Soldier and adventurer John Carter tells the story of how he returns to the planet Mars to be reunited with his love, the Martian princess Dejah Thoris. With his great friend Tars Tarkas, mighty Jeddak of Thark, Carter sets out in search of his princess. But Dejah Thoris has vanished. And Carter becomes trapped in the legendary Eden of Mars, from which none has ever escaped alive.
Public Domain (P)2012 Tantor
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Unbroken"
The John Carter trilogy (Princess of Mars, Gods of Mars, Warlord of Mars) was a high school favorite of mine, and these three books were among the first purchases I made after joining Audible. I chose the Gene Engene recording of "Gods" and my review of it is there. But that production was marred by technical problems, so when the recent movie tie-in came out with veteran narrator Scott Brick at the helm, I decided to get a "new, improved" version of this middle book.
Technically this is indeed a good productio. But Scott Brick's modern, somewhat deadpan delivery seems at odds with the over-the-top drama of the "this is my marvelous life" voice that Burroughs used for John Carter's first-person "memoir." Admittedly, capturing the colorful dramatics without sounding silly is a tough job for any narrator. Brick is a pro, and this is a professional if not inspired reading.
I still like Sondricker's narration of the first book, "Princess of Mars," the best. Engene's version of "Warlord" is fine, technical problems were fixed, but "Warlord" isn't as good as the first two books.
The reading by Scott Brick was well done and, as I mentioned in my last review, fit the pacing and tone of the story. No fake accents, no overacting and he changes his voice to suit the passage he is reading. The rest of my review will be concerning the content of the book which dampens my liking for this fine narration.
While not anti-religious, Edgar Rice Burroughs was worried about what he saw as religious fanaticism and the dangers that lay within such blind devotion to an institution. This is an interesting theme and the plot points that tie this story together are rather interesting, but I feel that much of the story was being used to bash this over the readers head.
Take the words "religious fanaticism" and write them thirty times in a page and then fill in the blanks with dialogue, that is what reading this book feels like at times. The concept of being careful about who or what someone is devoted to, and the way in which we as humans express our devotion is an engaging theme, but I find it annoying when an author tries to cram an allegory down my throat.
JRR Tolkien said that he has despised the allegory since he became old enough to detect it, and for my reading I tend to steer clear of any work that keeps repeating the message over and over throughout the text in bald repetition to make sure the message got through.
Still, there are still enough adventure and story points that make this an exciting story and worth the time to read it. I don't know that I would relisten to the whole thing again, perhaps just excerpts while reading on the kindle.
I'm a big fan of the entire series so, nothing about this particular book as it is a continuation of the story. I just wanted to keep reading to find out what happens next. Edgar Rice Burroughs was indeed a man ahead of his time.
Mr. Brick goes beyond mere narration, he makes it come alive. Great job Mr. Brick!
I was totally engrossed so as the story unfolds, drama rises and falls I experienced what the characters "experienced". Excited, angry, tense, frustrated, happy, relieved...
The second story in the world of John Carter. Having enjoyed the first and appreciating it for what it was and the time it was dreamed up by Edgar Rice Burroughs, I looked forward to seeing where the story continued, especially since the chances of seeing it continue in movie form looks pretty much impossible now.
Even more so than the first, this one is almost wall to wall action with few pauses along the way for our hero to catch his breath. John finds his way back to Mars after being stuck back on Earth for ten years, not knowing what the state of his adopted home had become. He immediately lands himself in trouble, but conveniently runs into and old friend to help him out.
This books introduces two new races of Barsoomians and we learn much about how they have been manipulating the other races and each other. Epic battles and fanstastic fights ensue as John introduces his Earth enhanced strength and skill to take on new enemies.
While, in many ways, if this book were written today, it would come across feeling derivative. Yet, that is because much of the sci-fi that came in the hundred years since finds itself inspired by these early books. While they do feel somewhat dated in ways, I don't feel like I'm reading something that predates most all other science fiction and fantasy. That is a strong credit to Mr. Burroughs great imagination.
Once again, Scott Brick's narration brings a gravitas to the story and does a great work of making the story more appealing. I hope Scott will be commissioned to finish the rest of the series. I've enjoyed his work on the Dune novels and his reading gives the John Carter stories the same epic weight.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
The second in the Barsoom Series (now under the more commercial epithet of "John Carter" and no doubt destined for a sequel movie), EGB's imaginative Martian chronicle is still entertaining nearly 100 years after it was first published in 1914. Sure, it has aged a bit, the language is not all that PC and the swashbuckler has a limited reading audience, but for me it still resonates of my childhood as I described it in the review of the first book.
More importantly, I felt like Scott Brick got more into the role in Book 2, although his narration skill is still his strong point. The introduction of new characters gave him more scope and the content suits his style, in my opinion.
Again, I have probably overrated the story and the overall effect for sentimental reasons, but given its length (just over 8 1/2 hours) and the fantasy release of the listen (especially when compared to Dostoevsky, which was my last two listens), I am sure to move onto Book 3 in due course.
I travel the country setting up at comic, toy, sci-fi, and horror conventions. Audiobooks help with the travels.
Good listen, however i don't know about saying it is in my top ten when i have heard thousands
Hmmm again John carter
Scott is a great narrator
It is good action not a romance so there wasn't much movement.
These books combine a fabulously imagined world with, frankly, often silly plot lines. They are so wonderfully entertaining! (And surprisingly addictive.) Scott Brick does a great job of reading them as well.My husband also really enjoys hearing from me about the latest exploits of John Carter and his 'mighty longsword'.
"A seamless carry on..."
As brilliant as the first. The story remains fast paced yet believable, with wonderful characters.
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