Tarzan of the Apes

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
List(s):"Carp 500"
Category: "Fiction - Adventure"
Year of Publication:1914
Date Read:01/10/1994
Notes:Set amidst the vibrant colors and sounds of the savage African jungle, this classic work is rich in suspense, action, romance and pure adventure. This is the story of the ape-man Tarzan, raised in the wild by the great ape Kala, and how he learns the secrets of the jungle to survive — how to talk with the animals, swing through the trees, and fight the great predators. When his paradise is invaded by white men, Tarzan’s life changes, for in this group is Jane, the first white woman he has ever seen.

COMMENTS — This is the first in a series of 20+ Tarzan books. Burroughs also wrote many other jungle and science fiction novels. He was the first author to patent a fictional character — Tarzan. During the early years of the 20th century, he was the most-widely-read American author. His books gained him fame and wealth, but he always referred to them as “junk.”
My Rating: 7

Reviews for Tarzan of the Apes

Review - Tarzan of the Apes

John Clatyon, Lord Greystoke and his wife Alice are marooned on the shore of Africa by mutineers who take over their ship. John builds a small, secure cabin and it is here that their son is born. When the child is still an infant, his parents die. He is found by a band of apes and is adopted by Kala, a female who had just lost her young. The child is named Tarzan and grows up with the apes, not realizing he is different until he finds the cabin. He studies the books left by his father and, realizing that he is a man, teaches himself to read and write English. He grows up, with all the skills of the apes and the ingenuity of man and becomes king of the apes and master of the forest.

When Tarzan is approximately 20, another group of people are stranded by another band of mutineers. They are Jane Porter and her father (a scientist), and William Clayton who happens to be the son of John Clayton’s brother. He has assumed the title of Lord Greystoke since John disappeared. Tarzan, at one time or another, rescues all of them from various dangers in the jungle. He falls in love with Jane, and when he saves her from a gorilla he runs off into the jungle with her. His innate gentlemanly nature keeps him from violating her, and they fall in love. He takes her back to the cabin.

In the meantime, a French ship has arrived and the troops head off to look for Jane. One of them, D’Arnot, is captured by cannibals and is about to be killed when Tarzan rescues him. It is a few weeks before D’Arnot is well enough to be returned to the cabin, and when they arrive, the French ship and Jane have left. D’Arnot teaches Tarzan French. The two of them march up the coast to a White settlement and take sail for Paris. D’Arnot brings John Clayton’s diary with him and from a set of fingerprints Tarzan left in the book as a child, he figures out that Tarzan is the real Lord Greystoke. Tarzan follows Jane to America and finds her in Wisconsin just in time to save her from a forest fire. He is about to proclaim his love and ask her to marry him when he finds out that she is engaged to William Clayton. He denies his birthright and the woman he loves and sails back to Africa.

The story is implausible, very poorly written in places (especially the dialogue of Esmeralda, Jane’s Black servant), but still somehow strangely compelling. It’s not a good book, just a good story.

Review - Tarzan of the Apes

Posted by: Kelli Wick
7/15/2004 1:11:06 PM

Carp Gills July 2004

You know, in all honesty, who really wants to delve into a classic during the beautiful, hot days of Summer? Well, honestly, YOU should. You are a member of a club that embraces the old, celebrates the way we used to be, and more importantly, encourages your brain to grow, grow, grow.

So here’s a Carp Gills Review to keep you motivated.

Tarzan. What is there to say? If you have not read the book, you probably have seen the movie. If you have not seen the movie, you probably have the seen the animated movie with Rosie O’Donnell doing the voice over of a gorilla friend. But put your preconceptions aside, friends, because the book is nothing like the entertaining movies of the same name. I can’t just give away everything, so here’s a little quiz for you to take. If you cannot answer at least three of these questions, you need to read the book:

Tarzan is orphaned when his mean father brings his beautiful mommy to __________. (Ed: Those are my personal opinions of each member of Tarzan's family.)

Tarzan is adopted by a loving gorilla mom whose name is ______________.

Tarzan finds something his dad built and figures out how to open it. What did Tarzan’s dad build? _____________________

Tarzan learns to read what language? _______________________ By looking at what?________________

Oops! When a caring man finds Tarzan and rescues him, what language does the man teach Tarzan to speak?______________________

Does Tarzan ever say, “Me, Tarzan, You, Jane” Y or N

In what state does Tarzan reside at the end of the book (which, I have to admit, surprised me and kept me laughing for some time) ___________________________

Recommended Reading Strategies:
Average Time Needed to Read: 10-12 hours
Number of children you can have in the same room while reading this book: 3 to 5 (not a real difficult book to follow)
Things to do while reading the book to make it more interesting:

1. While reading this book, respond with a good ol’ Tarzan (movie) yell each time you do a task about the house. “Garbage? You want me to take out the garbage? Well, sure honey… Ooooohhh—oh-oh-oh-ooooooohhh!”

2. I’m going to leave your outfit to your own discretion this time.

3. Music: Soundtrack to the movie Tarzan. If you like Phil Collins, you’ll like this soundtrack, because, well, it’s all Phil Collins, all the time! Hm ... wonder how much this classic boosted Phil's wallet, then again, he owes so much to all his ex-wives.

4. Yankee Candle: You’ll be able to use the rest of your Pine scented candle (leftover from your reading of the Lonesome Pine) for this book, because of where Tarzan moves at the end of the book!

Posted by: Tim Sperry
7/26/2004 8:35:37 PM

I somewhat reluctantly admit that I’ve read several of the Tarzan novels. I was in my teens then and I can’t remember enough to answer these questions but I do recall that at the time I thought the books were quite good. In fact I liked Burroughs enough that I even read a few from his Martian series.
Think I’ll try this one again and see how much may tastes may have changed over the last twenty-something years.

Posted by: Roger Massey
7/27/2004 8:45:40 AM

I do remember, 25 years ago, when I first traveled to Arkansas, my brother-in-law (Tim Sperry) tried to convince me that the Tarzan books were good. I thought at the time that he was a bit odd. Years later, when I read the first one for Carp, I actually enjoyed it and thought I might read more. I must not have enjoyed it all that much, however, because I've never read the second one, much less the entire series.

Posted by: Tim Sperry
7/27/2004 11:38:46 AM

Your impression of me was not unfounded. I remain “a bit odd” to this day.
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