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The Man Who Loved Mars Paperback – December 1, 1973
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It is a fast read and not designed to delve too deeply into the background and motivation of the characters other than the main one, but that suits this book as it is not intended to be a character driven story: more a plot driven story with much emphasis on the main character.
An ancient civilization on Mars conflicts with the civilization of Earth and a man tries to regain his own identity amidst the struggle. I do not want to spoil it too much for you, but if you have read and enjoyed the "Martian Chronicles" or any other Martian book regarding ancient civilizations on the Red Planet, this book will also fit your fancy. Get it, you will be happy.
While Leigh Brackett may have provided the basic model of his Mars, Lin Carter did something exciting & moving with it. Combining the wish-fulfilling adventure of the best of the pulps, a streak of elegaic poetry, and a clear, direct depiction of a dying culture struggling to resist the rapacious colonialism of a greedy Earth, he created a fine story that lingers after the last page. And while the science has been superseded by real-life discoveries, that hardly matters; the color & haunting, dreamlike longing for something precious but fading is what counts. A worthy addition to the small shelf of autumnal Martian fiction!
Lin Carter's _The Man Who Loved Mars_ (1973) is the first of a series of novels in this tradition. Carter is not a poet of the same caliber as Brackett, Bradbury, or Zelazny. But he does passably well:
They were ranged along the cliff edge, where a long catilene sloped down into the Rill. They had gathered swiftly, picking their way daintily on silent feet. And those who sat astride the great red _slidars_ were silent too. Tall, grim-faced men, with bleak, cold eyes and russet fur instead of hair.
They had swords, long, whip-bladed rapiers, but they hung scabbarded at their sides. In their hands were long slender hollow black tubes. I knew these tubes of old, and a cold wind went up and down my spine. (63)
Ivo Tenegren is the disgraced leader of a failed Martian revolution of years ago. He is sipping drinks at a cafe in Venice (a city very much unlike Mars). Here, he is approached by a courtly archeologist, his beautiful but cool granddaughter, and a thuggish Russian pilot. They make him an offer he cannot refuse: a free ticket to Mars if he is willing to guide them to the lost city of Ilionis.
There follow adventures down Martian canyons, across the River of Death, through the Hall of the Moons, down the Avenue of the Monoliths, and finally in the Treasure City itself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, this is Lin Carter after all. For those who don't know him, Carter was one of the finest editors in genre fiction, justly famous for his work on the "Ballantine Adult... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robert L. Piepenbrink
Fun, fast 5 read with gobs of adventure and mystery. Shallow, only in the sense that readers expect much longer and more complex themes today. Read morePublished on July 28, 2014 by Harry A Pierce