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The Gods of Mars

The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
By: (1875-1950)

The Gods of Mars is a 1918 Edgar Rice Burroughs science fiction novel, the second of his famous Barsoom series. It can be said that the novel set the tone for much science fiction to come. Its influence can clearly be seen in franchises such as Star Trek and Farscape. While Burroughs no doubt borrowed liberally from the pulp fiction of his day, particularly westerns and swashbuckling tales, the pacing and themes set the tone for the soft science fiction genre.

The protagonist, John Carter, with his proficiency in hand-to-hand combat and flirtations with beautiful alien women, could be said to have set the mold for later influential icons like Captain James T. Kirk and James Bond.

At the end of the first book, A Princess of Mars, John Carter is unwillingly transported back to Earth. The Gods of Mars begins with his arrival back on Barsoom (Mars) after a ten year hiatus, separated from his wife Dejah Thoris, his unborn child, and the Red Martian people of the nation of Helium, whom he has adopted as his own. Unfortunately, John Carter materializes in the one place on Barsoom from which nobody is allowed to depart: the Valley Dor, which is the Barsoomian heaven.

First Page:

[Frontispiece: The cold hollow eye of a revolver sought the center of my forehead.]

THE GODS OF MARS

Edgar Rice Burroughs

FOREWORD

Twelve years had passed since I had laid the body of my great uncle, Captain John Carter, of Virginia, away from the sight of men in that strange mausoleum in the old cemetery at Richmond.

Often had I pondered on the odd instructions he had left me governing the construction of his mighty tomb, and especially those parts which directed that he be laid in an OPEN casket and that the ponderous mechanism which controlled the bolts of the vault's huge door be accessible ONLY FROM THE INSIDE.

Twelve years had passed since I had read the remarkable manuscript of this remarkable man; this man who remembered no childhood and who could not even offer a vague guess as to his age; who was always young and yet who had dandled my grandfather's great grandfather upon his knee; this man who had spent ten years upon the planet Mars; who had fought for the green men of Barsoom and fought against them; who had fought for and against the red men and who had won the ever beautiful Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, for his wife, and for nearly ten years had been a prince of the house of Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 9 reviews)

Reviewer: - November 18, 2013
I read some of the reviews about the reader below. Give the guy a break. He volunteered his time to read this book and this is the thanks he gets? I found that he did a pretty good job. The first few chapters were a little shaky but he did great after that. The story is good but not as good as the first story. I wanted to continue with the series and it was worth listening to. Thanks so much.
Reviewer: - November 7, 2013
I hate cliffhangers so I had to move onto this book, but was disappointed that it ended in another cliffhanger. I can't say I wasn't riveted to the story though. If you're like me though, don't start unless you plan on moving on to the next in the series (Warlords of Mars). That is where you will reach an ending without a cliffhanger. As far as the reading, compared to how I can do, he was great. Not nearly as bad as how some made JD out to be. Don't let the comments below discourage you from continuing.
Reviewer: - May 3, 2013
The reader seems to mispronounce quite a bit. Comical at times. The book itself isn't all that great. Not as fun as the first one. I've listened though the first three and gave up there. No interest in continuing.
April 20, 2013
The reader fails in comparison to "A Princess of Mars" reader. The book was great and full of action. The story would be great for a film. But please don't invite the guy who is reading this book.
Reviewer: - May 16, 2009
Subject: Great story; Great reader.
Kaor! I feel the love. A few mispronounced words but enough passion to more than make up for it. I love these stories and appreciate the read. Well done, i'm ready for the next one. JD obviously a hopeless romantic. Oh yes, it shows.
Reviewer: - December 12, 2008
Subject: More adventure, less scifi
As a sequel to "a princess of Mars", this story seems quite different. Rather than focusing on the scifi aspects, this story is more of a classic adventure, that happens to be set on Mars. To me, it didn't work quite as well as the first story, but it is still a good work. The reading is fine, although improving with the chapters, as someone else mentioned. Don't give up on the first chapter, both story and reading improves!
Reviewer: - November 10, 2008
Subject: after a low start, it goes up to professional story telling.
I must say I was quite disappointed at first: the reader starts with an uncertain reading pace, often stumbling and pausing when it's not opportune. Of course that happens, but none of those initial mistakes had been edited out for the final listener. Anyway, with my great surprise and delight, after the first 6−7 chapters the precarious reading style becomes steady and very well paced, all the stumbles gone or otherwise edited out. Then after some more reading it improves further, introducing all those features which are only common to professional and seasoned readers such as: character voices, circumstantial pacing and voicing(tuning the pace and the voice to suit a sudden gush of action in the story for example), and a great passion which binds and enraptures the reader to the story. That's awesome! Well done JD. As for the story itself it's far better than the first chapter of the series(a princess of mars). Definitely a must listen for those who started this series: four stars.
Reviewer: - November 16, 2007
Subject: Excellent Job
C´mon Thomas:You must be kidding!! JD made an excellent job, an incredible display of patience and goodwill for all of us to enjoy but you *have* to "find" a "problem"? Don´t be ridiculous !! Why don´t *you* read and post 10 hours (or more) worth of literature for us to enjoy? Thanks JD, keep up with the good work.
Reviewer: - August 1, 2007
Subject: Drivin' Crazy!
O.K. The first thing I want to say is that the reader does a good job overall, he seems to have an understanding for the language and rythym of the work. However, I may be a stickler for the English language but this person does not know how to pronounce the word escape and he is driving me crazy! The word escape is pronounced as it is spelled E−S−C−A−P−E, not E−X−C−A−P−E...putting the x in the word not only sounds ghetto, it also slows down the overall meter. And to top it off it is used like 50 times in the first 5 chapters! Not cool JD.


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