Despite the fact that the reviver did not like the film that much I like it.
Its not a film from the book exactly but made with the book as inspiration – or as its says in the film “A story base on the A Princess of Mars book”.
I have read the books some time ago (quite some time) and I had the expression that the film differs from the film a bit even if one can recognize most of the plot.
The film starts with Net (what John Carter calls Edgar Rice Burroughs in the film) travelling to get the the funeral of John Carter. He then gets from john’s attorney, Carter’s personal journal and the film flashes back to Arizona and John Carters adventures looking for gold after the civil war.
He finds a cave when trying to get away from the Apache Indians and a Thern appears and John kills it, He then manages to travel to Mars, more or less by mistake.
From there, most of the film takes place on Mars, and its only in the end, we returns to earth. I will not go further into the story, but I can say if you Like SF and grand adventures the film is nice and I really loved it. Even of the story differs from the book a bit. If some one don’t like the ending its clearly for the film was planned to be just the first of 3 films based on the Barsoom series of books.
According to wikipedia there are works in progress of continuing this with at least the second film, and I hope that will make it as I loved the film.
After seeing the film, I discovered that it was long time since i read the books, so I started to see where I could find the books. Audible has it in a number of versions bu the I discovered librivox.com. This site has the mission of spreading “open source” versions of public domain books, and there is a log of books the. You can find the first 5 books in the Barsoom series there.
A Princess of Mars
The fist book in the series that corresponds to the film.
This is the book where John Carter travles to Mars for the fist time. Get trapped by the nomadic tribe of Green Martians, or Tharks, and meest Tars Tarkas. He then meets Dejah Thoris (a red martian) and escapes from the green martians just to be captured by another tribe of green martians. Escapes again and travles to Zodanga, and get involved in the war and politics between Zodanga and Helium.
When he later wins the victory over Zodanga he wins Dejah Thoris’ hand, he becomes Prince of Helium. Totally missing from the movie is the end of the book where John Carter saves the hole planet by gaining entry to the Atmosphere Plant that sustains the planet’s waning air supply, just to faint and then get transported back to earth,.
Link to audio book part 1
Link to audio book part 2
The Gods of Mars
The second book in the serie. john Carter manage to travel back to Barsoom and this times hi materialize in the Valley Dor, which is the Barsoomian afterlife. This place is where all creatures on Barssom ends up after taking the pilgrim voyage on the secret river of Iss. After saving some people atacked by stange plant mens he finds out that the survivor is none other than Tars Tarkas.
He then tries to escape the clutches of the Therns, and rescue Thuvia, a slave girl. The are much helped by the confusion caused by an attack by the Black Pirates of Barsoom upon the Therns. John Carter captures a flier and rescue Phaidor, daughter of the “Holy Hekkador” (high priest) of the Therns, and the travels to Omean to try to free Tars Tarkas and Thuvia.
They escapes from Omean and travles back to Helium just to find that Dejah Thoris is kidnapped and probably brought before Issus in Omean. The then leatds and all out atack on Omean, to try to rescue Thuvia and Dejah Thoris. But find them imprisoned in the Temple of the Sun, of whose rooms each opens only once per year. Immediately before their room closes, Phaidor attempts to kill Dejah Thoris, and her success or failure are left unknown.
A textbook cliff hanging waiting for the next book.
Link to audio book
The Warlord of Mars
This is the continuation of the second book. We left Dejah Thris and Thuvia in the Temepl of the Sun where Phaidor tries to kill Dejah Thoris and we don’t know the outcome. John Carter now finds out that the First Born knows how to get around the 1 year waiting period for Hekkador Matai Shang for get to the girls, Matai Shang flees to the north and John Carter follows them.
he then, up in the north fins the Yellow Martians, supposedly extinct, that livess in secret domed cities at the poles. The reason no one has find them is a giant magnetic device which sends fliers off course, and allows the Yellow Martians to capture the occupants. He frees the girls as well as Tardos Mors and Mors Kajak that has been trapped by the giant magnet device when searching for Dejah Thoris erlier.
After defeating the armies of the yellow Martians and installing a new jeddak for the martians up in the north he is returning to helium and become the Warlord Of Mars.
Link to audio book
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
In this book the main person is not John Carter, but instead his son Carthoris, prince of Helium, and Thuvia, princess of Ptarth. Carthoris is in love with Thuvia, but Thuvia is promised to Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol. Thuvia is kidnapped by the Dusar, in a way that implicates Carthoris. When he is trying to find his love the flier is sabotaged and he find himself in the undiscovered south of Barsoom.
When he managed to rescue Thuvia, they travles to ancient Lothar, home of an ancient fair-skinned human race. Thy can create lifelike humans images from pure thought and get others to react to them.
As the kidnapping is done so that the blame falls on Carthoris, war is about to break out between the red nations of Barsoom, and in the end Carthoris manages to settle this down and in a true way get the princess.
Link to audio book
The Chessmen of Mars
In the fifth book in the series the new lead role is John Carters daughter Tara, princess of Helium, whose hand is sought by the gallant Gahan, Jed (prince) of Gathol. She is initial not that impressed by Gathan when if he loves her with all his hart. She get caught in a storm in here little one man flier and crashes in Bantoom, realm of the Kaldanes.
Kaldanes is a race of creatures where the main part is the Kaldanes. They are more or less a brain, with small spidery legs, and they have bred a symbiotic race of headless human-like creatures called Rykors, which they can attach themselves to, and then looks more or less like a normal martian men.
After Gathan finds Tara, and she done recognize him as he is not wearing hos fancy clothes, he identifies himself as a Panthan (warrior) called Turan. The manages to flee from Bantoom with one of the Kaldanes, Ghek, and manage to reach the isolated city of Manator. They then have to break free from the evil jeddak there to gain there freedom.
Link to audio book