It was quite a surprise seeing a book adapted into a riffed movie in the wild! I’m sure they said it was an adaptation in the opening, but it didn’t really register until now. I wonder if the original stories are any better?
Yes. ERB, to me, is one of the more readable authors in literature. These stories appeared in Blue Book contemporaneously with Agatha Christie stuff, e.g. Burroughs was very likely the reason Blue Book’s subscription more than doubled in the course of a year (from 80K).
It has been a couple of decades since I’ve read it but I remember it as more of a travel log than an action/adventure. It was probably cutting edge for its time.
My favorite ERB books though were the first half of his Mars series. Straight forward action adventure with the only distractions being the scantily clad people.
Technically they were completely unclad aside from jewelry and equipment belts. This usually doesn’t get portrayed in the cover art. The one exception is the Michael Whelan cover for A Princess of Mars, which may have the most efficient exposure to censoring ratio. It shows Carter holding Dejah Thoris (the titular princess) in the classic Bridal Carry. Not only does this keep Dejah’s naughty bits out of sight while making it plain that she’s not wearing a stitch, but it casts a strategic shadow over Carter’s area.
They’re good! I remember being surprised at the time. (Like reading Robert E. Howard and going, “Say, this fellow can write!”) The Tarzan books are remarkable in that the first 20 only have a couple of kinda meh entries. He peters out a bit with the last four, but that’s, like, 25 years later.