Back to the Stone Age

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Series: Pellucidar 5
Reviewed date: 2019 Dec 4
Rating: 2
251 pages
cover art

This is the first Edgar Rice Burroughs book I ever remember reading, way back in 1994 or 1995. I have fond memories of it. Mostly hazy memories, except for the opening sequence where von Horst is paralyzed in the trodon's nest. That part I remembered vividly. And when I re-read it, it was just as I'd recalled it. Thrilling. Inventive. Great fun!

The rest of the book, though, is forgettable. Von Horst travels around Pellucidar, being captured by various tribes of Stone Age people, none of whom are memorable or inventive or fun. Burroughs is at his best when he's inventing strange lost civilizations. There is none of that here. Everybody is the same: primitive, violent, Stone Age hunter-gatherers. The love story has been better done, even within the Pellucidar series: it's basically the same story as At the Earth's Core, except more perfunctory. I enjoyed it the first time I read it, when it was fresh and new to me, but this time it didn't hold up.

Still, to my taste, there's nothing so great in any of Burroughs's books as the trodon adventure. That's top notch.

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