John Carterostophe

When I got my iPad twenty months ago, one of the first books that I downloaded was A Princess of Mars; Edgar Rice Burroughs first book – predating Tarzan by a couple of years. It features John Carter, an Earthman who dies and wakes on Mars. It is the first of eleven books about Carter’s adventure on the Red Planet.

I had read several of these books as a child and welcomed the opportunity to read it again. An adult saw it with different eyes, especially in the portrayal of native Americans at the start; nonetheless it is an imaginative, fast-paced narrative. Its originality somewhat obscured by so many subsequent stories drawing from this source.

I was excited to see the trailers for John Carter last year. I saw the movie on its opening weekend and loved the way in which the imagined Mars had been recreated on screen. The additions to the book provided some explanation of how Carter gets to Mars and added a stronger narrative thread to hold the episodes of the book together. Thus, I felt that the film’s changes were positive.


The film looked so splendid largely because of the budget, a massive $250m. Unfortunately, for Disney the film was a critical flop that has been ignored by audiences. Maybe there are not many people who remember the books fondly and would go to see it irrespective of the critical reception. This week Disney announced a $200m write-off on the film. The setup for a sequel is not likely to see a follow through.

Published in: on 25 March, 2012 at 10:28  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. What a shame it wasn’t a success.

    Sounds like an interesting series of books! I think I will hunt these down for springtime reading.

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