2018-09-10 23:28:35 UTC
of Mars_ by Otis Adelbert Kline. It's a perfect book for waiting
rooms because I don't have the slightest reluctance to shove it back
into my attache' when I'm called.
The first part of the book consists of "This isn't a rip-off of _A
Princess of Mars_, really it isn't The protagonist is very young, not
so ancient he can't remember. Instead of astral projection, he gets
to Mars by a scientific teleporter. Instead of arriving naked, he has
lots of equipment and weapons. Instead of landing out in the boonies
where he insults the princess by his ignorance that she is asking him
for help, he lands on the roof of her palace and kills her pet because
of his ignorance of the fauna. Instead of Jeddaks, we have Viljens.
Instead of calots, we have dahls. THERE IS NO RESEMBLANCE
The rest of the book consists of how many people can Jerry kill in
heroic or gruesome ways, going against extremely competent fighters
whom he slaughters by his Earthly muscle or some other hidden
overwhelming advantage, and engaging in ever-increasing mass killings
by inventing improved bombs, culminating in a raid to capture and
re-purpose construction machinery to make short work of a walled city.
In a "happy ending" the princess agrees to come and live with Jerry
and his outlaws, but Jerry has single-handedly insured that the next
war on Mars will be rather like the one we waged only a few years
after the book was published in 1933.
I hear that Otis Adelbert Kline was a very good literary agent.
The replacement waiting-room book is Kipling's _Jungle Book_, which is
good for the opposite reason: I don't mind reading a page or two that
I've already read when I resume a few days or weeks later.
The stories are short, and I already know how they come out. Or, in
some stories, it doesn't matter how they come out; the ending is the
ride operator telling you that it's time to get off.
joy beeson at comcast dot net
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