I really enjoyed this novel despite its obvious flaws. After all what else do we have of a book when finished except the impression it left upon our emotions. I can see why this work is a classic of pulp science fiction. I enjoyed reading a work which inspired some of my all time favourites in the entire universe of science fiction. Yet despite inspiring those works this is something different and unique. I must admit that the book has not aged well when compared to other classic works published in the similar era yet I still looked past the style and tone to the story and found it worth enjoying.
Perhaps the idea of there being another world on Mars with various alien races, lots of warfare and deadly creatures was appealing to me. I haven't read anything quite the same. Of course many books are similar. But this is different. A mix of the old and the new, a forerunner of other powerful fictional tales.
Of course there are several things which prove unappealing about the work. The fact that Burroughs rushes from one event to the next without building up the plot for one. The archaic use of language which may again prove a barrier to others. However when it came to the punch I was able to overlook these aspects because I saw that what Burroughs had achieved what he set out to do. He wasn't writing an epic or a classic, even though it may have become so. He was creating an action adventure story full of fun, pace and energy. And I believe he really achieved what he set out to perform.
It is the fact that A Princess of Mars is no pretentious work that led to me enjoying it so much in the end. Because when I read a book I like to see what I think the author intends with their work and then compare that to what I see them as having achieved. Here Burroughs forms a world which is an adventure to read about, a world not intended to be defined to Tolkienesque proportion but rather enjoyed as a story. He doesn't set out to write a grand philosophical treatise on love and life (at least I hope that's not what he intended) but rather a nice pure piece of sci-fi escapism. And I as a sci-fi lover respected that.