Sunday, May 3, 2009

At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs holds a very hallowed place in the genre's of fantasy and science fiction, and one of his true classics is At the Earth's Core, the first book in his Pellucidar series. Working on a writing project, this seemed like a good inspiration for my story, and well worth a re-read. Deodand Publishing had a copy that was cheaper than most, and an empty wallet looks past the rather ridiculous cover.

Starting off with a narrator telling us the following fantastical account is true, we soon fly into the story. David Innes finances a trip into the center of the world with his friend Abner Perry. Upon reaching the earth's core, all is not as expected. This "hollow earth" story is one full of excitement and adventure, as David and Abner fight to survive in Pellucidar. The pair proceeds to be captured very quickly, heading to a life of slavery, and along the way David meets Dian the Beautiful. During a trek through a cave, David and Dian are separated, and all looks bleak.

Burroughs certainly does not include much depth in his tales of adventuring men and endangered damsels that need rescuing, but the stories are sheer fun. Full of nostalgic turns of phrase and high adventure that throws scientific facts to the winds, one can't enter a Burroughs novel with hopes of high literary aspirations. Burroughs novels are all about having fun. While simple to the extreme and full of factual errors, Burroughs' At the Earth's Core is a wonderful classic of the genre, and certainly worth a (re)reading.


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