Thuvia’s working for me.
I’ve been rereading them Mars books, all out of order of course. Princess was first, and my last read before the movie. If I’m too close it’ll mess up the flick for me. Then I read Chessmen. Chessmen is one of the longer ones which is great. What sort of drags for me are the long conversations about who did what to who ( Tan Sabfuf insulted Sab Tanfuf of the kingdom Fufanfuf ) and I just roll up my eyes – when I come to, I flip ahead to Ghek or Tara stabbing someone. It takes WAAAAY to long to get to the jetan games. So what I was reminded of concerning ERB’s writing is when he’s describing stuff, he’s great, when the characters are outside and running around Barsoom, that works for me. And of course when the action’s on it’s peddle to the metal. But when they’re inside a palace or something… I can’t get past envisioning a Flash Gordon episode including curtains for walls and long speeches because they don’t ——— sorry I knocked off there for a moment. They don’t have a budget. So I read the good parts. It think the book needs more than one jetan game in it and less court intrigue. But I must say that I became truly misty near the end, when on the jetan field Tara says She would trust Gahan with her life.
So far Thuvia is all good parts. The palace stuff is actually about the characters, the pacing is right and for some reason the settings are large and interesting with lots going on. Not a curtained wall in sight. the description of the bad guy entering Helium and walking the streets is really interesting stuff. What’s also interesting is that ERB’s description of Helium isn’t anything like what’s in my head. He doesn’t write a lot of, “grabbed a coffee and a bagel as I walked to the thoat saddle shop. That cute girl from Gathol was there again, even gave me a little smile. Maybe I should talk to her tomorrow. ” I’d love to read more “what’s it like stuff”.
Anyways, do you guys remember this about Helium ? – the roads are all red swards and cars are low flying fliers that go over or under at intersections. Morning is quiet with gentle music and Barsoomian Babes come out to lounge on their balconies while their slaves fix breakfast. And there are bullet trains between the two cities. Oh, and the rising and falling homes on pillars which never made any sense to me since they have fliers. I have noticed mushroomy shaped buildings in the movie trailer by the way. I didn’t either.
Glancing at the contents of Thuvia ( which I haven’t read for ages) I see there are chapters with banths, tharks, white apes , bowmen – halls of doom. I’m wondering if it at 157 pages it is just a tighter book than Chessmen. Good parts only. – Jeff