Edgar Rice Burroughs

Originally published April 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs Book Series

During Edgar Rice Burroughs’ lifetime, he wrote nearly seventy novels, most of them between the years of 1912 and 1940, the pace slowing at the commencement of World War II. His most well known series was Tarzan, a collection of more than twenty books. In addition, he created the character, John Carter of the Mars series, formally known as the Barsoom Series. His books on Pellucider, which started with At The Earths Core, were also a hit. John Carter of Mars (yes, that’s the real name) is the latest in a long line of Burroughs fiction to make it onto the big screen.


Edgar Rice Burroughs Fan

I plowed through the entire Tarzan series, all twenty some of them, when I was a teenager. I then read the Pellucider series and the Mars series. I went back and read the Tarzan series again and searched out other Burroughs books. The Outlaw of Torn became one of my favorites, receiving half a dozen re-reads. Later in my teen years, I went to a bookstore and had them look up Edgar Rice Burroughs books. According to the clerk, I had read them all. It was not true, but the information made me give up the search at sixteen.


John Carter Movie

It was a lot of fun to see the first John Carter movie ad on TV. I knew who he was before the title appeared at the end of the commercial. Of course, how many stories contain characters with green skin and four arms?


Long List of Burroughs Novels

I recently looked up Burroughs on Wikipedia and found the long list of his works. Some of them were unknown to me. It is a pity I did not search more thoroughly. In the Wikipedia article on Burroughs, it quotes him stating that though he had never written before, he felt he could easily match pulp fiction writers. He began writing in 1911 and became published by 1912.


Pulp Fiction

The entertainment value of Burroughs is unarguable. However, even as a teenager I could sense that his plots were written on the fly. In At The Earth’s Core, the love story with the woman named Dian the Beautiful of Amoz took twists and turns that hinted of a single write-through by Burroughs. That was the nature of pulp fiction. We should always forgive our early pop authors, of course. It is upon the foundations they created that we now write works we describe as “more polished.” We should be so lucky to have someone look back a hundred years from now and say, “That wasn’t quite right,” or say anything at all. I remain a dedicated fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and one can easily find his influence on my own fiction.


Edgar Rice Burroughs:

(1 September 1875 - 19 March 1950)

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