Out of Time’s Abyss: Formula has become stale

Out of Time’s Abyss by Edgar Rice BurroughsOut of Time’s Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs

In Out of Time’s Abyss, the last volume of Edgar Rice Burrough’s CASPAK trilogy, we learn what happened to Bradley, one of the adventurers we met in the first novel, The Land that Time Forgot. As we expected, Bradley has frightening adventures on Caspak, is nearly killed by lions, bears, tigers, dinosaurs, etc, and he saves and falls in love with a beautiful young damsel in distress.

In this installment, we meet the Wieroo, the most highly evolved species on Caspak. Their form and society isn’t at all what the American and European adventurers would have expected. We also learn the rest of the mystery of the strange evolution that has happened on Caspak. Since this is Earth instead of a fantasy world, it’s all too far-fetched to believe, but that’s okay because we weren’t really expecting or demanding more from a lost world story.

The plot of Out of Time’s Abyss could have been enjoyable, but its problem is that, except for the episode with the Weiroo, it’s nearly identical to the previous two CASAPAK stories, The Land that Time Forgot and The People that Time Forgot: white man fights prehistoric creatures and falls in love with the adorable native girl he’s protecting. At this point, the formula which has worked well before has become stale.

Blackstone Audio’s version of Out of Time’s Abyss was read by Brian Emerson who does a great job. The CASPAK trilogy was published in 1918 so you can find both a print and an audio version in the public domain.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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  1. Thanks, Kat. It looks like this trilogy does not need to go on my list.

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