Literature / The Monster Men

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The Monster Men is a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs — his take on the Mad Scientist theme. Professor Maxon, having disposed of his latest attempt to create life, takes to the ocean to recover. In Southeast Asia, he chooses to take his experiments up again on a Deserted Island. Pirates, treachery, and miswrought experiments threaten him and his beautiful daughter Virginia.

Can be found here.


Tropes included

  • After-Action Healing Drama: Bulan collapses, and Virgina nurses him through.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Sing speaks in pidgin...which fools some characters into overlooking his intelligence and perceptive nature.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: How Virginia deduces Bulan's character: he's good-looking, in contrast to the hideous other creations.
  • Blue Blood: von Horn. He doesn't see why his suit to Virginia can be objectional, in light of it.
  • Bridal Carry: Par for the course for rescues or abductions.
  • Celestial Deadline: Attributed to Chinese medicine
  • Creating Life: Professor Maxon is able to Frankenstein human(oid) bodies and bring them to life. They don't appreciate it.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sing, the old Chinese cook, who is scorned by the other workers and can only barely speak English nevertheless proves to be the most heroic, resourceful, and noble character of the book: tracking the escaped Monster Men when they kidnap Virginia, treating injuries and sickness, and, despite his age, fighting for Virginia's rescue. He's more of a father to her than her actual (insane) father is.
  • Crush Blush: Virginia, when she is caught studying her rescuer.
  • Curse: Showered, ineffectively, on a traitor.
  • Damsel in Distress: Virginia—this wouldn't be an ERB novel without one.
  • Deserted Island: The setting for most of it. It's kind of hard to dispose of (synthetic) bodies in civilized places...
  • Easy Amnesia: Bulan isn't actually a creation of the Professor; he's a socialite who happened to get hit on the head and was included in the experiment...somehow.
  • Engagement Challenge: Whoever rescues Virginia can court her.
  • Evil Virtues
    Whatever faults and vices were Carl von Horn's cowardice was not one of them,
  • Friend or Foe: Sing shoots at ships he takes for pirates because being taken by pirates is too horrible to risk.
  • Hungry Jungle: Much of the island. They meet various monsters and savages in it.
  • The Promise: Maxon promises that if he rescues Virginia, von Horn can marry her.
  • Rule of Seven: how long it has been since von Horn went anywhere under American jurisdiction.


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