A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
Burroughs's concepts are intriguing and his combat scenes are often gripping. As a writer, Burroughs excels in creating immersive, exciting experiences for readers. In terms of style, At the Earth’s Core can feel stilted in the beginning but eventually gives way to a captivating story that’s easy to read and enjoy. Many authors have been inspired by Burroughs' imagining of the strange subterranean world of Pellucidar. Most notably, H.P. Lovecraftl who's At the Mountains of Madness was influenced heavily by At the Earth's Core. Burroughs’ influence can be particularly traced in the name of the Elder Things' slave race, the Shoggoths. Another and more direct homage to Burroughs' depiction is Lin Carter's "Zanthodon" series, beginning with his popular novel, Journey to the Underground World.
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Originally published in 1914, At the Earth’s Core is a fantasy novel written by American author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The book is the first of Burroughs’ fictional series that explores the “hollow” land of Pellucidar. At the Earth’s Core follows the experiences of David Innes, a man that the narrator had met in the Sahara desert with a remarkable story to tell.
David Innes is a mining heir who financially supports the experimental "iron mole," an excavating vehicle designed by an elderly inventor, Abner Perry. During a test run of the vehicle, the pair discover that the iron mole cannot be turned, and it proceeds to burrow 500 miles into the Earth's crust. Innes and Perry eventually emerged into the unknown interior world, Pellucidar. In Burroughs' imagining, the Earth is a hollow shell with Pellucidar existing on the internal surface of that shell.
The inhabitants of Pellucidar consist of prehistoric creatures of all geological eras. At the top of the food chain sits the Mahars, a species of flying reptiles that are both intelligent and civilized. However, it is soon revealed that the Mahars enslave and prey on the local stone-age humans. As a result, Innes and Perry are captured by the Mahars' ape-like Sagoth servants and are taken with other human captives to the Mahars’ capital city of Phutra. This is where the true adventure begins.
Back on Earth’s surface where the narrator meets Innes, he is inspired after hearing his tale and seeing his prehistoric captive. The narrator promises to help Innes resupply and prepare the iron mole for their return to Pellucidar.
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