The Red Planet

Cover image for


Published: 1917
Language: English
Wordcount: 101,742 / 289 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.2
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 595 4459

War time story told in the first person by Major Meredyth, crippled in the Boer War and now acting as a sort of father confessor to other characters. Leonard Boyce, about whom there is an ugly story of his past record in the Boer War, is the real hero. Mystery centers about this incident and its effects upon his after life and his relations to Betty Fairfax to whom he was once engaged.(Third best selling novel of 1917.)

Show Excerpt

ery affair of bows and arrows. I am a back-number. Still, back-numbers have their feelings--and their memories.

I sometimes wonder, as I sit in this wheel-chair, with my abominable legs dangling down helplessly, what Sergeant Marigold thinks of me. I know what I think of Marigold. I think him the ugliest devil that God ever created and further marred after creating him. He is a long, bony creature like a knobbly ram-rod, and his face is about the colour and shape of a damp, mildewed walnut. To hide a bald head into which a silver plate has been fixed, he wears a luxuriant curly brown wig, like those that used to adorn waxen gentlemen in hair-dressing windows. His is one of those unhappy moustaches that stick out straight and scanty like a cat's. He has the slit of a letter-box mouth of the Irishman in caricature, and only half a dozen teeth spaced like a skeleton company. Nothing will induce him to procure false ones. It is a matter of principle. Between the wearing of false hair and the wearing of fal


Average Rating of 3.3 from 3 reviews: ****

A fascinating look into another time and the more simple, but far from simplistic, patriotism that characterized WW1 Britain. It is far from ironic in its treatment of the war fervor but still manages a nuanced approach.

There are a number of characters that revolve around the main character and the story focuses on his relationships with them.

The books is much slower to get going than most 21st century readers accustomed to but it is more than worth it in the end.


A story about life in a small English town as seen through the eyes of a disabled Boar War vetern. It includes mystery, shame, patriotism and the lack of it. Not really a great read. May appeal to some.


Yeesh. Couldn't get through this one -- the main character goes on and on about how folks who aren't militant pro-war are anti-English, and that the military is great, etc etc. Very strident. And the plot was clunky, and couldn't seem to get started (or focused). So it might be good, but I doubt it... and I'll never bother to find out.

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