[[ download books ]] The Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2) Author Edgar Rice Burroughs – Multi-channel.co

Ten years have passed since the events ofA Princess of MarsJohn Carter has finally found a way to return to Barsoom, and hopefully to his wife, Princess Dejah Thoris As with the previous novel the exact method of this transportation is completely ignored presumably because Burroughs couldn t think of a convincing way to achieve it Again, the style of narration is unusual there is an introduction from Carter s nephew that explains that the book is his presentation as a novel of Carter s memoirs which he found after his return to Barsoom A third person narrative, but one person removed To all intents and purposes though, the main body of the novel is third person and the one person removed facet doesn t distract at all.This novel delves into the Barsoomian religions, and how those religions are transposed over the planet s obvious racial tensions The green and the red Barsoomians who we were introduced to in the first novel believe in a physical afterlife in another region of the planet As they reach the end of their lives they take the pilgrimage to the Valley of Dor Nobody returns from this place, and the few who have are killed as blasphemers upon their return John Carter finds himself returned to Barsoom in the middle of this valley, and is immediately set upon by the two wild species that inhabit the valley As John Carter tries to escape the valley we start to discover that the Barsoomian religion is not quite what it appears Both white the Holy Therns and black the Black Pirates Barsoomian races are introduced to us secretive species who control the religions of the lower colours to ensure a slave class for each of their own races Of course, Carter reacts angrily to this injustice and determines to destroy the religious structures and ensure that the green and red Barsoomians are no longer subjugated by the higher races Interestingly, a fifth race of yellow Barsoomians is mentioned, but not introduced I guess that s something for the next book.The novel uses lots of the same plot devices as the previous one John Carter is always physically, intellectually and morally superior to the Barsoomians He is again struggling to be united with the princess Dejah Thoris The level of coincidence that operates of Barsoom is incredible the right people always just happen to appear at the right time when John Carter needs them, or to have just departed the day before John Carter arrives to meet them Again, John Carter repeatedly lets us know that he s not a ladies man, while multiple Barsoomian beauties repeatedly throw themselves at him We are repeatedly witness to John Carter s reckless pursuit of freedom and fair play for the slightly backward species of the Barsoomians He is, after all, destroying their religion for their own good there are elements which certainly seem to parallel western colonial history, as well as elements which attack religions which use their hierarchy to exploit those not in their inner circles And, finally, he will of course bring the Barsoomians another step closer to a civilised state and end up separated from his beloved Dejah Thoris in some way that will set up the cliff hanger for the next novel Phew.Ultimately though, The Gods of Mars is a riotously fun boys own adventure, told through pulp science fiction Burroughs continues to sit at the top of that pulp category however, as the writing and characterisation is certainly better than the simplistic and repetitious plot devices might suggest. Fun, a whole lot of heroic, cheesy fun That is the best way I can think of to describe the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs This is not great literature and there are some attitudes towards women and minorities that need to be overlooked as a sign of the times But there is also adventure and thrills on almost every page and John Carter is a larger than life good guy I didn t like this quite as much as the first one, in part because they are structured almost the same and so a bit of the newness has worn off I still really liked it and plan on reading of the series. Rolling ochre sea bottom of long dead seas, low surrounding hills, with here and there the grim and silent cities of the dead past great piles of mighty architecture tenanted only by age old memories of a once powerful race, and by the great white apes of Barsoom.If anything, Edgar Rice Burroughs is the founding father of the guilty pleasure No, these books aren t literary masterpieces No, these books are not politically correct But damn they re fun to read There was a brief and futile effort of defence Then silence as the huge, repulsive shapes covered the bodies of their victims and scores of sucking mouths fastened themselves to the flesh of their prey.Over the top Sword and Planet fare this is the stuff that pre teen dreams are made of Gods of Mars is fairly violent, even for this kind of thing, and there is a lot of cleaving and crushing filling the pages Robert E Howard and the other pulp writers no doubt drew a lot of inspiration from here What was that A faint shuffling sounded behind me, and as I cast a hasty glance over my shoulder my blood froze in my veins for the thing I saw there.The religious theme or theme of deception through the abuse of religious belief present here is interesting This kind of thing is commonplace in Science Fiction today, but it doesn t strike me as ERB s style Could be worth further investigation I put the thought of death out of my mind, and fell upon my antagonists with fury that those who escaped will remember to their dying day.Burroughs did seem to rehash some plot events every now and again There are things happening here that I could have sworn I d also read in one of the many Tarzan novels Typical example door slams shut behind protagonist, plunging him in darkness followed by maniacal laughter The feelings of Phaidor toward John Carter, and the circumstances under which they occur, also mirror the relationship between La of Opar and Tarzan To a tee Sparks flew as steel smote steel, and then there was the dull and sickening sound of a shoulder bone parting beneath the keen edge of my Martian sword.As campy and old school as this is, I struggle to find it in myself to entirely dislike it It is the product of an era, and it s only fair that it be treated as such Expect any number of coincidences that aid the good guys on their way But hey, nobody said this was high literature In the end, the baddies are all fodder and John Carter lives to fight another day, and another, and another No, this isn t a spoiler, unless you ve been asleep under a Martian stone Back and forth across the room we surged, until the floor was ankle deep in blood, and dead men lay so thickly there that half the time we stood upon their bodies as we fought.What fun Better judgment has no place in this review Four stars. the further adventures of John Carter on Barsoom John Carter returns to Mars after a mysterious 10 year absence he appears in the vale of the Plant Men and the White Apes you better run, John Carter, run uh oh, John you are running right into the clifftop lair of the dreaded White Men of Mars and then into the subterranean lair of the dreaded Black Men of Mars think fast and carry a big sword, John Carter John Carter wears an excited yet contemptuous expression while slaughtering his enemies he s a man s man he laughs at danger then runs right towards it and yet he has no problem shedding tears at the thought of women and children in danger awww the White Men of Mars are cannibalistic theocrats who eat the Red and Green Men they think they are better than everyone else and so they don t mind eating lower life forms jerks apparently their genetic heritage is so fucked that the men are all frail and can t even grow hair on their heads so they have to wear wigs ha, ha ugly, wimpy cannibalistic White Men John Carter spends some time with a princess of the White Men named Phaidor, but she turns out to be a bloodthirsty bitch the Black Men of Mars are cannibalistic theocrats who eat the White Men and kidnap White Women to turn into slaves they worship an old bat who calls herself the Goddess Issus i think she is spelling that incorrectly John Carter describes the Black Men as having features that are handsome in the extreme and says their bodies are divine he practically swoons while gazing at the tableau of a bunch of them hanging around in nothing much except beautiful jeweled harnesses he notes that it may seem odd for a Southerner to think that the Black Men s ebony skin adds to rather than detracts from their marvellous beauty um, awkward comment John Carter makes two new friends Thuvia the Red Maid, who loves him so much she wants to be his slave and Xodor the Black Pirate who is pure awesomeness and the best character John Carter has a 10 year old son his name is Cathoris that name sounds like some kind of illness to me yuck bad name Edgar Rice Burroughs got a little giddy while writing this one a little over the top it made me snicker a bit purple pulp prose goes POP POP POP but still, it was enjoyable Edgar Rice Burroughs must have really hated organized religion he makes a point of showing how the religion of the Red Men and the Green Men is an utter sham Phaidor describes her White religion and it is totally repulsive and offensive and moronic Xodor describes his Black religion and it is totally absurd and bizarre like out of some classic pulp scifi novel the depiction of the complex and layered and fascinatingly intertwined faiths of Barsoom was the best part of the novel for me Burroughs sure had an axe to grind and i loved watching him grind it grind, Edgar, grind This is only half of the 2d book in the Barsoom series Yes, I know the next one is called book 3, but he cliff hanger that this book leaves us on should be a shooting offense Before starting this book, make certain you have The Warlord of Mars Barsoom, 3 you carry it with you when you get close to the end of this book If not, you will almost certainly die of massive frustration It s another quick, fun read by one of the masters of the action pulp era You really should read A Princess of Mars first. Although I ve reviewed Burroughs series opener, A Princess of Mars, here on Goodreads, I ve never reviewed this sequel and the recent John Carter movie and resulting uptick of interest in the series suggested to me that I ought to IMO, it has many of the same strengths and weaknesses of the first book, so much of what I wrote in the earlier review would apply here too And the first book should definitely be read before this one you need the grasp of the characters and setting that comes from the first one to fully appreciate the sequel Also, one of my Goodreads friends suggests that book 3 of the series, The Warlord of Mars Barsoom, 3 , is virtually the second half of this book, and that you shouldn t read the one unless you can start the next one immediately Of course, I ve never read book 3 but from my general reading about the series in secondary sources before reading even this one, I already knew how the cliffhanger ending here is resolved But if you don t, the advice to have book 3 handy is well taken no spoilers here, but the cliffhanger is a MAJOR one Obviously, this volume begins with John Carter returning to Mars astral projection is utilized yet again Plenty of the author s trademark action adventure ensues One plot development here stretches the long arm of coincidence unbelievably drastically, even for Burroughs and there are again details to his world building that aren t particularly credible But his strong points are in evidence as well, and some of these are particularly notable for the period in which he wrote For one thing both here and elsewhere in his work Burroughs is not a sexist writer several of his female characters are strong, proactive personalities, and his Martian women can be fighters just as much as the males He s also not racist or at least not nearly as racist as many of his contemporaries, if at all Here, we encounter a couple of the Martian races, a white and a black one The white race is not a collectively noble and benign apex of virtuous civilization and the black race isn t depicted as inferior in its moral and intellectual attainments to any of the other Martian races Xodar, one of the black leaders, is definitely a strong sympathetic character The implications of this, in 1913, are fairly obvious, and to Burroughs credit.Burroughs explains the origins of the Martian races in Darwinian terms this isn t, in the context of his times, when belief in theistic evolution was common among both Christians and non Christians than it is now, necessarily to be regarded as an attack on Christianity Burroughs own attitude to origins was probably at least compatible with that of his geologist character in the Pellucidar series, Abner Perry, who s both a Darwinist and described as a devout Christian Some readers might read the basic theme of this book, however, as directly anti Christian since Carter discovers the pagan religion of Mars to be a sham, manipulated by a clerisy of charlatan priests and a bogus goddess for personal power and profit But that reading, IMO, would be equally misguided Burroughs message doesn t come across to me as being blanket anti religion or anti theistic propaganda in general, nor anti Christian in particular The Martian cult as he depicts it has no recognizable similarities to Christianity, unless one assumes that any and all religions are essentially similar and vile just because they re religions sort of a Mother Teresa, Aztec human sacrifice, whatever, same thing fallacy There s really nothing to suggest that this is an assumption Burroughs makes, however, much less argues for To the extent that he consciously intends to send a message for this world application, I think he s simply warning and validly so that religion CAN be used as a cloak for some people to enrich and empower themselves at other s expense, and that blind bowing to tradition and unsupported superstition aren t the smartest guides to spiritual truth Those are actually points the Biblical writers would have been comfortable with and sometimes make as well. The Gods of Mars is another exciting installment in the John Carter Barsoom series This one picks up from the cliffhanger that ended the first book of the series John Carter returns to Mars after being on Earth for 10 years Eager to be reunited with his Martian princess assuming she still lives and over hasn t moved on romantically , he unexpectedly finds himself transported to the Martian version of the Garden of Eden a place from which there is no return And there Carter immediately faces the proverbial trouble in paradise The action starts from the first chapter and the momentum builds chapter after chapter, never letting up.The ride is a lot of fun Some of the action sequences epitomize the pulp genre suspenseful, imaginative, and described with a flair for the dramatic my seething blade wove a net of death around me The same could be said for the book as a whole Just when things are looking up for our hero John Carter, there s a twist and all seems lost And just when all seems lost, by chance things begin to look up It s not unpredictable, but it s fast paced pulp ish fun.I really enjoy Burroughs s world building, with fleets of flying battleships floating above the alien Martian landscape under the glorious rays of the two moons we sped noiselessly across the dead sea, and, Below us lay a typical Martian landscape Rolling ochre sea bottom of long dead seas with here and there the grim and silent cities of the dead past great piles of mighty architecture tenanted only by age old memories of a once powerful race In a few sentences Burroughs can paint an alien vista that s a feast for the imagination Admittedly his prose is wordy, but then like other pulp authors he was being paid by the word.There may not be a lot of deep literary value here Burroughs himself admitted as much but the influence of the Barsoom series can t be disregarded This book series launched an entire subgenre of fantasy sci fi that s popularly called planetary romance or sword and planet , in which interplanetary romance, swashbuckling space based action lightsaber duels, anyone , and battles between sailing ships of the skies became a mainstay Barsoom inspired young readers like Bradbury, Clarke, and Heinlein, all to later become science fiction luminaries Barsoom even has the dubious distinction of being one of the first sci fi stories with its own alien language i.e., Klingonese nearly five and a half decades before Star Trek of the late 1960 s.And although the hallmarks of Barsoom like other pulp series may be action sequences and two dimensional characters, it doesn t lack for social commentary On Mars the races are divided into four classes red Martians, white Martians, black Martians, and green Martians The whites are the holy leaders that live in the Garden of Eden, the reds are the ordinary folk builders, scientists, craftsmen, soldiers , the greens are a four armed savage tribal race, and the blacks are the pirates of the skies that pride themselves upon their idleness and prey on the lower orders who live merely that the black pirates may enjoy long lives of luxury and whose leader is feared throughout Mars as a vindictive goddess Add to this bisexual, mindless, man eating plant men and the giant white apes and you have a panoply of colorful races via which Burroughs is able to draw his analogies concerning skin color and racism As an example, John Carter amasses a team of sidekicks of a variety of races, about whom he says, In that little party there was not one who would desert another yet we were of different countries, different colours, different races, different religions and one of us was of a different world Further, the savage green Martians turn out to have heart and soul than they are originally given credit for by the other Martian races These are some progressive ideas for 1913.Mars, as Burroughs defines it, is a dying world and its social fabric is shaped by the existence of very limited resources that rest in the hands of a very few This of course lends itself to further socio political commentary although this occurs overtly in the first book of the series, A Princess of Mars As one example, the green Martians have set up a communal society in which everyone owns an equal share in everything, and concerning this Burroughs expresses via the voice of his narrator doubts about the efficacy of a Marxist system.More than anything else, however, this entire novel is a parable about the dangers of corruption within organized religion Please do read the novel to see why, but here are a few quotes about the religion of Mars which obviously describe Burroughs s sentiments about religion in our own society Speaking of the black Martians the idle elite and white Martians aka, the Holy Therns , one of John Carter s Martian companions has the realization that, The whole fabric of our religion is based upon a superstitious belief in lies that have been foisted upon us for ages by those directly above us, to whose personal profit and aggrandizement it was to have us continue to believe as they wished us to believe In regards to the Martians in general, John Carter observes I knew how strong a hold a creed, however ridiculous it may be, may gain upon an otherwise intelligent people, and, it is very hard to accept a new religion for an old, no matter how alluring the promises of the new may be but to reject the old as a tissue of falsehoods without being offered anything in its stead as John Carter emplores the people of Mars to do is indeed a most difficult thing to ask of any people In summary, I enjoyed this book even than the first in the series for its pacing, world building, social commentary, and cliffhanger ending I m looking forward to reading the third in the John Carter trilogy.Finally, I should mention that this book, as well as those immediately preceding it and following it in the series, are available for free in electronic form on thanks to a team of volunteers that have transcribed it to ebook format for all of us to enjoy. This might be my favorite book in the series Now that Barsoom has been established, ERB can really go to town the creatures are scarier, the settings exotic, the villains villainous and we get the single biggest engagement between aerial navies in the entire series Again, coincidence plays rather of a role than it probably should, but the narrative moves so quickly and so forcefully that you hardly notice the creak of the rails. Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a fun book Taking up where A Princess of Mars left off, it is the story of John Carter s second visit to Barsoom and chronicles his encounter with an ancient religion that has deceived Martian culture Entertaining, imaginative and even a little allegorical it also displays Burroughs knack for weaving a cliffhanger, as every other chapter finds the characters in some trouble they cannot get out of Even the ending is designed to make the reader want to buy the next installment Pulp science fiction fantasy at its best. 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