1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
This is the classic that created an entire genre of literature and movies. Skilled writing and vivid imagery adds to the primal appeal of the story line. Recommended to boys (and men) of all ages.
Published on June 13 2011 by William Tell
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Classic
After having "A Princess of Mars" published in "All-Story" as "Under the Moons of Mars" from February through July of 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs was unable to get his "Outlaw of Torn" published, but he did manage to get "All-Story" to devote an entire edition of their magazine to "Tarzan of the Apes". Burrough's had written the story between December of 1911 and May of...
Published on Nov. 8 2009 by Dave_42
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)This is the classic that created an entire genre of literature and movies. Skilled writing and vivid imagery adds to the primal appeal of the story line. Recommended to boys (and men) of all ages.
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Pulp,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)While no one should trick themselves into believing this is great literature, Tarzan of the Apes offers a fun and exciting set of cheap thrills, perfect for summer reading.
A short book, with enough absurdity to drive it into the realm of pulp fiction, there's still no getting around how much fun it is to read. An old time book at an old time price, and, if you're up for what it is, a very enjoyable read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tarzan Legend Begins,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)I felt it would be a good idea to review the original TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs as many are only familiar with how the character has been mishandled for the past seventy or so years. In his original form Tarzan was far from the monosyllabic simpleton as he was so often later portrayed. Instead, Tarzan was a man of aristocratic bearing who wielded great strength of both body and will, spoke several languages fluently, and easily mixed with British society.
Although Tarzan first appeared in TARZAN OF THE APES, the plot and some of Tarzan's characteristics were showcased in an earlier Burroughs work called THE MONSTER MEN. But it was the infant heir to a British title that rocketed Burroughs's fame. Tarzan begins as an infant shipwrecked on the coast of Africa. The rest of his family quickly dies but a local anthropoid ape (not a gorilla) who just lost a baby, claims pale, hairless baby and raises it as her own. Tarzan grows but is always weaker than the apes. But when Tarzan finds the hut left by his family he begins learning about his human side. With knowledge Tarzan is able to stand up to the more bullysome apes and life is good.
Years later thing change drastically when pirates maroon other humans near Tarzan's home. It is then that Tarzan learns to love Jane and she him although she first knows him as two different people. To her there is the forest god who rescues her and there is Tarzan who leaves her notes. But while Tarzan can read and write English and speak the language of the apes, French is the first human tongue he learns. A tongue that Jane does not understand. But eventually Jane becomes the force that drives Tarzan towards civilization and his birthright among British nobility.
In this first Tarzan novel, Edgar Rice Burroughs explores the idea of class as inherent. A British lord will always be a British lord and will always rise to the top no matter how far he has been pushed down. Tarzan, being raised by an unknown species of intelligent apes, has further to rise than any lord in history. But the rise he does because class will always prove itself. This is a popular theme and one that, in detective fiction, shows the difference between the British view and the American view. The British view used to hold that an aristocrat acting as an amateur, with easily best the professional laborer as in the Sherlock Holmes stories. The American view in detective fiction is that the closer to the grit you are the better you are at solving mysteries as in the Colombo or Sam Spade mysteries. But in TARZAN OF THE APES Burroughs takes the British view to its extreme.
TARZAN OF THE APES and the other early Tarzan novels are classics of adventure fiction. Lost cities, ancient civilizations, true love, heroism and other qualities of great adventures are all present in these novels. My wife really enjoys the original Zorro stories packed with romance and heroism. But when I lent her some of my Tarzan books she quickly became a fan of his stories as well. If you have never treated yourself to the original and only know what television and Hollywood have done to him, I recommend that you give Tarzan a try. I think you will be surprised.
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Classic,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)After having "A Princess of Mars" published in "All-Story" as "Under the Moons of Mars" from February through July of 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs was unable to get his "Outlaw of Torn" published, but he did manage to get "All-Story" to devote an entire edition of their magazine to "Tarzan of the Apes". Burrough's had written the story between December of 1911 and May of 1912, and it appeared by itself in the October 1912 edition of the magazine. It was published in book form on June 17, 1914, Burrough's first book to be published, and it was published by A. C. McClurg & Company, who had rejected it previously but after its enormous popularity they changed their minds.
Tarzan has become an iconic character, to say the least. Burroughs went on to write over twenty sequels, and of course there are numerous movies, comic books, etc. based on the character. While one cannot ignore the impact the creation of the character has had, the original story is not particularly good. Burroughs had free reign to define Mars as he wished, but his depiction of Africa is well off the mark. Burrough's imagination is somewhat lacking in the tale as well, going again and again to the presence of Lions to create a threat for Tarzan to deal with. One has to wonder how so many Lions in so small an area would be able to get enough food to survive, and they are in rather a dense jungle instead of the savannah.
There are logical errors as well, such as Tarzan learning to read but not speak English, and yet somehow figuring out how to spell his name in English. There is the strange journey of the Professor Porter and Samuel T. Philander where they manage to get lost and walk unmolested through the same jungle as is shortly to contain numerous Lions. There is also the oddity of Tarzan struggling with Jane Porter writing that she doesn't love him (Tarzan) even though he deduces that she hasn't realized that he is Tarzan and is thus writing to someone she believes she has not yet met.
Despite the problems, this is still a fun book to read, and it is nice to go back and see what started the phenomenon so long ago. I also don't want to give the impression that there is nothing but Lions, as there are cannibals and other wild creatures to contend with along the way. As with Burrough's other books, the story often relies on amazing coincidences, such as the Porter's, Philander, and the next Lord Greystoke being stranded in the very same spot as Tarzan's parents were. The best part about the book for me was the ending, as Burrough's handles Tarzan's sacrifice at the end quite well.
3.0 out of 5 stars 5stars for the story! .,
By A Customer
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)This is a classic story everyone should read but find another version.
5.0 out of 5 stars heroes never grow old,
By A Customer
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)I first read the Tarzan series when I was ten. I read them again while in high school. During graduate school I gave my complete collection away. Now in my mid-50's, I have once again discovered the Tarzan books. They are a wonderful escape to a world of adventure and morality. They can be read as a child's intertainment or as classic literature. Tarzan is a hero who never grows old.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Read,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)Nearly everyone knows the story of Tarzan, whether their education came from movies, television, or cartoons. None have done justice to Burroughs' book though. I read this book as a teenager, and it still ranks up there with my favorite adventure novels. 'Tarzan' should be on everyone's must read list - it's an essential classic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Burroughs Delivers,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)A ship's mutiny forces a young noble English couple to live on the African coast. They have a child and then die a short time later. Their infant son is adopted by an ape mother and raised as her own. The boy, Tarzan, rises to jungle dominance and subsequently discovers another group of marooned Europeans.
I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. This is mindless jungle entertainment at it's best. Of course it's ludicrous that a human baby could survive living with a family of apes. Of course it's silly that the human could not only survive but thrive to become the supreme jungle power. Of course it's ridiculous that he could teach himself to read and write English from books alone. Does all that really matter though? Of course not. Don't expect deep characters, life-changing philosophies, or even intricate plotting. Burroughs wrote this book as entertainment, pure and simple.
Burroughs style may be a bit dated but he certainly does know how to write an engrossing adventure tale. He uses tried and true writing techniques like ending chapters on cliffhangers and presenting his protagonist as the underdog in a struggle against all odds. Early on in the book I found myself rooting completely for Tarzan.
For the sensitive reader, I'll offer a couple of warnings. First, Burroughs presents native Africans as superstitious, cannibalistic "savages". Second, the book is surprisingly violent. I'm sure that in the screen adaptations Tarzan never stabbed or throttled to death so many humans and animals.
One final caution -- the book ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger. Make sure to have "The Return of Tarzan" ready.
4.0 out of 5 stars Meet the REAL Tarzan!,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)Little did ERB realize when he launched his second novel in 1914, that he had created a pop icon hero who would delight youthful readers around the world. The author, who had failed in a variety of enterprises, combined his late-blooming literary talent with a fecund imagination, to create a typically American protagonist--one who reflected the 19th century's fascination with the Nature vs Nurture debate of human development. Can a "wild man" be truly half ape/half human; can such a creature be reprogrammed to reject two decades of savage training in favor of civilized manners? Is the love of a beautiful woman sufficient to lead a primitive person to rise above his barbaric conditioning, in order to compete with cultivated upperclass
Hollywood's numerous version of Tarzan's various adventures have distorted the author's original plot and careful details, such that an accurate rendering of the novel would be rejected by a falsely-educated public, who expect Tarzan to be
Since the general storyline is so well known, I will focus commentary on ERB's literary style. Like most of his future heroines, Jane is aged 19, with a perfect body, and is called a girl (never a woman). Naturally she endures abduction by a brute, but is ultimately rescued by her hero--saving her from "the fate worse than a thousand deaths." Other ERB elements include the famous pairing of words (rage and hate, pain and fear, etc), and his famous cliff-hanger chapter endings; this latter is necessary so that readers can keep abreast of what has been happening to other characters in the story, requiring some mental gymnastics.
On the down side, ERB has rightfully been criticized for his treatment of other races and nationalities. His jungle Blacks are little better than superstitious children, while faithful Esmeralda (Jane's nanny) speaks in dialect like some Mark Twain characters--another challenge for readers. The author clearly admires Frenchmen, but hates Germans as international bullies (who become the object of Tarzan's pro-English mischief in subsequent novels.) If Hollywood can whip up patriotic fervor
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Phenomenon,
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Mass Market Paperback)It's difficult to measure the impact of this relatively simple story; one which generated half a billion dollars a few years ago as an animated film.
Tarzan of the Apes explores that which is within all of us; those primal drives and abilities which permitted us to survive as a species. Burroughs creates a hero who because of immense potentials and a truly unique maturation becomes a relatively believable "superman", in some respects; and he does it with engaging prose which sweeps you along and permits you to make that leap of faith necessary to believe in Tarzan.
The current criticizms we sometimes see that these books contain "racist" writing are wholly absurd. To say that Burroughs had honest beliefs that Cacausions were superior to other races or sub-groups is simply to say that he grew up more than a century ago. Virtually all whites held such views, and Burroughs would have learned nothing else; nor would have any of our ancestors, including the ancestors of these current critics.
However, to allege that Burroughs believed in discrimination based upon the color of one's skin; or that any of his positive characters, including Tarzan, ever engaged in any such discrimination, is utter nonsense. Burroughs examined the absurdity of superiority based upon skin color in his Barsoom (Mars) novels, where he portrays each race as utterly certain of his the inherent superiority of his own race, when in fact they are all clearly the same, except for color. Tarzan's adopted tribe, the Waziri, are portrayed as fierce, intelligent warriors, the equal of any white men. The ape-man himself was discriminated against by the apes, and throughout the entire saga he treats each person as an individual, irrespective of race or creed.
In The War Chief Burroughs portrays the Apache as magnificent, intelligent warriors who are every bit the equal of any white man. His books are so far ahead of his time when it comes to dealing with matters of race, prejudice, and equality that it's truly amazing, considering how long ago he wrote them.
"Tarzan of the Apes" is the creation of this mesmerizing character, from his infancy to his adulthood; and encounter with man, and ultimately Jane Porter. The theme enables Burroughs to explore mankind from the perspective of a man who was reared outside civilization; and his insights are often not flattering. Tarzan has all the ingredients we enjoy in a hero. He is handsome, brave, and has physical assets which are far beyond any other man. He also has some unusual, but realistic, attributes. He is arrogant, a loner, and prone to violence. Burroughs didn't ignore those characteristics which one might expect such an individual to be; and that's perhaps why the book and story have remained so timeless and enchanting for nearly a century, and for people all over the world.
This is a fascinating, action-filled story which is also thoughtful and interesting. Truly unique, it' a story of adversity and growth; a self-made man; and true love. Anyone who might have gained their impressions of Tarzan of the Apes from film, television, or comic books should take a look at the "true" Tarzan. Burroughs had no idea, of course, what he was creating when he wrote this story. It's just one of those ideas which resulted in a story which somehow achieved almost magical appeal and has continued to do so. It's not a complex story. Pulps didn't lend themselves to complex stories. It's a wonderful story, however; and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Mass Market Paperback - March 12 1984)
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