed for murder. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Burroughs characters are real and likable.
Dewzon
It took me a little while to get into this story, but then the pace picked up and it started to become interesting.
Heather Griffith
Still, I enjoyed it, in part because it was different from most of what I've read by him.
Amano Jaku

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Jimmy Torrence has spent four years in college as a star athlete, blissfully unaware that because of his low grades he is about to fail. This rather contemporary idea is actually how Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, began his 1921 romantic murder mystery, "The Efficiency Expert." Warned by the university president (who is known as "Whiskers"), Jimmy gets his act together and graduates. This story was originally published in "All-Story Weekly" and is one of the relatively few totally realistic stories that ERB wrote. Set in the big cities of New York and Chicago "The Efficiency Expert" is assumed, in part, to reflect ERB's early years when he bounced from job to job before making the writing thing work.
Anyhow, Jimmy's father is the president of Beatrice Corn Mills, but Jimmy goes off to Chicago to make it on his own. There he makes friends with the Lizard, a pickpocket who aspires to be a safe cracker, and changes a flat tire for Elizabeth Compton, daughter of Mason Compton, president of International Machine Company. She is engaged to Harold Bince, who will end up running the company one day, but he is not a good person. Meanwhile, Jimmy is having trouble finding a job and earning enough money to eat. You can tell where "The Efficiency Expert" is going in terms of the romance, because ERB always telegraphs such things, but in terms of road blocks there are labor union problems, a murder, a trial, and a prostitute with a heart of gold.
"The Efficiency Expert" shows that without the fantasy elements that made him so successful with novels about not only Tarzan but also Mars, Pellucidar, Venus, and such, that the stories are competently told but not much more than melodramas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Connick on February 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a great fan of Burroughs work, especially the Barsoom novels. As such, I was surprised to see such a mediocre review of The Efficiency Expert here on Amazon. Naturally, I picked up the book and read it cover to cover as soon as possible, and I must say that I disagree with the previous review.

While it isn't as upbeat and action-oriented as some of his other novels, it still retains the classic Burroughs feel. Jimmy Torrence contains all of the great Homeric characteristics that are at the core of all of Burroughs protagonists; physical strength, mental acuity, honesty, bravery, loyalty and a strong sense of moral responsibility.

Jimmy's exemplary nature is what allows him to befriend the likes of The Lizard and Little Eva, two unfortunate products of a harsh world. While not explicitly stated in the text, I feel that Jimmy's compulsion to deal squarely, even with criminals, engenders hope in the hearts of these companions.

Jimmy, like John Carter of Barsoom or the reformed Mucker, embodies all of the qualities of a modern role model. What keeps books like this on shelves are people who read them and are inspired by the unflappable righteousness of his characters. I'm not talking about religious righteousness. I mean the sense of duty or guilt for lack thereof that everyone feels when confronted with any given circumstance. Burrough's gift to us is a template for how we should comport ourselves. We should try to be dutiful and brave and honest, keeping in mind our own fallibility, lest we admonish ourselves too harshly for our failures.

Read the book and be more like Jimmy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chipster on March 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the premise is a man of low means over comes many hurtles to win the woman of his dreams. Compared to many of his other works , it is minor , but to the student it is well worth reading for the development of a great writer. Geese is there any writer today that shows so much development? Other than Patterson of course.ch
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on April 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book because other reviews spoke of this being a departure from the sci fi genre for Burroughs. Since I like mysteries as well as Burroughs, I saw it as a no lose deal. Boy was I right. This is a terrific read. This was well crafted and moved at a pace that made me not want to put it down .
I recommend it most highly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written in 1919 and first published in All-Story Weekly magazine in 1921, The Efficiency Expert is a rare non-science fiction book for Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. I read it on my kindle but if it were a paper book it is estimated to have been about 130 pages.

The Efficiency Expert features Jimmy Torrance, a talented young college student who is a great athlete and natural leaders and all around great guy to have at a party but does not take his studies seriously. When he is almost tossed out of college during his senior year for having no apparent hope of completing the curriculum in four years, Torrance buckles down and somehow passes.

Having turned over a new leaf, he turns down the opportunity to manage the family factory and decides that he will move to Chicago and make it on his own.

Jimmy's expectation that the world will come knocking at his door because he has a college degree is humorous and a reminder that times have always been tough for those trying to break into business. Jimmy's money quickly dries up and he is forced to accept a series of entry-level jobs that require no education at all. While at the bottom he meets a pick-pocket/safe-cracker and befriends a young prostitute (they have a platonic relationship) who help him climb his way into a factory management position, foil a white collar criminal and meet the love of his life.

While this is certainly not great literature, it was a very enjoyable read. Burroughs has the ability to take his reader into the darkest jungles, distant planets and into post-World War I Chicago with a clear, vivid style. Memorable, likable characters more than make up for a highly unlikely set of coincidences.
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