I so wanted this to be a better book than it is

So I’ve been trying to read Edgar Rice Burroughs A Prince of Mars for over a month now.

It…ah…it isn’t going at all well. So not well, in fact, that I actually put together a photograph of the book, the Spokesbear and my frowny-face of extreme displeasure as an illustrative aid, but that plan was thwarted by the fact that I’m house-sitting and brought the wrong thingamywatsits* to connect the camera to the computer. Hell, I suspect reading this book is actually making me a little crazy and there is some form of retaliatory planetary romance pastiche in my writing future**.

Were I a saner person this is the point where I’d cut my losses and give up on the book, acknowledging that Princess of Mars is so deeply ingrained in the cultural prejudices of it’s time with not enough cool stuff around the edges to ease me past the knee-jerk string of “for fuck’s sake” responses I get while reading. Sadly, I’m not that sane person. I keep reading regardless, determined to get to the end. I just take my time. I loathed every minutes of Gabriel Garcia Marqeuz’s 100 Years of Solitude and it took me four years to finish, but I did it. And it’s a pity, really, because Marquez’s short fiction is often extraordinary and it took me years to discover that due to the slow pacing of the novel.

I suspect it’s going to take me much longer to finish Princess of Mars. I also suspect I’ll go and re-read Michael Moorcock’s Mar’s tribute books too, since they’ll remind me of what I actually like about this section of the genre.

*technical term. Also, to compound matters, I followed up the previous mistake by spilling coffee on the camera.
** I suspect mine will involved masked wrestlers.

  1 comment for “I so wanted this to be a better book than it is

  1. 09/07/2010 at 5:20 AM

    "Warlord of Mars" and "Thuvia, Maid of Mars" are better stories but I suspect your reaction to them will be the same.

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