"So, what are you reading?" I asked the man at the bus stop. I'm a naturally curious guy, and I'm always looking out for a good book. He was turning the page on his kindle ap on his Ipad.
He smiled for a moment before answering, "I'm reading the third John Carter book."
"Like the movie?"I had no idea the movie was even based on a book. From the previews, the whole thing looked like an 11-year-old boy's dream on steroids--a dream that happened to have millions of dollars behind it. In fact, I pictured the guy who did Prince of Persia pitching the idea "What if we did Prince of Persia again . . . BUT ON MARS! I'll even give the lead the same haircut." Don't get me wrong. I wanted to see it (my inner-11-year-old can be pretty persuasive sometimes), but it didn't seem like a story that had been a book to me.
"Yeah," he said. "I downloaded them the series for free a little while ago, and I've really enjoyed them."
Free? Really? It isn't often you can get the book of a current movie for free. At least that is what I thought. (Yeah. Yeah. I'm a little slow on the uptake.) "And why were they free?" I asked. "Some promotion with the movie?"
"No. They were written a long time ago. They are in the public domain."
I had no idea. Turns out (and I realize you probably knew this a long time ago) the John Carter series was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs--yep, the same guy who wrote Tarzan. He wrote them in 1911. It was actually a series in a magazine and wasn't published as a book until after Burroughs had such good success with the man among the apes.
Here's the book:
And here's a comic book based on the original book:
(Full points for covers. When exactly would the no shirt/cape combo come in handy?)
Since my conversation (that revealed my true ignorance) with a nice guy at the bus stop, I too have downloaded my free copy of the first John Carter book. I'm not that far, but I have to admit, I'm enjoying it.
So, did you know John Carter was a book, or am I the only one?
Did you see the movie? What did the you think?