Jones is irritatingly flip to everybody, as slow on the uptake as a block of wood, and fickle and tepid in the romance field --this is anything but a tale of great love, though Arnold tries at times to present it as one. I would surmise that he was single. Of course, this is soft SF squishy soft --the protagonist arrives on Mars by means of a magic flying carpet! Martian telepathy is a deus ex machina used only once to impart the language to Gully a device that, as it's handled here, has its own major credibility problems. I might also mention that Arnold makes an embarrassing chronological boo-boo, confuses tides and currents, creates geographical absurdities with his River of Death it can't start on one continent, cross an ocean, and end on another!
Two stars is being generous. Dec 27, Derek rated it liked it Shelves: sword-and-planet. I find myself liking it piecemeal; interesting ingredients are present, but something about their assembly and presentation doesn't work. I can't tell if Arnold is doing this deliberately--reflecting Gulliver Jones's essential obtuseness and failings as a hero--or if Arnold hadn't the craft to make use of it properly. Consider the ideas that are intimated, but never carried through: the ancient Martian civilization that had traveled to, or possibly from , the Egypt of the pharaohs; Jones's languag I find myself liking it piecemeal; interesting ingredients are present, but something about their assembly and presentation doesn't work.
Consider the ideas that are intimated, but never carried through: the ancient Martian civilization that had traveled to, or possibly from , the Egypt of the pharaohs; Jones's language education by psychic impression; the deflection of weaponry by telekinetic force useful for repelling an invasion of iron-age barbarians ; a prince aware of how far his people have fallen, from world-dominating greatness into decadent, dissipated lassitude, but unable to do anything about it; the grimness of the embers of a civilization being crushed forever by barbarian conquest, and the essential hopelessness of that battle; an Earth soldier becoming the premier warrior by virtue of not being a wimpy milquetoast; and this weirdly ineffectual hero figure unaware of his incompetence.
Gulliver Jones himself is especially problematic. As a protagonist he fails to be the John Carter-style superhero that Burroughs devised for his version of the setting, and Arnold fails to convey the level of irony necessary between word and deed to establish Jones as a lovable-or-otherwise rogue and ne'er-do-well. What's left is someone not particularly likeable--his half-heartedly humorous running commentary is a detriment, as is his inconstancy to his Earthly love--and whose competence leaves much to be desired: he twice fails to rescue Princess Heru from her abductors, is a mere bystander to a grand battle of monsters, fails at every navigational task set to him him a NAVAL OFFICER, no less , and view spoiler [effectively antagonizes the Thither-folk into enacting vengeance and final slaughter upon the people of Seth.
And then he essentially runs away from the havoc he provoked. In all, everyone would have been just as well off, if not better, without him, making him extraneous to his own story. And then, in terms of construction, it's never clear until about page 75 where the story is going. It doesn't even establish itself as "an adventure" until about page Out of pages. It's helped along near the end view spoiler [by planetary cataclysm authorial fiat hide spoiler ] but sputters along until then.
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I was ready to render judgement on the above until I slept on it and realized the ideas that Arnold did capture: the civilization gone weak and dissipated, unable to maintain their own cities and living in decayed splendor; their indian summer existence at the end of their history and gentle post-economic existence; its retreat and collapse in the face of the foreign Thither-folk; the Thither-folk perception of these people as fey creatures; the ghostly abandoned cities now feared and avoided, and the dangerous stuff within; the River of the Dead, leading to a vast Martian ice-tomb of frozen corpses and tomb-riches; the intimations of glorious alien flora.
As it stews in my head, I find myself liking the pieces more and more, as well as the book as an implementation of what could have been. View all 11 comments. I have a much older Ace edition. Some folks say that this is the book that inspired Burroughs' John Carter series. It came first, certainly, and there are some similarities, but they are relatively minor. I give it a three for being a very early and imaginative book, but the story itself probably deserves 2 stars.
Feb 18, Leothefox rated it it was amazing. This is another entry in a long quest to read through the origins of my favorite waves of pulp science-fantasy. I imagine I came to this book for the reason most other folks did: to see what if anything inspired Burroughs' immortal Barsoom books. Richard A. This is indeed a different beast, appealing more to an earlier, more naive school of fantasy.
This tale is not driven by violence, by dire circumstances, or even really by romance, although each element makes a guest spot. Throughout we find elements that Burroughs borrowed for Barsoom: different sentient races, ruined cities, a river of the dead, and magical planetary transit.
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The difference between Arnold and Burroughs is the difference between the 19th and 20th centuries, despite the publication gap of only 8 years. Arnold's tone recalls Lewis Carol or Frank Baum, a dream world of only occasional peril. Burroughs signals what followed, sustained tension, romantically fueled escapes, violence, loss, etc. I read both this and ERB's series because long ago I read about them as the chain of inspiration that helped to spawn Flash Gordon my favorite comic of the 30s or ever, don't judge me.
For my part I don't regret finally completing the chain.
Gulliver of Mars (Annotated) eBook: Edwin Arnold, Ron Miller: jyhoxafi.cf: Kindle Store
Written in Gullivar of Mars predates Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars by some 7 years and in many respects it is remarkably similar - our human hero here a navel man gets mysteriously transported to Mars and falls in love with a Martian princess. She gets abducted and he has to rescue her having many adventures along the way. But despite the similar premise they are very different and Gullivar does come out wanting - largely I think because it is such a mishmash of what has gone b Written in Gullivar of Mars predates Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars by some 7 years and in many respects it is remarkably similar - our human hero here a navel man gets mysteriously transported to Mars and falls in love with a Martian princess.
But despite the similar premise they are very different and Gullivar does come out wanting - largely I think because it is such a mishmash of what has gone before - Gullivar shares as much with Burroughs as with H. G Wells - the Hither and Thither people resemble the Eloi and the Morlocks of the Time Machine and there are shades of OZ here with the adventures as well as fairytale and quest narratives and gothic fiction - his adventures with the frozen dead and the ghostly city of Queen Yang - surrounded by the corpses of children are dark and gothic indeed.
I guess the biggest let down for me are the characters - Gullivar isn't a great hero - and if you look at the Martian adventure as a dream - he's a drunk and quite weak in comparison to heroes of other planetary stories. I also hated Heru the princess - she is truly useless: At one point she's described as "a helpless, sodden little morsel of feminine loveliness" and she's often referred to as child like.
Give me Dejah Thoris any day! She may also get abducted at every opportunity, but she has fire and fight and gives as good as she gets - Heru's just It's interesting to note Gullivar does not get the girl of his dreams- he goes home, turns up looking like he's been on an almighty bender and his fiancee Polly of 'comfortable womanhood' receives him back with open arms.
Gullivar on Mars is flawed and not a particularly great story either but I adore planetary adventures of this ilk and whilst I do find this one quite weak, you can't deny its importance both in terms of what it references and what it went on to inspire. It's very hard to know what to make of this book. At certain times, it feels like parody or satire; at others, it comes across as a straight-laced adventure novel. The story theorized by some to have been the inspiration behind Burrough's JOHN CARTER series is that of an American stereotype who finds himself accidentally whisked to Mars by a mysterious magic carpet--the explanation for which is never given.
Coincidence after coincidence piles on top of each other as Gullivar embarks on a quest to rescue a kidnapped Martian princess, hitting every possible detour along the way. What initially starts out as a fun, quirky little fable eventually winds up being a dull slog through seemingly endless descriptive passages of Martian terrain reminding me of C. There are some really fantastic ideas and imagery sprinkled throughout--especially when it comes to the valley of frozen corpses--but Arnold's overdone writing style kills off any real potential for drama and excitement.
Unfortunately, upon publication, critical reception of the book was poor, and a frustrated Arnold gave up writing fiction altogether. Had he been able to simplify his prose and commit to a genre, he might have enjoyed a long, successful career. The book is also known as "Gullivar of Mars", and in both cases there are editions of the books using the alternate spelling "Gulliver". Along with his book "The Wonderful Adventures of Phra the Phaenician" he appears to have greatly influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs with regards to his Barsoom series, though some people dispute this. Phra is seen as similar to John Carter, and of course the setting of Mars as well as some story points coming from this book.
This book is much different than the earlier Phra, which is to say that this one is readable. The problems with wordiness and pace have gone away. In the first chapter, he gets his hero to Mars, and in the second, he quickly disposes of such problems of language as well as why a quick return to Earth is not possible.
This would easily have taken four times as much space using the style of writing which Arnold used in writing about Phra. That is not to say that he completely avoids the prior issue, just that it doesn't prevent the reader from enjoying the story. This relatively fast pace continues, as our hero saves the Martian Princess Heru when meeting her, and learns a lot about the culture of the Martian society in which he finds himself, and then ends up saving Princess yet again again.
However, what makes this book much more entertaining, is that the hero also blunders several times. Succumbing to drink and losing the Martian princess to an act of betrayal after she appears to have become his. Often others have to save him from his ignorance, and many times his attempts at heroism fail. Several times he fails to take the advice of his companions, leading him to adventures down the River of the Dead, and to the ghost-haunted city of Queen Yang.
He persists in his quest to free Princess Heru, though he has no idea how to accomplish that, given that her own people are so peaceful they will not fight for her. In the end, his bumbling and misadventures pay off. It is a bit too convenient of an ending, but one shouldn't expect too much from a light adventure story.
The recovery of Princess Heru is not the final challenge for our hero, as what he believes to be a comet is causing a great distress on Mars. Incredible heat and a lack of rain is killing the people, and Gullivar is prevented from returning with Princess Heru until it passes. There is nothing for Gullivar to do in this case though, other than try to help Princess Heru survive, while also being concerned that once the danger passes, their freedom which he had won will not be honored.
The story ends with an escape, and a chase, and a final confrontation, which results in yet one more amazing coincidence to complete the tail. This was not a great book, but it was a reasonably fun read, full of the characters from a classic fantasy tale. Much better than "Phra", this one is actually worth a read, especially for those who like Burrough's Barsoom series who might be interested in a possible influence. This is easily the best of the three books by Arnold that I have read.
View 1 comment. Sep 12, Chris rated it really liked it. Published several years before the much more famous A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it nevertheless shares many similarities: a US military man finds himself on a dying Mars with the remains of a once great culture, where he falls in love with a Princess who he must rescue.
There is a also a river of death, on which all the bodies of the dead are shipped on for their final journey. Nevertheless, the stories are very different. I know I'll get in trouble with the general Sci-Fi commun Published several years before the much more famous A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it nevertheless shares many similarities: a US military man finds himself on a dying Mars with the remains of a once great culture, where he falls in love with a Princess who he must rescue. I know I'll get in trouble with the general Sci-Fi community for saying this, but I liked this one better.
Burrough's John Carter is nigh invincible, defeating entire armies singlehandedly with all the personality of a doorstop. His personality can be summed up with "I will do as I please, damn you all! Yes, I admit, ERB's Mars books are filled to the brim with men-of-action in action, but these men tend to be exceedingly stupid and whose victories are won by brute force and more often than not, sheer luck.
Gulliver of Mars is a better written tale, but with much less action. Yes, Lt.
Gulliver gets by only with his own copious amounts of good luck, but the Martian societies are more deeply drawn and that makes it much more interesting, at least to me. There are definite weaknesses our hero gets to Mars via a flying carpet, of all things but it is a pleasantly thoughtful exploration on the disintegration of culture, in stark contrast to Burrough's banal brutality. The science content is zero but I guess at the time it was a good fairy tale about humans arriving on the planet Mars. Gulliver of Mars, or as it was originally titled Lieut.
The case can be a valid one as there is plenty of comparable points between the two.
- Follow the Author.
- Treasure Hunt;
- Lieutenant Gulliver Jones.
Of course there are differences, Gulliver goes to Mars via a magical carpet while John Carter goes via some sort of astral projection. While there they both get mixed up in the local political machinations in a decaden Gulliver of Mars, or as it was originally titled Lieut. While there they both get mixed up in the local political machinations in a decadent society. Gulliver is a decent read, of course it has its problems due to its being published in Gulliver of Mars is pure unadulterated escapism.
And that is what I like. Feb 11, Wreade rated it liked it Shelves: league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen , science-fiction , merril-collection , sword-and-planet , s. Read this and Princess of Mars back to back. Both are awful in their own way but were Princess is boring, pointless and has a main character with no personality.
Gulliver of Mars is interesting and exciting with a lead that at least has a pulse. Of course Gullivers main character trait is that he's a complete tool but at least thats something. Its amazing how angry and frustrated this book made me due to its flaws. There really seemed to be a decent story trying to get out but the author never s Read this and Princess of Mars back to back. There really seemed to be a decent story trying to get out but the author never seemed to go where i wanted him to, plus this really feels like a 1st draft, there are so many things mentioned which then make no sense later.
The best character disappears without explanation halfway through and it features one of the worst Deus Ex Machina's i've ever seen and thats after a set of them which i forgave and put it down to luck or destiny. Still despite ALL its flaws it at least provoked a reaction from me, even if that reaction was that i wanted to track down the author and make him rewrite it properly this time. Oct 05, Laurie rated it liked it. I read this book mainly due to my interest in it as an influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Mars stories.
It is definitely a product of it's time, very different in prose style and construction from a science fiction pulp of the Golden Age, very far removed from modern science fiction.
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I enjoyed it anyway, mostly for it's oddness and archaic sensibilities. I can see why it is considered to have been an influence for the Barsoomian Mars tales. It is a very quick read and if you have the time I read this book mainly due to my interest in it as an influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Mars stories. It is a very quick read and if you have the time it is interesting to contrast the old with the new and newest. Jul 19, Jim rated it liked it. He has a number of adventures there, such as saving a Martian princess and going down a River of Death.
It would seem that British author Arnold influenced the American Burroughs Apr 22, Evan rated it it was ok. It's interesting from a History of SciFi standpoint as one of the earliest novels of travel to Mars, and an obvious source of inspiration for Burroughs's Barsoom. But it's just not actually very good. And most of that in Adolescentland. Feb 09, Steve rated it really liked it. Turn off brain, sit back and have fun. A cheerful disposition is sometimes better than a banking account, and not having the one, I cultivated the other.
This was an entertaining story. Although the setting is the planet Mars, I think this is better called fantasy-adventure than science fiction. Indeed, it ignores science in favor of imagination, but that's okay, because the imaginative inventions are the best part of the narrative.
As far as the story itself, Gulliver is a poor hero; he makes a mess of everything And I really enjoy novels where the story is told by a character after the events are past. The setting was very interesting. Aside from the weird alien flora and fauna, it was interesting to get a glimpse of a world on the cusp of change, seeing the dawn of one civilization and simultaneously the dusk of another.
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I can't decide if I feel sorry for the Hither folk or not; it's sad that their once-great civilization is vanishing, but it's their own fault for having become too lazy and apathetic to keep the knowledge of their forebears alive. So maybe it's just as well that they fade away and make room for new growth. Well, never mind my brooding, this is a fun lighthearted adventure story! To give you a small taste of Gulliver's narration: All this [the scenery] was very charming, but what I kept saying to myself was "Streaky rashers and hot coffee: rashers and coffee and rolls," and, indeed, had the gates of Paradise themselves opened at that moment I fear my first look down the celestial streets within would have been for a restaurant.
They did not, and I was just turning away disconsolate when my eye caught, ascending from behind the next bluff down the beach, a thin strand of smoke rising into the morning air. It was nothing so much in itself, but it meant everything to me. Where there was fire there must be humanity, and where there was humanity--ay, to the very outlayers of the universe--there must be breakfast.
May 19, Hallie rated it it was ok. The tl;dr version of my opinion is: Fuck Gulliver. John Carter is best! Long form: Yeah, okay, so ERB probably did somehow read Gulliver and was inspired to write a book about a military man who travels to Mars and meets the cultures and saves a Princess.
There are only two cultures. The Hither folk are basically socially degenerating Lotus Eaters who are lazy and don't do anything because that would be too hard. They are beautiful but bl The tl;dr version of my opinion is: Fuck Gulliver. They are beautiful but bland. The Thither folk and granted, if you're going to have a dichotomy I liked the names are brutish, hairy Neanderthals who are gradually taking over the planet and driving the Hither folk out. He has two scenes where he punches an enemy.
He carries a navy sword around but never draws it, and at the end he runs away like a punk. Princess Heru is consistently described like either an object, a child, a possession, or a ghost, frequently without even using her name, and he doesn't even end up with her by the end.
Gulliver of Mars
His inability to devote himself to a single love interest is maddening, especially with the incomparable Dejah Thoris casting such a long shadow. Arnold seems almost to hate the world he's created. When Gulliver gets back, he immediately gets back with his dumb Earth girlfriend "Polly" and apparently lives boringly ever after. There's some evidence in the preface to indicate that I should read Phra the Phonecian Arnold's other book because that character may have been more of a character inspiration for John Carter.
Maybe I would find it less maddening, but boo for Gulliver and boo for this book. The beginning was very confusing as to who and what was happening. A Navy man on leave has an emaciated man literally fall on top of him in an alley who then dies leaving behind an odd antique Persian carpet.
He takes it home and while bemoaning his fate in regards to a girl walks across the carpet wishing he was on the planet Mars. And then he is. From that point on it gets really strange and disjointed like a weird dream the author had. The writer is very wordy, the conversations are too complicated with fancy words i. But then a lot of authors wrote like that in that day. I have to admit though I did skim through some of it. Whether or not Burroughs read this and gained some inspiration from it - I have no idea, but I suspect it's quite possible.
In any respect though, Burroughs' novels are far superior. I found this a difficult book to read at times, and my attention kept wandering - to the point where I found myself sometimes I was kind of expecting this to be a poor copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom and Venus stories - until I found out that it was actually written 12 years before ERB wrote A Princess of Mars. I found this a difficult book to read at times, and my attention kept wandering - to the point where I found myself sometimes starting a paragraph 3 or 4 times.
The pace is quite slow, and there are periods where very little seems to happen. Fairly or not, this book will always, I suspect, be compared with the Barsoom series, and it's not a comparison that flatters Arnold's book. I am a big fan of planetary romance - or swords and planets if you prefer - so I am glad that I read it. But I would recommend this only to hard core fans of the genre. Jan 09, Gary Peterson rated it liked it Shelves: s-fiction. It was admittedly difficult to read this novel on its own terms, as an Edwardian-era fantasy that predates all the science-fiction that followed.
It more closely resembles medieval Europe, populated as it is with rustic fishermen, craftsmen, princesses, and invading hordes of barbarians. Arnold does add the occasional exotic element to remind readers this story is set on the angry red planet, like ambulatory flowers and ambrosial fish, but such details pale and fail to convince when one considers the elaborate world building later writers would achieve.
Gulliver made a good protagonist and an affable, engaging narrator. His navy background and know-how were often highlighted, and stood in contrast to the passive Hither people, whom he befriends but whose destruction he later ensures. That was an unsettling climax to the action: Gulliver rescues Princess Hera, but brings in his wake an army of vengeance-seeking barbarians who hack, slash, and burn the city of Seth to the ground.
Gulliver never feel guilt or remorse over the massacre he sparked, and escapes at his first opportunity by taking a magic carpet ride back to New York. There he immediately shakes off the memories of his Mars adventure and is immediately swept up in lighthearted domestic affairs. I found the most memorable episode to be Gulliver's traveling inexorably down the river of death alongside rafts bearing the corpses of deceased Martians. Arnold describes it so vividly the entire scene is imprinted in my imagination.
It was literally and figuratively chilling. Minor complaints include the pacing near the end, where anticlimax follows anticlimax. Just when we're within arm's reach of the wrap up, a comet appears resulting in a deadly heatwave. Once the danger is passed, everyone reverts to type, of course. But Arnold's book was a worthwhile read in its own right and is recommended, especially for fans of literary sci-fi and for those with an interest in the history and development of the genre.
Most importantly, read it just because it's fun! Mar 18, Dave rated it it was ok Shelves: adventure , fantasy. The book Gulliver's Travels was superb satire combined with imaginative visits to four unique lands. Voir l'ensemble des Description du produit. Il n'y a pour l'instant aucun commentaire client. Partagez votre opinion avec les autres clients.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon. The writing in the later chapters is deserving of five stars, but the ridiculously slow pacing of the first chapters knocked a star off. However, shortly after Princess Heru is taken away, the book picks up. The narrative turns into a lively adventure, and Gulliver's motives and personality are often witty and hilarious and only sometimes heroic. After that point, the landscapes change as well, and the book gets much more interesting as he ventures across the sea and rivers to lands of ice and ancient forests.
You'll have a hard time putting the book down after that. This is a whimsical yarn that moves along at a good pace. Varied characters, societies, and landscapes did much to add to the richness of the narrative. Some readers will find the writing somewhat stilted. To those, I would like to recommend keeping a dictionary close to hand as this read is sure to expand your vocabulary. I am recommending this work to everyone interested in early science fiction action adventures in the manner of Edgar Rice Burroughs. But in this case our hero doesn't measure up to Carter in any sense.
However, Arnolds other book, Phra the Phonecian does meet Carters requirements. If so, well, you just have to read the genesis of ERB's world, even if it isn't all that much of a page turner. This was a good book in the classic sci-fi tradition. It is a good read for anyone who likes the sci-fi genre. Read and enjoy! The early 20th century wording is different and takes a few pages to get used to.
The story line is quaint. Gulliver is very much the navy gentleman of his time.