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on February 10, 2012
This volume neatly collects the first three novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs' legendary "Barsoom" or "John Carter of Mars" series, A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and Warlord of Mars.

When I picked up these books, I was somewhat familiar with their historical significance, and the role they've played in inspiring science fiction works that have come in the years following the publication of John Carter's first adventure on the Red Planet. However, I knew little of the series, and didn't know what to expect. Would it read similarly to E.E. Smith's Lensmen series? Or would its narrative be similar to that of the works of H.G. Wells?

I am happy to say that the past hundred years have done nothing to stunt that glory of these tales. One need only an open mind and a vivid imagination to join John Carter of Virginia as he finds himself transported to a strange and alien world. With a willing suspension of disbelief, the reader finds him or herself strolling the alien soil of this neighboring planet alongside such larger than life characters as Tars Tarkas, Sola, Dejah Thoris, faithful calot Woola, and John Carter himself.

The style is engaging, and I found it difficult to tear myself away from these compelling tales of strange and distant worlds for any reason.
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This classic tale of high adventure from Edgar Rice Burroughs was one of the books I cut my reading teeth on at a very early age and have read it several times over the past 55 or so years. Of the pulp fantasy writers of the time, Burroughs, in my opinion was one of the best. His writing introduced many concepts, techniques and plotting which are still used to this day.

I must admit that I was quite leery of this particular work as it has been edited somewhat to make it more palatable to the young reader of today. The original was written in an almost Post Victorian style and to be honest, was difficult at times for young readers to connect with. I am normally very opposed to such changes, but it this case it actually works. Anything that can be done to introduce the younger generation to some fine story telling is worth the effort I suppose. Now this is not my cup of tea by any means as I absolutely delight in the original prose and feel it is one of the strengths of the story. The convoluted sentence structure is wonderful, but there again, unless you were raised with it, I can see where it would be a turn-off for many.

This of course is the story of John Carter's return to Mars in search of "the incomparable" Dejah Thoris and hopefully save her again from "a fate worse than death." John Carter who is the "greatest swordsman on two planets" lands in the wrong place. He ends up in Mars Heaven, so to speak, which is far from that he soon learns. And the adventure begins.

He is reunited with his friend the mighty Jeddak of Thark, the great green, four armed warrior and of course a plethora of bad guys and good guys. The action never stops and the sword play is never ending. Strange creatures abound and of course our hero overcomes all odds.

This is wonderful, action packed fantasy at its best. And does John Carter, greatest swordsman of two planets find and save the love of his life? Well, no spoilers here, so you have to read it for yourself.

All in all, despite the subtle changes, I have to give this one five stars. It is a great way to open up a whole new reading world to a new generation of readers.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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on February 17, 2012
Let me start by saying I adore the John Carter of Mars books; I've read them many, many times over the years and I was really looking forward to being able to have the entire series on my Kindle. But I cannot in good conscience recommend this edition because the books included are incomplete -- when the edition was assembled, Disney appears to have dropped the forewords written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. These forewords are actually integral to the stories -- they tell how ERB received the manuscripts, whether from his uncle John Carter or from Jason Gridley (who was also in communication with Pellucidar -- most of Burroughs' series are very loosely set in the same world) and not including them means a loss of flavor and in some cases an abrupt and confusing beginning to the book as it appears in this edition.

I highly recommend the John Carter books; I just recommend that you get them in an edition that preserves their original state.
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on December 23, 2009
Yeah, there are more titles in the whole series, but the first three make a full novel with the story of John Carter's arrival, his almost "super-human" abilities to jump and fight, and his undying love love for the incomparable Dejah Thoris. You have seen it all before, but the power of Burrough's vision and the details of the world of Barsoom show how good ERB could write when the spirit moved him. These three books are far superior to the others of the series and, let's face it, you can't beat the cost at about a buck. I hate to sound like a brown-noser, but Amazon has a winner with its prices and the Kindle.
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on August 13, 2013
I read the first book in the “Barsoom” series as a story in the “Steam Punk Megapack” collection. It is pure action/adventure and I really enjoyed it! I then went to Wikipedia and discovered there are eleven books total in the series. The last book is really two separate stories. These books are all fun and easy to read.

I discovered that many of the individual titles in the series are free at Amazon for the Kindle, particularly the first five. Then the stories seem to come in collections for a price. I suggest avoiding the collections based on the negative reviews that I read. I was able to acquire all of the books eventually as single Kindle books.

Two books, numbers 8 and 10 (I believe), I was able to get by googling the titles. They were in Kindle format and free! Check out I did not know before this that the Kindle format is available outside of the Amazon Web Site. I could not get these two books through Amazon.

Book eleven is available at Amazon Kindle but the Title is listed as: “John Carter on Mars.” In Wikipedia it is listed as: “John Carter of Mars.” I believe the two stories: “John Carter and the Giant of Mars” & “Skeleton Men of Jupiter” can be acquired for free as separate titles at if you prefer “free”.
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While digging through my large collection of books, I came across this one, along with the entire John Carter Series. I hate to admit to the fact that I first read these books over 45 years ago. I sat down and read them again. I was as delighted this time as I was when I was fifteen. This is fiction from an era we will not see again. This is the stuff little boys dream of! Read it, savor it and enjoy it! I cannot recommend this one high enough.
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on September 1, 2011
The John Carter of Mars books remain my favorite science fiction/fantasy series of all time. Almost 100 years after its original publication, it is still represents the best qualities of its genre: action, adventure, romance, futuristic vision, indellible characters, and suspense. All contemporary works fail in comparison. If you're looking for something truly original, and not the copycat publications that were inspired by it, this is well worth your time.
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In "The Gods of Mars", the second of the John Carter of Mars books, we find Carter returned to Mars, and in the worst possible place ... the valley to which the dead go from which they may never return.

Here we find the race of Barsoom's priests, and the original black skinned race now known as pirates, who take slaves for themselves and for their cruel goddess, Issus. In a roller coaster ride of action and frustrating near misses, Carter learns more about the fascinating planet as he hastens to save friends and loved ones. In the process Edgar Rice Burroughs gives you yet another example of world building on a grand scale.

Almost one hundred years after this book was written, I could hardly put it down, reading it in only three sessions. As flawed as Burrough's plotting is in some respects, he overcomes those failings with a rare sense for drama and the potential of grand conflict for majesty. His battle descriptions never feel repetitive, and you always get a sense of the toil and the toll it takes.
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on September 6, 2012
After reading this book i realized 2 things. First; its a small wonder why this mans work has survived and remained relevent for close to and over 100 years. This book is how you do things right! Second; its a small wonder why the movie failed so hard, had they followed the book instead of cutting a bloody path through the first 3 booksto make the John Carter movie Disney would have a new(ish) franchise that could have surpassed the likes of Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean in how loved it could have been. I saw the movie first and liked it so much that its what made me wanna read the book (i guess the movie did its job in that respect) so it was nice having a primmer of sorts and hearing how the names are supossed to be pronounced but looking back on the movie its just so very disappinting.

Hope this helps you all! Happy reading!
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My brother recommended this when we were in high school. I tried "Tarzan" and didn't like it so I didn't try the Martian tales. However, when I saw it at a bookstore on vacation on the cheap table, I snapped it up. I spent the whole vacation reading the trilogy.

There are many weaknesses to the book. Plot holes abound. The book is a feminist nightmare. Maidens need to be rescued at every turn. Almost every female falls in love with John Carter. John Carter, due to his birth on earth, the lesser Martian gravity, and the thin Martian atmosphere, can outjump and outfight any two Martians. He is full of himself to almost ego mania. He is very clever at times and incredibly stupid at times. There is nothing more he likes than a good fight.

Needless to say, I loved the book. Carter is extremely loyal. He always fights for the underdog no matter what the odds. He values his love for his Martian princess more than life itself. Even when exotic, beautiful and powerful Martian females try to seduce him, John Carter does not give them a second thought. He values friendship above his own life. If someone even shows John Carter a hint of bravery or compassion, John Carter is that person's friend for life. He also engenders loyalty from others. It is hard not to like a guy like that, even with all his faults.

I liked other aspects of the book. Martian society is interesting. Stealing and lying are almost non-existent on Mars. However, murder and torture are common. John Carter almost instinctively understands how the society works and works it to his advantage. The scenes on Mars are exotic and well described. Burroughs also does a great job with action scenes. The book has a ton of humor. Burroughs seems to tease the reader along at times. Burrough is obviously having fun and pokes fun at John Carter. I was laughing out loud throughout the three tales. Coincidences abound in the book. Even John Carter notices providence seems to be looking out for him. The cavalry always comes at the right time or a loose strap on his equipment catches an outcropping and saves him from falling to a certain death.

In summary, the book is great fun. It took me back to my childhood. Indiana Jones has nothing on John Carter of Virginia.
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