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Ape-man: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to 100 Years of Tarzan [Paperback]

Sean Egan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.99
Price: 15.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Ape-man: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to 100 Years of Tarzan + Tarzan Centennial
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Telos Publishing Ltd (31 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845830679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845830670
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 711,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Egan a Burroughs fan? 20 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I found it great to be reading another book about about my hero of 50 years, I wasw bemused that Mr Egan appears to be constantly criticising ERB in his litterary form and the celluloid depictions of Tarzan. Mr Egan falls foul of the stereotytpical writer by having a go at the Derek's Tarzan the Ape Man. If he had read Tarzan of the Apes as often as I have instead of comparing it to the film of the same title starring Johnny Weissmuller from 1932, his opinion might have been worth reading. Instead he fails to criticise the laughing Tarzans like Morris and Crabbe, and yes even the iconic Weissmuller to criticise Miles O'keeffe's depiction for not speaking throughout the film.....Tarzan could not speak English when he first met Jane and that is when the film is set. Yes it was great to read the book but I would love to use it as a discussion topic with Mr Egan himself as he is clearly not the Tarzan fan that I am!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but worth a read. 30 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback
This review is based on an advance review copy sent to me in my capacity as a regular book reviewer for the British Fantasy Society website.

The first thing that struck me on opening this book was the total lack of photographs or illustrations. This is very unusual for a non-fiction work about books, comics and especially movies.
Thankfully, it reads well enough that it doesn't suffer too much, in fact it was refreshing not to have to keep stopping to refer to assorted illustrated examples.
The major bugbear with this sort of work is, of course, accuracy. The problem for this reviewer was my personal lack of in-depth knowledge about the subject at hand, and so I cheated. I googled for other reviews, to see if the author's accuracy had been brought to task by people more knowledgeable than I. It's a new book, so there weren't many reviews around, but I did find one who complained that much of the movie related information is inaccurate and that the author relied too much on anecdotal information from people who were around at the time. Sadly, the reviewer neglected to cite any examples, so I can't agree, or disagree with that view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Me Tarzan....ahhh you know the rest.... 6 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Superb books detailing the life of ERB and his most famous "son". starts with a mini biography of ERB and then launches into a critical(sometimes overly) review of the Tarzan of The Apes. Every book, film, comic and TV show has something to be learnt about. This tome will(if you are a Tarzan fan) delight you. Most assuredly the Johnny Weismuller of all Tarzan books !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ape-Man Gives With One Hands and Take With the Other 4 Nov 2012
By Larry Albert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As with many unauthorized biographies "Ape-Man" is fairly dense with detail and minutia but about halfway through the book I started to have the feeling that while the author might be a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, he is not a truly strong one. He is highly critical of much of Burrough's writings and dismisses many of the Tarzan novels as tripe. Frankly I came away from the book with a bit of a bad taste in my head. However, he does his best to cover as much of the history of the character as possible which is good, but then he'll turn around and slam a good deal of the history as worthless. I felt some of his complaints are just silly, such as the running complaint that in none of the films is Tarzan shown travelling through the jungle by swinging from tree bough to tree bough instead of swinging on vines as shown in the movies. Try it sometime.

The upshot is that this isn't a book for a diehard fan, it has too negative a feel to it, but it will do for those have a curiosity about the King of the Jungle.
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but worth a read 4 April 2013
By David L. Brzeski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This review is based on an advance review copy sent to me in my capacity as a regular book reviewer for the British Fantasy Society website.

The first thing that struck me on opening this book was the total lack of photographs or illustrations. This is very unusual for a non-fiction work about books, comics and especially movies.
Thankfully, it reads well enough that it doesn't suffer too much, in fact it was refreshing not to have to keep stopping to refer to assorted illustrated examples.
The major bugbear with this sort of work is, of course, accuracy. The problem for this reviewer was my personal lack of in-depth knowledge about the subject at hand, and so I cheated. I googled for other reviews, to see if the author's accuracy had been brought to task by people more knowledgeable than I. It's a new book, so there weren't many reviews around, but I did find one who complained that much of the movie related information is inaccurate and that the author relied too much on anecdotal information from people who were around at the time. Sadly, the reviewer neglected to cite any examples, so I can't agree, or disagree with that view. I will say, however, that the way Egan intersperses his text with quoted anecdotes makes for a very readable book, and it's interesting to read how various people remember things, even if it might not be 100% accurate,
I did, however have the chance to run the chapters concerning Philip José Farmer's contributions to the Tarzan legacy past a couple of genuine experts and I'm pleased to say that, while they didn't exactly love his take on it, they didn't find any huge errors of fact, albeit they thought the claim that Farmer spent the 70s "dodging legal bullets" from the ERB estate, by avoiding using Tarzan's name on his pastiches to be somewhat overstating the case. There is no evidence to suggest that PJF was ever under legal threat from the estate. They objected to the Dell paperback edition of 'The Adventures of the Peerless Peer' and it was withdrawn, but that seems likely to have been down to the use of a photograph of Ron Ely as Tarzan on the cover. No action was ever taken against Farmer and other editions of the book went unhindered. The author also points out a discrepancy in when the theory as to Tarzan's longevity was first posited, claiming that Farmer, due to ineptitude, mentions it in his Tarzan novel, 'The Dark Heart of Time', which takes place a decade and a half before the events of 'Tarzan's Quest', in which ERB first suggests that Tarzan doesn't age like a normal human. He can perhaps be forgiven for not realising that PJF had theorised that Tarzan got his immortality long before that in his book 'Tarzan Alive', and was referencing his own earlier book in the novel.
So, it's an enjoyable book overall, if occasionally a little smug in tone. Maybe one day there will be an illustrated edition, albeit that would likely be a lot more expensive. As an overview of the character in the media, it's not bad at all. I liked the way it sticks mainly to a chronological listing, rather than splitting the book into separate sections for books, films, TV and comics. I actually learned some information about the history of Tarzan in British comics that has had me place some issues on my wants list, and I have a list of old Tarzan films that I quite fancy viewing again after all these years, so it was a worthwhile reading experience.
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