Book Report: Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1912, 1963)

I might count this as a historical novel. Well, a pulp novel from history. The cover says Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character this extraordinary writer ever created, but I know Burroughs mostly for John Carter, the Warlord of Mars. Tarzan has gotten quite the screen time, though, hasn’t he? I remember the television program that KPLR ran on Saturday mornings before its movie triple feature. Remember when independent stations ran those?

At any rate, this book follows the plight of Tarzan’s parents, the Lord and Lady Greystoke, marooned on the African coast, the raising of Tarzan, his growth and eventual ascendance among the apes, and the arrival of other maroonees at the same spot. There, Tarzan saves Jane, and the hearty French (!) rescue Jane and her family. Tarzan then, in the final bit of the book, goes to civilization and ultimately Wisconsin (!) to save Jane again, but ultimately lets her wed his cousin who has assumed the title Lord Greystoke.

The end bit runs very quickly (quicker since it’s missing 6 pages of the climax). Taking Tarzan out of the jungle ultimately doesn’t work, but I bet others in the series will return him to the wild. I bought a number of them at a recent book fair and left some of them unpacked, so I imagine I’ll read it in the next month.

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