At the Earth's Core
I had come down from the north to hunt lion. My party consisted of a dozen children of the desert--I was the only "white" man. As we approached the little clump of verdure I saw the man come from his tent and with hand-shaded eyes peer intently at us. At sight of me he advanced rapidly to meet us.
"A white man!" he cried. "May the good Lord be praised! I have been watching you for hours, hoping against hope that THIS time there would be a white man. Tell me the date. What year is it?"
And when I had told him he staggered as though he had been struck full in the face, so that he was compelled to grasp my stirrup leather for support.
"It cannot be!" he cried after a moment. "It cannot be! Tell me that you are mistaken, or that you are but joking."
"I am telling you the truth, my friend," I replied. "Why should I deceive a stranger, or attempt to, in so simple a matter as the date?"
For some time h
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The setup - feuding Stone Age civilizations at the Earth's core - is certainly interesting, but I found that the characters other than the narrator are rather one-dimensional and uninteresting. The plot has more of a pulp feel to it and seems driven more by chance than anything else.
ERB does this sort of thing much better in his other series, where the characters are more memorable and the plot twists and turns seem more coherent and logical, if sometimes just as fantastic.
Still might be worth a read, although ERB fans expecting more might be disappointed and those being introduced to his work won't see him at his best.
There are some pretty interesting and deep concepts to contemplate, amid the adventure and sci-fi action.