John Carter of Mars

I believe I read every one of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novels and loved them as a child, but somehow I totally missed the John Carter of Mars series. I was not aware of them until the recent news of the upcoming movie, so I set about rectifying this. I have now completed the first book of the series, “A Princess of Mars” and must say it is an excellent book that holds up despite being a hundred years old. Now I can’t wait for the movie to come out and plan to read the rest of the series. Judging from the first book, I believe that Burroughs intended this to be a stand alone novel, but as is often the case, must have been prompted by its success to write more.

Interesting tidbits I learned:

  • Michael Crichton was a fan of the series. The John Carter character in his TV series, “ER” was in fact named after this John Carter.
  • A crater on Mars is named in Burroughs’ honor. No doubt due to these books.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler when he started writing.
  • Tarzan, Texas is named for his more famous character. Also Tarzana, California is named after Burroughs’ nearby ranch which he naturally named for the character.

I wonder if any towns will be named for John Carter now.

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