Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book Review- Tarzan of the Apes

For the Classics Club I read Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes. I listened to this one on audiobook and I really enjoyed the narration by Simon Prebble.
Synopsis- When a ship's mutiny forces a young noble English couple out onto the remote African coast, their child is born into the wild. Their deaths a short time later leave the boy alone in the jungle wilderness- until a she-ape adopts him and raises whims her own. Reluctantly accepted into the tribe by its fierce leader, Kerchak, the baby Tarzan must prove himself by learning the ways of survival in the jungle: how to talk with animals, swing through the trees and fight the great predators. In time, his strength, courage and human intelligence earn him a play as Lord of the Jungle. But the civilized men enter the jungle, Tarzan is forced to choose between two worlds. A classic tale that is both a reflection on civilization from an outside point of view and an exploration of the primal force within us all. 
I'm beginning to realize with my second of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels that he definitely has a formula to them. However.... one can't help but enjoy his books! Adventure! Romance! Just some light fun reading. There are definitely some stereotypes to this book and it's the product of it's times so there's a couple things one needs to take with a grain of salt.
Tarzan is an intriguing and compelling lead character. He's definitely a character trying to find himself and you root for him throughout the book. The internal struggle he faces between his human side and his primal side is interesting. Jane is great too but I liked Dejah Thoris in A Princess of Mars better. Jane is a little bit of a helpless female sometimes but I think you don't notice quite as much because her maid Esmeralda is way more so! I had mixed feelings about Clayton. I liked him and he's definitely a gentleman so I feel bad for him that Jane ends up preferring Tarzan. I also like the French naval officer D'Arnot. He's a great gentleman and I love how he looks after Tarzan after Tarzan looks after him. Overall I enjoyed the plot though it can get pretty sappy at times after Jane enters the story.
Really my main complaint about this book is the ending. No spoilers but if you've read it you know what I mean! Basically I'm going to have to read the next book to get the rest of the story! Why would Edgar Rice Burroughs end the book like that? It's cruel!!!
On a side note.... this is nothing like the Disney film at all... I've only seen it once a long time ago but as far as I recall... pretty much nothing like it!
So anyways, a fun read and I recommend!

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1 comment:

  1. The books are so different from most of the TV or movie versions I've seen that it really does make for a different experience! I've only read a few of the Tarzan books (there are a ton) but one thing that struck me was the occasional ruthlessness he can show, which I guess makes sense given his background. But you don't see that in the movies. I also have to say I agree about Dejah Thoris being WAY more interesting than Jane. I guess being a part of the Martian culture makes her more independent and warlike, which I found a lot more interesting.

    Oh and I love D'Arnot too. Some of my favorites of the series are Tarzan the Invincible and Tarzan and the Forbidden City.


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