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Professor Maxon performs secret experiments to make a "perfect race" of humans, finally succeeding with "Number Thirteen." Professor Maxon performs secret experiments to make a "perfect race" of humans, finally succeeding with "Number Thirteen."


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Professor Maxon performs secret experiments to make a "perfect race" of humans, finally succeeding with "Number Thirteen." Professor Maxon performs secret experiments to make a "perfect race" of humans, finally succeeding with "Number Thirteen."

30 review for The Monster Men

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charles van Buren

    A more exciting and adventurous ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU In his 2010 Amazon review, reader Stephen Fletcher calls this book Tarzan meets Frankenstein. A pretty good description but in this one, the "creation" is much more successful. So, we have weird science and jungle adventure on a remote island. Sound familiar? It did to me when I first read it in high school. Familiar because I had first read H.G. Wells' THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. I was shocked and had to check dates to see which author took the A more exciting and adventurous ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU In his 2010 Amazon review, reader Stephen Fletcher calls this book Tarzan meets Frankenstein. A pretty good description but in this one, the "creation" is much more successful. So, we have weird science and jungle adventure on a remote island. Sound familiar? It did to me when I first read it in high school. Familiar because I had first read H.G. Wells' THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. I was shocked and had to check dates to see which author took the idea from the other. To my youthful disappointment, I discovered that my much admired Edgar Rice Burroughs was second with the idea. I dug deeper and found someone, I don't remember who, with an explanation. He wrote words to the effect that the writing demon was on Burroughs for about ten years, then he spent the rest of his career plagiarizing himself and others. As I read more Burroughs, I found this to be only somewhat true. For instance Burroughs probably got the idea for THE MONSTER MEN from Wells but it isn't plagiarism. The plot takes a different and more adventurous path. It entertained my young self much more than did Wells. Upon rereading it, I discovered that it still does. If you want a more exciting, fun read based upon an idea similar to that behind THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, you may want to try THE MONSTER MEN by Edgar Rice Burroughs. True, Galaxy magazine columnist Floyd C. Gale called it some of Burroughs' worst writing. But he added that there is a lot of excitement in it. I don't agree about the writing quality but it is an exciting adventure which refuses to roll over and die whether one likes Burroughs' prose or not. Let me add the usual caveat for literature from the 1800's and early 1900's. Don't expect modern political correctness. In fact Burroughs held many opinions, most quite common at the time, which are no longer in vogue. But he wrote a rollicking good story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Harbin

    Review of The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs are both legion and loyal, as evidenced by the long lasting popularity of his characters. Tarzan of course is his most famous character, and John Carter of Mars (and Virginia) was the main character of a recent poorly marketed (but I thought still well done) Disney film. However Burroughs was an extremely prolific author, who wrote a lot more than just Tarzan and Martian stories. One of his earliest efforts was this ad Review of The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs are both legion and loyal, as evidenced by the long lasting popularity of his characters. Tarzan of course is his most famous character, and John Carter of Mars (and Virginia) was the main character of a recent poorly marketed (but I thought still well done) Disney film. However Burroughs was an extremely prolific author, who wrote a lot more than just Tarzan and Martian stories. One of his earliest efforts was this adventure story set in the south Pacific near Borneo. In many ways it can be considered Burroughs take on both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and H. G. Wells The Island of Dr. Moreau. Originally published as “A Man Without a Soul” in 1913 in the Pulp publication All-Story Magazine, it was later published under the present title as a hardcover book in 1929. At the beginning of the story, the reader is introduced to a man who is sadly dismembering corpses and then consigning the body parts to vats of acid. This is Arthur Maxon, Professor at Cornell, and father of Virginia Maxon, a beautiful young woman who is deeply concerned about her father’s recent strange and distant behavior. In the first few sentences of the tale, it’s revealed that Maxon had found the secret to the creation of artificial human beings in vats, but that all his creations are monstrously deformed both physically and mentally. Despairing of succeeding in his attempts at creating the “perfect man” Maxon takes his daughter and lab equipment on a vacation to the East Indies, along with a loyal Chinese cook named Sing Lee, an older but still spry and highly alert retainer. Virginia thinks the “vacation” will get her father’s mind off of his worries, and help them renew what was a once close relationship, but in Singapore their party is joined by a Dr. Carl von Horn, who Maxon hires as an assistant for his continued work (of which Virginia knows nothing of the details) aimed at the creation of a perfect man, whom he envisions as a the only “fit mate” for his unsuspecting daughter. Finding a secluded jungle island, Maxon and von Horn set up camp, with a fenced in area for their work. In fairly typical fashion for Burroughs (as those readers who have read his other works can attest) the action in the story quickly develops as Virginia and the Professor are first menaced by Malay pirates, then Dyak head hunters, and later the first twelve of Maxon’s creations (known only as #!, #2, and so on in order of their creation up through # 12). In addition to each of these perils, the mysterious Dr. von Horn turns out to not be as trustworthy as the Professor had hoped. A series of crisis ensues, as Virginian is menaced by each of these dangerous groups in turn, only to be rescued repeatedly by the most recent of the Professor’s creations, the handsome and brave #13, whom Virginia names Jack, but the fearful Dyaks name Bulan. The story is perhaps one of the best examples of Burroughs at both his best and his worst. Burroughs racial prejudices and his overall interest in eugenics permeate the tale, as the Malays and Dyaks are ferocious and treacherous, the Chinese retainer is loyal and wise, but is a caricature of the “good Oriental” archetype, complete with lisp, that appeared in many Pulp stories of the era. The artificial creatures are presented as soulless and hideous, and the best they can hope for is to either be destroyed or else find some refuge away from humanity, with little sympathy thrown their way, otherwise eliciting only pity or horror and revulsion from the other characters. There is some moral discussion on the part of #13/Jack/Bulan about what it actually means to have a soul, and how such possession would manifest its self in one’s actions. I also wondered if Burroughs (who was notoriously anti-organized religion in some of his stories) was having some intentional fun with the symbolism of the heroic #13 being followed and assisted by twelve followers, or “disciples” if one preferred, all of whom had the same creator. Still, once the action gets going, it’s fairly exciting stuff, as is usual with Burroughs, however much of the plot relies on coincidence and people wandering into the “right place at the right time” (or wrong place at the wrong time as well) which is also sort of “par for the course” with many of Burroughs works. Also typical of Burroughs is the resolution at the end of the story, which ties up the many loose ends in the story, perhaps in a manner a little too pat for most modern readers. After some consideration I gave the story a 3 star ranking. It is fairly exciting pulp adventure fare, and it does show a different side of Burroughs vast imagination, but the racial stereotypes and the ending are a little too neat for me, even though I still profess a kind of nostalgic love for the story which I first heard about in 1966 and then read about a decade later. If I were introducing a new reader to Burroughs, I would recommend the Martian trilogy and Tarzan of the Apes, along with underrated western “The War Chief” before I could recommend this one, and that would be simply for the fan that is desirous of sampling the complete Burroughs oeuvre.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karl Kindt

    Great pulp fun from the master. Picture Frankenstein mixed with Tarzan...that is the bizarre concoction that is THE MONSTER MEN. The best thing about reading this over most of ERB novels is that you only need to read one and not feel committed to a series. Those who know Tarzan and his Mars series and would rather avoid those because they feel they already know the story but want to try ERB would do well to read this. ERB's style is in as good a form as it is in those series, so go ahead and spe Great pulp fun from the master. Picture Frankenstein mixed with Tarzan...that is the bizarre concoction that is THE MONSTER MEN. The best thing about reading this over most of ERB novels is that you only need to read one and not feel committed to a series. Those who know Tarzan and his Mars series and would rather avoid those because they feel they already know the story but want to try ERB would do well to read this. ERB's style is in as good a form as it is in those series, so go ahead and spend four hours reading this to see what a good pulp really is if you have never tried one!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Perhaps this pulp would have been more fun without all the racisim and super manly-man hero. Still, the opening chapter to this book has some nice images of horror to it. After that point, meh...

  5. 5 out of 5

    jayson

    This book was absolutely over the top crazy Burroughs. It kind of wanders all over the place "but hey!, it has monsters, pirates, girls in distress, scheming bad people and mad scientists. Not my fav Burroughs by far but a fun read. Might appeal to those who read enough Burroughs to get into stuff like Pirate Blood and the Mucker. This book was absolutely over the top crazy Burroughs. It kind of wanders all over the place "but hey!, it has monsters, pirates, girls in distress, scheming bad people and mad scientists. Not my fav Burroughs by far but a fun read. Might appeal to those who read enough Burroughs to get into stuff like Pirate Blood and the Mucker.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Neil Davies

    Despite the sci fi/horror setup with its echoes of Frankenstein and The Island Of Doctor Moreau this is above all else a very good adventure story. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Langford

    His usual style of writing that is not one of main characters. Although I give it one star, I do say I enjoy the fact his 'good guys' are 'good' and 'honorable' without hesitation. And I keep reading his stuff. I see this book as a Frankenstein/Dr. Moreau cross. And it is interesting that this is really a look at the idea of eugenics which were a hot issue or topic during the time the book was written. It also can be considered as an early look at 'test tube' babies and 'cloning'. His usual style of writing that is not one of main characters. Although I give it one star, I do say I enjoy the fact his 'good guys' are 'good' and 'honorable' without hesitation. And I keep reading his stuff. I see this book as a Frankenstein/Dr. Moreau cross. And it is interesting that this is really a look at the idea of eugenics which were a hot issue or topic during the time the book was written. It also can be considered as an early look at 'test tube' babies and 'cloning'.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    An exciting adventure by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs. A mad scientist creating monsters. A chase in a jungle. Headhunters--and orang utans. One of my favorites of all ERB's books. Read it back in elementary school and find I still enjoy it today! An exciting adventure by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs. A mad scientist creating monsters. A chase in a jungle. Headhunters--and orang utans. One of my favorites of all ERB's books. Read it back in elementary school and find I still enjoy it today!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    This is ERB's answer to "The Island of Dr. Moreau." I have a hardback version from Grossett and Dunlap. It's very strong, I thought. This is ERB's answer to "The Island of Dr. Moreau." I have a hardback version from Grossett and Dunlap. It's very strong, I thought.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cmoore

    I was really a huge fan of ERB when I was in high school, and I read everything he'd written that I could get my hands on! This book was one of my top favorite non-Tarzan, Burroughs books!  I picked up this audio version with some trepidation, as I seriously feared that the "Suck-Fairy" might have visited it when I wasn't looking, but the price was irresistible and I wanted an audio story... So, about that "suck fairy"... did she visit? Ummm, yes and no! I realize that this book very much shows th I was really a huge fan of ERB when I was in high school, and I read everything he'd written that I could get my hands on! This book was one of my top favorite non-Tarzan, Burroughs books!  I picked up this audio version with some trepidation, as I seriously feared that the "Suck-Fairy" might have visited it when I wasn't looking, but the price was irresistible and I wanted an audio story... So, about that "suck fairy"... did she visit? Ummm, yes and no! I realize that this book very much shows the sign of it's times, promoting the upper "white-class" superiority that I simply can't abide... my younger self understood this, but wasn't quite as bothered by it. An hour after starting the book, I had to just set it down for a couple of days... So during that respite, I was able to put the book in perspective, and then get back into Monster Men. At that point, I found that I could actually enjoy myself while listening to this gung-ho adventure. Would I listen to more ERB? Probably, as I would still like to hear someone do Tarzan and the Foreign Legion... perhaps my favorite book by Edgar Rice Burroughs... So probably 3.5 ★ for both the story and narration... * The actual narrator of this story is unclear.  The credits for the version I purchased state that the narrator is Colm Mc Sweeney, but another audio version with the exact same title and author, the exact same 5hrs, 57min run time, the exact same price-point, the exact same selection of text for the audio sample, and with (as near as I can tell) the exact same voice narrating it, is listed as having been narrated by Sean Murphy... Huh?  Are these two different rather Irish sounding names actually one and the same person? I dunno...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sooooo racist, sexist and classist that it was hard to get through. I read this in a 1929 hardcover and it made me think about the young men who read this book 100 years ago who were taking in all the hate and xenophobia while being entertained. If this is what you read for fun, is it any wonder that you turned out to be a bigot and helped maintain a racist society? Still, it was interesting to see how he handled the action scenes and cliff hangers. For moment near the end I foolishly thought th Sooooo racist, sexist and classist that it was hard to get through. I read this in a 1929 hardcover and it made me think about the young men who read this book 100 years ago who were taking in all the hate and xenophobia while being entertained. If this is what you read for fun, is it any wonder that you turned out to be a bigot and helped maintain a racist society? Still, it was interesting to see how he handled the action scenes and cliff hangers. For moment near the end I foolishly thought that there would be a breakthrough where Bulan would be accepted as a person. But no, he had to be proven to be from a wealthy, well-known family in a Dickensian twist. ERB is brushing up against the really interesting questions that the Frankenstein story creates, but never dares to go there. Is it enough to have the reader thinking of Number 13 as a hero, rather than a monster? One could imagine a retelling of this story from Virginia's side where she actually learns and grows to understand that not only is her "monster" a human being, but so is Sing and so are the people of Borneo whom they encounter. Alas.

  12. 4 out of 5

    wally

    17 chapters, 1st one, "the rift" and the 1st sentence: as he dropped the last grisly fragment of the dismembered and mutilated body into the small vat of nitric acid that was to devour every trace of the horrid evidence which might easily send him to the gallows, the man sank weakly into a chair and throwing his body forward upon his great, teak desk buried his face in his arms, breaking into dry, moaning sobs. i know the feeling...can't help but empathize. onward and upward. okay...two chapters re 17 chapters, 1st one, "the rift" and the 1st sentence: as he dropped the last grisly fragment of the dismembered and mutilated body into the small vat of nitric acid that was to devour every trace of the horrid evidence which might easily send him to the gallows, the man sank weakly into a chair and throwing his body forward upon his great, teak desk buried his face in his arms, breaking into dry, moaning sobs. i know the feeling...can't help but empathize. onward and upward. okay...two chapters read...13% on the kindle. the suspense builds layer on layer...nice how erb does that here...we have the professor maxon from the 1st sentence...his daugther virginia. the professor is perfecting a means to create human life by chemical means...as yet, the process is not refined. he has plans. they have gone to an island in the pacific...built a camp...some malay pirates/tribesmen have tried to attack once, held off, returned to barter. a malay ships' crew of the professor knows the pirates, though only sing the chinese cook realizes that at this point....sing knows much...as much as the reader? could be...he hears things. earlier, erb introduced what i suspect will turn out to be the male hero..townsend j harper jr...who saw the girl virginia and asked dexter a buddy who she is...they have fallen off the map since. another, dr von horn, is assisting professor maxon...(pararung islands is where they're at...looking at my notes)...bududreen is the malay 1st mate. sing lee is the chinese cook. there are also dyaks...some sort of island tribe. the professors experiments continue in the "court of mystery" as van horn dubbed the place they built in the camp. though the professor is concerned about virginia's moral convictions/concerns about the "number one" "number two..."number three"...he has plans for her wedding day...to the perfect man...none such exist, as yet, nor is the time far distant.... update...24%...853 pm 13 dec 2011 up to chapter 5..."treason" i like how erb does time...."one day, about two weeks later..." i thought there was another that i high-lighted but no can find now, but it was like that one, maybe 'two months had passed...' developments were coming in riotous confusion. maxon has made life...13 life forms that he numbers...number one, two, etc, up to thirteen. thirteen is the tom cruise model, mister universe. i imagine those old black & white movies as i read....the blonde...yet w/a masculine voice? all those fake jungle sounds? heh! was out in the woods earlier and the pileated woodpeckers sound like a jungle bird but it is winter here. haven't imagined any of the men in a pith helmet, as yet. update; 1225 pm 14 dec 11, wednesday....finished. all's well that ends well...right? one of the other reviews mentioned racism...left it at that. nicely ambiguous and i've no clue what that means as they left it at that. perhaps it is words/phrases like beastial malay pirate?...the use of the word chinaman?...perhaps the racism of beauty...blame the sculptor of michaelangelo and that block of stone for that one...the ideal?...there is some bitts and pieces about things that happen to dyaks and others after they mess w/the englishmans' women...perhaps that is what is meant by the unquestioned presence of racism? as i said, they left it at that, it was questioned, defended, but we are still left wondering just what the hell did the reviewer mean by racism? ....the idea of savage borneo head-hunters?....jesse jackson-like, walking down the road, relieved when he turns at the sound of footsteps to see a white man? no no no no.... no...the only physical evidence that erb left in the story is at the 57%-mark on the kindle...the dyaks felt but little loyalty for the rascally malay they served, since in common with all their kind they and theirs had suffered for generations at the hands of the cruel, crafty and unscrupulous race that had usurped the administration of their land. there! there by golly! there is evidence of racism! yet how could one object to the telling? we move on. in so many of the erb stories i've read now....the mucker series....the deputy sheriff...this one...there is the element of mistaken identity. present. in this one like in the others it is resolved at the end. there is more to this story....the idea that science can do anything....create life even...although even that, the morality is questioned. certainly, there are items that tweak one's willing-suspension-of-disbelief....you either go with it or what...put the story down? yet even shakespeares plays followed a 5-act formula that pleased untold numbers to date. so. erb's stories have elements that move the story along, crazy coincidences that leave one shaking one's head....fine...it is a story. there was one point where i thought the dame...a word erb does not use here...give him a moment of grace please...but there was a point where i though the dame was curiously quiet...and then when she did speak more, i was reminded of the black and white movies as noted above. and gawd! don't you love those covers! that's what a cover should look like! the monster men! no pretense...there it is....take it or leave it. no existential naval-gazing...giant handsome men and dames.....by golly! dames in trouble! the dame in this one and in others gets taken....by force...and the chase is on! anyway...great story. if and when you get tired of all of the in-your-face naked gay sex in the public marketplace...try some erb...nice and relaxing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jon Hembree

    Did this one as an audiobook. I listened pretty much every time I was alone in the car. While not a fantastic book, it is an engaging story. Dr. Maxon is a mad scientist, and travels to the jungles of Borneo, determined to create the perfect human in his lab. His goal is not only to pursue his scientific dreams, but also to create the perfect man for his beautiful daughter Virginia to marry. Because of her beauty, however, Virginia has attracted other would-be pursuers, and the competition for h Did this one as an audiobook. I listened pretty much every time I was alone in the car. While not a fantastic book, it is an engaging story. Dr. Maxon is a mad scientist, and travels to the jungles of Borneo, determined to create the perfect human in his lab. His goal is not only to pursue his scientific dreams, but also to create the perfect man for his beautiful daughter Virginia to marry. Because of her beauty, however, Virginia has attracted other would-be pursuers, and the competition for her affection takes a dangerous course. There is a twist ending that is very unexpected, but almost wrapped things up a little too neatly and quickly, in my opinion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.R. Coltaine

    I thought the twist was going to be that Virginia also had been created in a lab and her and 13 would live happily ever after in a frankenstein monster romance where each justifies the existence of the other's soul. No such luck. Still fun, but how racist is it? It's Northern-american-writes-eugenics-themed-novel-that-takes-place-in-borneo-and-features-a-sneaky-chinese-man-and-plenty-of-asian-pirates-racist. Also, women should not enter jungles alone because they are sure to be captured by prima I thought the twist was going to be that Virginia also had been created in a lab and her and 13 would live happily ever after in a frankenstein monster romance where each justifies the existence of the other's soul. No such luck. Still fun, but how racist is it? It's Northern-american-writes-eugenics-themed-novel-that-takes-place-in-borneo-and-features-a-sneaky-chinese-man-and-plenty-of-asian-pirates-racist. Also, women should not enter jungles alone because they are sure to be captured by primates of some kind. In this case, orangutans.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

    An early ERB standalone science fiction novel about a mad scientist, Professor Maxon, and his assistant, Dr. Von Horn, creating artificial humans in a laboratory. A cross of sorts between Frankenstein & The Island of Doctor Moreau. But the number 13 specimen is a little different, and the Mad Scientist's daughter, Virginia, has an attraction to him, even though he is the leader of the other monstrosities - the Monster Men of the title. An early ERB standalone science fiction novel about a mad scientist, Professor Maxon, and his assistant, Dr. Von Horn, creating artificial humans in a laboratory. A cross of sorts between Frankenstein & The Island of Doctor Moreau. But the number 13 specimen is a little different, and the Mad Scientist's daughter, Virginia, has an attraction to him, even though he is the leader of the other monstrosities - the Monster Men of the title.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Love of Hopeless Causes

    Disturbing, I wonder if it was the eugenics and racist overtones or the story tension that made me disengage. Audiobook review, I like how he portrays his heroines as tigress' as opposed to wilting daisies. It's action packed. Lame review is lame. This will be a skip for anyone but those seeking something in the Frankenstein/Moreau line. Disturbing, I wonder if it was the eugenics and racist overtones or the story tension that made me disengage. Audiobook review, I like how he portrays his heroines as tigress' as opposed to wilting daisies. It's action packed. Lame review is lame. This will be a skip for anyone but those seeking something in the Frankenstein/Moreau line.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Gibson

    Interesting take on the whole 'Island of Doctor Moreau' thing. This is yet another book I should have read as a kid. Some of our current 'thriller' authors should read Burroughs -- he is terrific at writing a fight scene in one paragraph instead of ten pages. I had fun administering Burroughs clever plot twists involving mostly natural events. Also: this guy was really prolific! Interesting take on the whole 'Island of Doctor Moreau' thing. This is yet another book I should have read as a kid. Some of our current 'thriller' authors should read Burroughs -- he is terrific at writing a fight scene in one paragraph instead of ten pages. I had fun administering Burroughs clever plot twists involving mostly natural events. Also: this guy was really prolific!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    A fun story, but it has the typical stereotypes: a fairly helpless female who faints at the most inopportune times; a sneaky, spying Chinese man (who is still a "good guy"); a god-like hero; treacherous natives. The story did wrap up in a way I was not expecting, which was nice. A fun story, but it has the typical stereotypes: a fairly helpless female who faints at the most inopportune times; a sneaky, spying Chinese man (who is still a "good guy"); a god-like hero; treacherous natives. The story did wrap up in a way I was not expecting, which was nice.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    A little different than the average Burroughs adventure, and a little darker. Though I've always believed that E.R.B wasn't quite as one dimensional as many think. A little different than the average Burroughs adventure, and a little darker. Though I've always believed that E.R.B wasn't quite as one dimensional as many think.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Carlson

    Another fast paced Burroughs adventure of captures and rescues.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ry

    So deliciously absurd...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brock Books

    Horror for all the wrong reasons.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Dobihal

    Typical Burroughs with a touch of Frankenstein at least until the end.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Book collector

    Another from him that is just ok. Writing isn't brilliant and the story is weak. Another from him that is just ok. Writing isn't brilliant and the story is weak.

  25. 5 out of 5

    R. Kent

    Excellent story. It is like the combination of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with H.G. Well's The Island Of Doctor Moreau with a nice little twist at the end. Excellent story. It is like the combination of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with H.G. Well's The Island Of Doctor Moreau with a nice little twist at the end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jim Wharton

    Not his best work...oh, and the racist colonialism.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    This is one of his stand-alones. It takes place in southeast Asia, with savage tribes and monstrous orangutans in his usual style on Earth (as contrasted to under Earth as well as on Mars) -- except that a major factor in it is that a character is a Mad Scientist, out to Create Life, which shifts it into science fiction as least as much as H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau. It opens with Professor Maxon destroying the corpse of a malformed humanoid -- close enough to look human -- that had l This is one of his stand-alones. It takes place in southeast Asia, with savage tribes and monstrous orangutans in his usual style on Earth (as contrasted to under Earth as well as on Mars) -- except that a major factor in it is that a character is a Mad Scientist, out to Create Life, which shifts it into science fiction as least as much as H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau. It opens with Professor Maxon destroying the corpse of a malformed humanoid -- close enough to look human -- that had lived only for moments, and then taking an ocean voyage with his daughter to recover his nerves. And, it turns out, his desire for further experiments. Taking on an assistant, von Horn, and a Chinese cook, Sing, he sets up camp on a deserted island, despite an early attack by pirates, and soon creates twelve living but hideous malformed beings -- ranging from animalistic to barely able to think in intelligence. He confides to von Horn that he wishes to make a perfect one and marry it off to Virginia. Well, with Number 13, he comes to find the experiment ended abruptly when he wasn't there, but he has a perfect handsome and intelligent specimen. von Horn tries to woo Virginia while the professor instructs his newest specimen. Number 1 escapes, abducts Virginia, and runs off to the jungle; Number 13 saves her and starts, merely from imitating it, to carry her off -- fortunately toward the camp, but seriously unnerving both Professor Maxon and von Horn. von Horn, intending to marry Virginia by force, and prevent the professor from returning to civilization to change his will, conspires with the native crew of the ship, offering them a chest the professor treasures. Which just happens to coincide with a pirate attack that intends to carry off the chest and Virginia. And the confluence happens to let the twelve created men escape, and Virginia get carried off, and so start the adventures thoroughly. They are soon borne off to Bourno, where abductions, fights, arguments over the chests, and dealing with the jungle's dangers soon fill the pages, and Number 13 is renamed Bulan by the natives before all is resolved in the end. Sing speaks in a horrible pidgin, but is otherwise treated as a perfectly respectable character, even being the one to treat all injuries (and he is, after all, from the southeast Asia and probably didn't have much practice at English). The other non-white characters -- sometimes serve as striking examples of the racial science of his day. It plays about with the notion of these monster men. von Horn views them as soulless creatures that can be killed as soon as they have demonstrated the results of the experiment, and when Professor Maxon recovers his sanity (through a blow to the head no less), he agrees -- and is not portrayed as an ungrateful bastard, despite his owing his life to Number 13. But Number 13/Bulan wrestles with the notion, and Virginia argues he must have a soul, and the "soulless" creatures do do things that poke at the notion -- but it doesn't go deeply into it, and in the end, the matter is shoved aside by the course of events and various revelations. More adventures and less contemplation that Wells would have given it, I think.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Robey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In the novel, The Monster Men, there are thirteen artificial human beings that have to fight for their rights and their lives. I rated this book a two out of five because the ending was rather disappointing. The author set up an amazing ending and I was expecting much more from the end. I loved the middle, but you really need a good ending to have that feeling of accomplishment at the end. It spoke of a treasure chest throughout the entire book, there were many people trying to get it but at the In the novel, The Monster Men, there are thirteen artificial human beings that have to fight for their rights and their lives. I rated this book a two out of five because the ending was rather disappointing. The author set up an amazing ending and I was expecting much more from the end. I loved the middle, but you really need a good ending to have that feeling of accomplishment at the end. It spoke of a treasure chest throughout the entire book, there were many people trying to get it but at the end you learned that it was full of science textbooks. Also, the main character we thought was a "monster" but at the end, he was just a normal human being who had amnesia. The two main characters fell in love when they first met each other, and the antagonists killed themselves at the end. The strengths in this book are that it is very interesting throughout the rising action, and it is very interesting. The only weakness is that the ending was very disappointing. I expected much more from it. I would not read another book by Edgar Rice Burroughs because he is very disappointing with his endings.

  29. 5 out of 5

    TheGriffinReads

    With no Tarzan or John Carter, Edgar Rice Burroughs explores philosophy and science fiction with pirates, star-crossed lovers, failed experiments and an exotic island filled with natives and their magic. The Monster Men mashes up The Island of Dr. Moreau and Shakespeare’s The Tempest to pair his protagonist, monster-man, with , the daughter of brilliant scientist, . Where Tarzan and John Carter adventures build cyclically with an obvious break between “installments” when read, The Monster Men rol With no Tarzan or John Carter, Edgar Rice Burroughs explores philosophy and science fiction with pirates, star-crossed lovers, failed experiments and an exotic island filled with natives and their magic. The Monster Men mashes up The Island of Dr. Moreau and Shakespeare’s The Tempest to pair his protagonist, monster-man, with , the daughter of brilliant scientist, . Where Tarzan and John Carter adventures build cyclically with an obvious break between “installments” when read, The Monster Men rollicks along its single story arc with breakneck speed punctuated by unlikely twists and heroic rescues. But, here, Burroughs cheats the philosophy; where The Island of Dr. Moreau explores the limits of humanity, The Monster Men’s hero turns out to be a simple shipwreck, unrelated to the professors heretical experiments. Ultimately I was disappointed by the read, but the Frank Frazetta cover and interior illustration made up for the lame ending. I won’t read it again; but I will read some more Burroughs.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    I'm currently trying to read some old-time sci fi to round out my sci fi knowledge, so I got this somewhat on a whim. To my modern sci-fi reading experience, this seemed like a rather odd little book, especially considering the ending. I enjoyed it overall, though. It has the old-fashioned swashbuckling heroic male saves helpless maiden-in-distress adventure, which isn't my style but I know it was the style of the time so I'll forgive it. Nearing the end I thought it was going to be a fascinating I'm currently trying to read some old-time sci fi to round out my sci fi knowledge, so I got this somewhat on a whim. To my modern sci-fi reading experience, this seemed like a rather odd little book, especially considering the ending. I enjoyed it overall, though. It has the old-fashioned swashbuckling heroic male saves helpless maiden-in-distress adventure, which isn't my style but I know it was the style of the time so I'll forgive it. Nearing the end I thought it was going to be a fascinating illustration of what it means to have a "soul", which would be relevant even today with our modern philosophical and theological arguments about cloning, but the ending disappointed me in that vein; it sidesteps the whole issue. No deep thinking or soul-searching here: just a straightforward shoot-em-up story same as any other. I guess that's fine, but it disappointed me. Anyways, for an old-fashioned adventure it's pretty good; just don't expect too much out of it.

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