Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
First Published: 1914
Page Count: 252
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 in the Tarzan series
The original story of Tarzan is one of romance, exotic adventure, and lots of vine swinging!
*Detailed Account of Upbringing *Timeless Romance *Unique Plot
*Repetitive Jungle Adventures
“That the huge, fierce brute loved this child of another race is beyond question.” Left an orphan on the same coastal jungle that his parents were marooned by mutinous sailors, Tarzan grows up under the watchful and loving eye of his foster-mother, Kala, the ape. Under the influence of his jungle home and the guidance of his ape brethren, Tarzan becomes the king of the jungle; there is no ape who can match him and Sabor, the lioness, along with other fierce jungle predators stay out of his way. However, with the arrival of the beautiful Jane Porter, Tarzan feels torn between his lifelong home among the animals and a possible future as a man with Jane Porter.
I’d been keeping an eye out for this book in the Barnes & Noble Classics section, but I finally gave in and ordered it online when I got a gift card over the holidays. I don’t know why they don’t put it out on display because after reading it, this book has shot to the top of my personal all-time favorites list. The story is so unique and timeless. The majority of the book centers on Tarzan’s upbringing and all his jungle adventures. By giving the reader such an in-depth look at how Tarzan has adapted to his environment and acquainting us with his handsome hero/ egotistical prankster personality, you feel completely immersed into Burroughs’s world. Though it would be fantastical for a human to survive being raised by apes to become an exotic superman, Burroughs makes it seem as realistic as he can. And one can’t forget the romance between Jane and Tarzan, which is the icing on the cake of this storyline. Their romance is innocent and true, but more importantly, what woman would not want to be in Jane’s shoes? Swept up in the brawny arms of the ruggedly handsome Tarzan would be enough for any girl to forget that she’s roughing it in the wilds of Africa.
Every second of this book was interesting and exciting so I wanted to give it a perfect review with no negatives. However, Tarzan’s initial jungle adventures can become a bit repetitive as he swings here or there, taking on this villain or that. I was dying for Jane to show up, and that doesn’t happen until well past the midpoint of the story. Their romance breaks up the monotony of Tarzan’s daily jungle life just in time.
After finishing this book, I realized two things. One was that I absolutely loved the story and it will definitely be one of my favorites forever, but the second thing was that there are twenty-four books in the series. Yikes… It was interesting seeing the true story behind the character I grew up loving thanks to Disney and how they altered the story and characters for the 1999 film. I want to read more about this fictional jungle god’s life; I just hope I have the stamina to get through twenty-four books!
*Film Adaptations: (Starring Tony Goldwyn 1999), (Starring Kellan Lutz 2013), (Starring Bo Derek 1981), (Starring Michael T. Weiss 2002), (Starring Harrison Chad 2005), (Starring Alexander Skarsgard 2016)
*TV Adaptations: (Starring Michael T. Weiss 2001-2003), (Starring Ron Ely 1996-1968), (Starring Wolf Larson 1991-1994), (Starring Travis Fimmel 2003)