This might sound strange, but I am pretty sure that, when younger, I read a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs involving a "white" man (to use his dialect) in some savage place and a beautiful woman and he did something to save her or something and then something happened...or something. I have mostly the emotions the book inspired. Being a young bit of geekery, I fell in love with the strong heroics and the beautiful woman and I wanted to keep reading. I never followed up the book. I forgot such wonderful adventures to the ravages of time, or, if you wish, you can insert something that sounds less dramatic.
When I found out about the Pellucidar series, I was sure I was on to something. That sounded right. Strong male character. Beautiful woman. Savage place. Some things (bah dum!) happen. I read the first two books (yay for Project Gutenberg, mind the link below) in something (I have to stop saying that word) akin to delight. It was like meeting an old lover. Or, well, like calling up a woman who has an old lover's name, and sort of resembles her, and is not so bad to hang out with is not the same. I am sure the first two novels (span id="title">At the Earth's Core and Pellucidar are not the novel that made me blush with excitement as a child. But I am more sure than ever that it was a Burroughs piece.
The first one, Core is a very short novel in which diverse adventures take place. A man and his friend go into the Earth and discover, accidently, that there is a huge hollow land underneath. As such lands go, it has to be filled with a more prehistoric time. This, I am sure, has to do with Verne setting the rules. Also like Verne, Burroughs has his world lit by strange atmospheric light due to photon emissions of excited gases.
David Innes, the not so clever of the two men, becomes the hero with his recklessness. He is captured, captured again, maybe captured again (after awhile it starts flowing together). Somewhere, here, he meets a beautiful woman, saves her, and by the customs of this inner world rejects her. Later to track her down because no one can resist a vunerable warrior woman with nice breasts and a lot of hair (and presumbably great hygiene for her people). The rest of the story is pretty miniscule. There is a great secret or two that the "enemeies to humanity", called the Mahars (being some sort of gliding/flying lizard who mostly swims), have that Innes uses against them. He unites various peoples. He manages to kick the tail out of any creature that comes his way, no matter how honestly bad or big they may be. And he gets captured like half a dozen times. Let's not forget that.
Though it is far from bad reading, I can pretty much say that you have to want to love this first book.
The second one, called Pellucidar expands most everything. It gives more tribes of humanity. Goes into more detail. Has people acting a little bit more like people. Throws in some navy battle. Um, Innes gets captured a few times. You know, I think I can safely say that is the overarching theme of these two books: if you go into an underground world, you will get captured, a bunch.
Frankly, you will like it if you like books like Journey to the Interior of the Earth or Lost World and if you found them too light of reading or not fun despite the dinosaurs, you probably won't like this.
Luckily for me, I love dinosaur and primitive adventure action. Best free books I ever bought. Well, not. But still quite good.
And I get to keep looking for my strange lost book of childhood.
You can get both of these books for absolutely free if you go to Project Gutenberg and search for Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Written by W Doug Bolden
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