Feb 12, 2010

Annotation # 2 Classic Adventure

Posted by Kirsten at 2/12/2010 05:01:00 PM

The Beasts of Tarzan

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

In this 3rd out of the 24 novels that Burroughs wrote about Tarzan we find that Tarzan, also known as John Clayton, Lord of Greystoke, has returned (along with his wife Jane and infant son Jack) once again to London to avoid the rainy season on his Africa estate in the land of the savage Waziri warriors.

Unfortunately for his family, two of his former (I’d say not so former) enemies, the Russian criminal Nikolas Rokoff and his minion Alexis Paulvitch have escaped from prison and the only thing on their minds is revenge against the ape man. Poor baby Jack is kidnapped and John Clayton is led into a ambush while Jane, realizing his peril, follows only to be caught in the same trap. With neither knowing the fate of the other or their precious son, John is left high and dry with only the equipment he was born into the world with and must push away the civilized man he has become and embrace the the beast that is always within him in order to rescue both Jane and Jack.

From fights with wild animals such as Numa and Sheeta (the lion and panther) to battles with African tribesmen and the evil sailors hired by Rokoff you are kept on the edge of your seat wondering if Tarzan will survive his banishment in an unknown jungle. Will Jane end up dead or will she escape or be rescued? Most important to Tarzan, will his infant son be raised by cannibals instead of in the family that has become Tarzan’s world?


Everyone knows the basic story of Tarzan “Lord of the Apes”. It has been adapted into multiple movies, on radio, in comics, graphic novels, cartoons and has been rewritten (both authorized and illegally) and adapted from its original tale so many times that it permeates our culture. From films, both live action and animated to video games Tarzan has permeated American culture in a way that would probably surprise its creator, hopefully pleasantly so. I doubt that Edgar Rice Burroughs could have foreseen how much his character would pervade society becoming present in everything from the Tarzan Yell to Disney’s representation are well known.

image However, This also means that the original works may not be as highly read as in the past. I remember reading as many of the Tarzan series as I could get my hands on as a child, but then i was also the kid who would rather read than watch television. When looking for a classic adventure novel my thoughts went to the Tarzan series and I had to find out if they were as good as I remembered them being. I have to say that after rereading the 3rd book in the series, that not only was it as good a read as I remembered it was better!!! Some of the adult themes that I had breezed pass as a child.


I would recommend this book for both new adventure readers and established readers of the genre. The fast pace keeps you involved in the story and every time you think that triumph is at hand, Burroughs throws in another twist that keeps you yearning for more. So if you haven’t picked up one of the original Tarzan novels before, get to it people!


Right now…



Alisa Burch on February 15, 2010 at 7:50 AM said...

I bet I would love this series. Thanks for recommending it. I always liked the Tarzan movies, the old black and white ones with Johnny Weissmuller, when I was a kid. What is the average page length? Are they quick reads?

Andrea Japzon on February 15, 2010 at 8:48 PM said...

Never read them - and never considered it until now. Great sales pitch missy. Must be the new hair. :)

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