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Tarzan at the Earth's Core: (#13) [Mass Market Paperback]

Edgar Rice Burroughs
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 12 1986
Continuing the saga of Pellucidar, the empire located in the Earth's hollow center, Tarzan at the Earth's Core is the fourth work in this classic series. The American explorer and emperor of Pellucidar, David Innes, has been captured by the deadly Korsar pirates. Picking up on the desperate cries for help emanating from Pellucidar, Jason Gridley of Tarzana brings the message to the only person who can help, Tarzan of the Apes. Together young Gridley and Lord Greystoke travel to the exotic and strange realm within the Earth to save the imprisoned ruler. Unaccustomed to the difficulties of Pellucidar, the two struggle in its savage environment, with its eternal noon and bizarre monsters, in their quest to save Innes and the precarious rule he has established. Sean McMullen provides an introduction for this Bison Books edition.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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"Before Jurassic Park there were Burroughs's jungles; before Princess Leia there was Jana, the Red Flower of Zoram; before the Dyson sphere there was Pellucidar; and before the Terminator there was Tarzan."--From Sean McMullen's introduction "[Burroughs's] stories are still as solid and imaginative as anything being published today. Perhaps, dare we say it, even more so."--Statesman Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875–1950) is the legendary author of dozens of novels, including Tarzan of the Apes and The Land That Time Forgot, available in a Bison Books edition. Sean McMullen is one of Australia's leading science fiction and fantasy authors, with more than a dozen books and four dozen stories published. He is the coauthor of Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction and is finishing a PhD in medieval fantasy literature.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars New Series New Hero But Still Enjoyable June 14 2003
Format:MP3 CD
For Edgar Rice Burroughs, life was relatively simple. Men fell into one of three categories: muscular heroes, ordinary types, and evil, greasy villains. Women existed primarily to act as universal lighting rods that attracted either the first or third category. Regardless of the universe that ERB wrote of, these constants held with predictable regularity. With the publication of AT THE EARTH'S CORE, he began yet another series that put the hero at odds with nature, evil doers, and beautiful, virtuous women. David Innes, the handsome hero, drills down to the center of the earth in a manner that brings to mind Jules Verne's tale, both of which posit a habitable, temperate core that supports a variety of lush, prehistoric life. Despite knowing that the earth's core was held to be molten, ERB did not hesitate to bend science for the sake of a good tale. ATEC possesses both the plusses of ERB at his best and the negatives at his worst. Like Tarzan, Innes is a likable, manly sort who feels at home regardless of whether home is a jungle or a tea room. The logic of how ERB gets his hero placed in an exotic locale is irrelevant and often purely unscientific. For his Martian (Barsoom) series, he merely had his hero, John Carter, gaze at the Red Planet to effect his transport there. For his inner world series (Pellucidar), Innes used a drill machine, a device that at least tries to be scientific. Once there, Innes has the necessary adventures with beasts, villains, and beautiful women, in this case Dian the Beautiful. The workings of the plot about how he finds her, loses her, and then finds her again are almost not to the point. Where ERB excels in his ability to place the reader, who is usually a 15 year old boy, in a realm that allows imagination to run riot. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the movie... June 28 2000
Although far less plausible and possessing characters of much less depth than Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, Burrough's At the Earth's Core, despite some embarrassingly preposterous elements, is an entertaining read due to its well-rendered, imaginative fantasy setting and fast-paced swashbuckling adventure. The story is never dull, and the hideous and hypnotic bat-winged Mayars make for memorable villains. The depiction of a human sacrifice to these monsters halfway through the novel is particularly unforgettable. There is also a multifarious array of attacking prehistoric monsters, without the claustrophobic feel of the 1970's film.
Also recommended is Basil Copper's treatment of the descent-into-the-earth theme in his creepy novel The Great White Space, now unfortunately out of print.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK product Dec 19 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is in new condition and arrived within the promised time frame. If you just want the book to read for the content it is excellent, but if you want it as part of a set that you already have...The book is larger then the others in the series so doesn't fit in with the visual layout on your bookshelf.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pellucidar Begins Here Aug. 5 2009
By Dave_42 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
After starting his Barsoom and Tarzan series of adventures, Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1st, 1875 - March 19, 1950), wrote "At the Earth's Core" which was published in 1914. This kicked off his Pellucidar series, which is based on the idea that the Earth is hollow and there are creatures from our prehistoric times still alive and active, as well as more than a few horrific creatures, both intelligent and non-intelligent. As with many of Burrough's ideas, that of a hollow Earth would inspire many other writers to write stories on a similar theme.

There are many similarities between this and Burrough's Barsoom series, and as such it is fairly predictable, but there are some differences as well. Once again there is an introduction which makes the case that this is a real story. Instead of an unexplained transportation to Mars, the journey to Pellucidar is done via an invention, a "subterranean prospector" which works far better and also far worse than intended. The hero, David Innes and his friend Perry who invented the "subterranean prospector" find themselves in a hostile world; they are captured and captured again finding themselves enslaved by the dominant species of the planet, the Mahars. The hero also finds a beautiful woman who he is destined to be with.

This novel isn't nearly as good as the start to the Pellucidar series as "A Princess of Mars" was for the Barsoom series. There are some rather racist descriptions, and the language difficulties are overcome too easily, though one has to also give credit for the Mahars as a unique and horrible species, though there again they have an Achilles heel which is rather absurd. Another weakness is the flow of time, which sometimes results in contradictions in the plot.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enter David Innes Sept. 9 2003
By Vilbs - Published on Amazon.com
Having already created two highly memorable science fiction heroes in Tarzan and John Carter, Edgar Rice Burroughs begins his third major series with David Innes. With friend Abner Perry, they dive their "mole", or burroughing machine, straight through the earth's surface where they discover the savage land of Pellucidar. Here, where dinosaurs still exist and mankind is enslaved by the reptilian Mahars, David and his friend are forced to face unknown perils and survive in a hostile environment (and of course, win the beautiful lady).
"At the Earth's Core" is another highly entertaining science fiction novel from ERB. Even though his format is formulaic, you're always assured of fast paced adventure in his novels. Not as groundbreaking as Tarzan or as strong as John Carter, The Pellucidar series is still a worthy addition to Burroughs body of work, and it gets an extra star for the nostalgia of being a personal childhood favorite.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tarzan joins Jason Gridley in a rescue mission to Pellucidar Nov. 26 2003
By Lawrance M. Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Tarzan at the Earth's Core" is unique in the Edgar Rice Burroughs ouvre because it is a crossover novel. This was the 13th Tarzan novel and the 4th Pellucidar story and not surprisingly ends up being one of the better offerings in both series. Originally published as a seven-part serial in "The Blue Book Magazine" in 1929-30. The story fits better into the Pellucidar series, where it works mainly as a sequel to "Tanar of Pellucidar," and it is Tarzan fans who would be more lost in this one than readers of the Pellucidar books. The plot is standard fare for a ERB novel, involving a rescue mission, with the key difference between not so much Tarzan's involvement as the idea that the person who needs to be rescued is not a damsel in distress but David Innes, first Emperor of Pellucidar.
Innes is being held in the dungeons of the Korsars, and Jason Gridley (inventor of the Gridley wave that allowed ERB to "receive" the Martian stories from John Carter, which accounts for the other major ERB series) persuades Tarzan to come along fr the fun. Gridley builds a zeppelin and uses it to descend into the land of Pellucidar (do not get me started on the physics involved in a lighter than air ship descending to the Earth's core. Once in Pellucidar Tarzan and Gridley have their separate adventures, and ERB seems to go out of his way to come up with new races of people (e.g., the Horibs) and prehistoric type creatures to beleaguer both of the book's heroes. The romance, of course, happens with Gridley, who meets Jana, the Red Flower of Zoram. Even everybody gets back together and they remember why they came to Pellucidar in the first place.
"Tarzan at the Earth's Core" is a solid ERB pulp fiction yarn all things considered. What makes it work is that Tarzan has some competition for the role of hero in the story. He is more of a major supporting character than the lead, because Gridley is the leader of the expedition and even disadvantaged in the jungles of Pellucidar, where Tarzan finds himself quite at home, even with that weird burning sun in the sky that never sets, manages to hold his own for the most part. Burroughs also includes the set up for the next Pellucidar novel, when Lieutenant Wilhelm Von Horst, the mate of the zeppelin, vanishes. Unfortunately he would have to wait until 1935 to be rescued in "Back to the Stone Age." Meanwhile, Tarzan would go back to his usual run of episodes back in Africa.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected engaging experience! Jan. 26 2005
By M J Heilbron Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
A terrific adventure novel that will immerse you in a world with simple, descriptive language and rollicking action sequences, "At The Earth's Core" is an early Edgar Rice Burroughs tale, the first of several books that take place in the land of Pellucidar.

Yes, Pellucidar lies in the center of the earth. Jules Verne's take on what lies beneath differs greatly; this one less "sci-fi" and more fun...like "Jurassic Park" fun.

I think the audience most likely to be enthralled here, is the one comprised of pre-teenage boys...yet anyone who loves a a good story well told will become a fan as well.

This is a tough book to stop reading...it's one of those that you want to see "what happens next." So much so I've already ordered as many other Pellucidar books as I could find...

A synopsis is unnecessary...it's already been nicely done here at the Review site. Just know that, in a fashion that reminds me of "The Princess Bride", the "mushy" parts dovetail nicely with the "adventure" parts. The relationship between Innes and Dian is interesting, non-stereotypical, and surprisingly modern.

I was already a fan of ERB's Tarzan books.

It seems I've added another series to my "must read/own" list.

I'm afraid to read "A Princess of Mars" (the Mars series)...or perhaps I should say my bank account is.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Pellucidar Stories Aug. 13 2001
By George R Dekle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a number of series. Some series consisted of as few as two or three novellas. The Tarzan series stretched to 24 volumes. Almost all of the series were interrelated in some way or another. Clark A. Brady maps out the complex interrelationships in Appendix C to his "Burroughs Cyclopaedia" (available from Amazon.com). "Tarzan at the Earth's Core" makes the clearest connection between two Burroughs series. It is the 13th Tarzan novel and the 4th Pellucidar novel.
The Tarzan stories represent some of Burroughs' best work. The Pellucidar stories do not. Burroughs stretches credulity in all his stories, but he takes it to the limit in the Pellucidar stories. In the Pellucidar seriest Burroughs employs a preposterous concept (a hollow Earth with an inner world where time stands still) and adds insult to injury with highly improbable plot twists. This makes the quality of "Tarzan at the Earth's Core" all the more surprising. It stands as the absolute best Pellucidar story and one of the best Tarzan stories. Ironically it stands near the middle of both series.
David Innes, the hero of the Pellucidar stories, is in trouble. Jason Gridley, inventor of the Gridley Wave, hears the radio distress signal from the center of the Earth, and organizes a rescue party. Many stalwart adventurers, including Tarzan of the Apes, enlist in the expedition. Where Innes got to the Earth's core in a mechanical mole, Gridley's party travels there in an airship. Read the book to find out how they fly an airship to the center of the Earth and confront the many perils of the savage world they find.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but no At the Earth's Core Feb. 9 2007
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
In this book, Burroughs had an interesting conceit of crossing his most famous creation into one of his other worlds, thus establishing a patchwork universe where Mars, Venus, Pellucidar, Caspak, Tarzan, and almost all ERB's other stories take place. This book is exciting and colorful but suffers from a single glaring flaw. While in almost every ERB books there is a love interest, in this one, it seems merely perfunctory. Jana and Jason never establish any chemistry during their brief time together, and Jana is a resourceful and blandly attractive if also vapid and petulant heroine. Given the fact that the love story does little but weigh the story down--Jana at one point reflects Jason would not have abandoned her as Tarzan seemed to, though there is no reason she should think this--it probably would have been best to remove it altogether. Probably her uninteresting presentation is why Jana is never mentioned again after this book. In At the Earth's Core, Pellucidar, Tanar of Pellucidar, Back to the Stone Age, and Savage Pellucidar, ERB has his Inner World heroes romance and succeed through sheer determination with their love interests. Here the love story is just dead weight that gets in the way of an otherwise enjoyable adventure story. That said, though, the book is engaging and at least partially makes up for an otherwise unsatisfying romance at its core.
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