When I was eight years old I was still unable to read. My small town third grade teacher spent a lot of time helping me overcome what now would be considered a learning disability. The very first full length book I read was, "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. That was over 30 years ago.
That being said, I must admit to being sadly disappointed in the movie novelization version of Burroughs original work.
In the original work John Carter was:
- The best swordsman of two worlds.
- Possessed of an extraordinary fighting spirit.
- A gentleman of Virginia.
- Could not recall ever having been a child or remember anything regarding his childhood.
- Did not age as other men did, knowing only that he had always appeared to be of about 30 years of age.
- Was fearful of death as only those who have not met it can be, yet facing the possibility as "a fighting man".
Regrettably, these aspects of John Carter seemed to be lacking in the movie novelization.
The chemistry between John Carter and Dejah Thoris, which felt palatable in the original work, were sorrowfully deficient in the movie novelization. Imagine encountering one who posses the same spirit, moral balance, self sacrificing essence that you hold, and is as beautiful and intelligent as you could imagine. If you can picture that through my poor description then you have started to brush the surface of their feelings toward one another.
If one has not read the original work then the movie novelization is a decent book. Characters and plot are thought out, details are honed, story line flows from one chapter to the next. If one has read the original work then I would suggest passing on the movie novelization. You may appreciate the differences, but you will be disappointed by them.
Save the money you would have spent on purchasing the movie novelization and go see the movie itself, enjoy it for what it is. A fun science fiction adventure to the red planet of Barsoom. One filled with intrigue, epic battles, mysterious creatures, and, of course, romance. Buy your better half some popcorn, or gummy bears, they will appreciate the gesture more than you will appreciate adding the movie novelization to your collection.
As such things go I have never forgotten that first read, much like one never forgets their first time at many things. That feeling of awkwardness, of being unsure of oneself, of not understanding the full nature of things. I don't berate myself for having read the movie novelization. I do ask myself why I didn't see the movie first, other than the small, almost insignificant, detail that it hadn't yet been released.
Anyway, remember what I said about the gummy bears. Don't trust me on this, believe it to be true :-)