I continue to worry about my loss of enthusiasm for Burroughs. There was a point, not terribly long ago, when he rocked my world, when I started each new book with undeniable glee. This doesn't happen anymore, and it makes me sad.
In this one, the Token Pretty Lady's father (the token Batshit Crazy Elderly Scientist) decides that mere mortal men aren't good enough for his darling girl, so he sets out to create a vat-born gentleman to wed Pretty Lady. This... doesn't work very well, until, suddenly, it does, and they have this Totally Awesome Handsome Hero Type. This irritates Villainous Scientist, who wanted to marry Pretty Lady because she's totally hawt and because her father owns a heavy box. Pretty Lady, is, however, protected not only by Our Hero, but also by an aged Chinese cook who has the most illegible accent but, for being an Asian in an old-school adventure novel, is really a very admirable character. Pretty Lady also has to contend with Malay Pirates and cannibals and crocodiles and giant apes which is, pretty much, all in a day's work for a Burroughs heroine. There follow many morose speeches about the lack of souls in man-made men.
I really think it's something changed in my own character, not in Burroughs' writing, because everything I've just narrated is exactly the sort of stuff that delighted me not five years ago. Loss of innocence, perhaps. Read it anyway.