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Tarzan of the Apes (Dover Thrift) [Paperback]

Edgar Rice Burroughs
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 1997 0486295702 978-0486295701 New edition
“Men were indeed more foolish and more cruel than the beasts of the jungle! How fortunate was he who lived in the peace and security of the great forest!”
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes

Tarzan of the Apes is a novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first in a series of books about the title character Tarzan. It was first published in the pulp magazine All-Story Magazine in October, 1912; the first book edition was published in 1914. The character was so popular that Burroughs continued the series into the 1940s with two dozen sequels. For the novel's centennial anniversary, Library of America published a hardcover edition based on the original book in April 2012 with an introduction by Thomas Mallon.

Film adaptations

Burroughs' novel has been the basis of several movies. The first two were the silent films Tarzan of the Apes (1918) and The Romance of Tarzan (1918), both starring Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan, based on the first and second parts of the novel, respectively. The next and most famous adaptation was Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), starring Johnny Weissmuller, who went on to star in eleven other Tarzan films. Clayton was substituted by Harry Holt. It was remade twice, as Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959), featuring Denny Miller, and Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), with Miles O'Keeffe as Tarzan and Bo Derek as Jane. Three more movie adaptations have been made to date: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), a film starring Christopher Lambert that is more faithful to the book; Tarzan of the Apes (1999), a direct to video animated film; and Tarzan (1999), a Disney animated film with Tony Goldwyn as the voice of Tarzan.

A number of Burroughs' other Tarzan novels have also been adapted for the screen. Numerous Tarzan films have been made with no connection to his writings other than the character.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486295702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486295701
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,274,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) was an American writer, best known for his creations of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly enjoyable 11 Sep 2007
By Philida
I bought "Tarzan of the Apes" while I was on an adventure novel kick and, like the other reviewers, I was amazed by how good it was. The storyline is quite clever and very interesting - even though I knew many of the things that were going to happen (Tarzan and Jane meeting, for example), I was still intrigued by every plot twist Burroughs threw at me.

What I found most surprising was how much I liked the character of Tarzan himself. Obviously he has been represented and parodied so many times in so many different ways over the years that he has become almost a stock character - certainly, like Sherlock Holmes and Superman he is one of those fictional characters that everyone recognises, even if people haven't read the source material. Tarzan also has the fact that he is handsome, intelligent, strong, and innately "good" working against him. Who likes perfect characters? Surprisingly, however, I found myself rooting for him throughout the novel.

The first half of the book, where Tarzan has no human company, is more enjoyable, although I may feel that way because one tends to picture Tarzan in the jungle rather than in civilisation. Still, Burroughs writes superb fights and there are simply more of them in the first half - the second half is more concerned with Tarzan mooning over Jane and driving across America. It's far less compelling. However, the ending picks up considerably; while Burroughs clearly wrote it with a sequel in mind, he contrives the events in such a way that the reader's heart breaks for Tarzan.

"Tarzan of the Apes" can be quite easily criticised for its racist and sexist elements, and obviously I'm not about to defend them. However, if you are considering reading it, I'd recommend that you bear in mind that it *was* written in 1913 when such views were (regrettably) endorsed. There's a wonderful adventure story here, and it's well worth giving a go.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic! 25 July 2005
By A Customer
I won't repeat what the other reviewers have said but merely offer my opinion. It's been a great many years since I read this book and I thought I'd like to read it again so picked up this copy. As a result I'll be ordering the follow-up book. The first book ends with the story unresolved and though we all 'know' what happens it's a far different experience reading it - one I thoroughly recommend.
The only reason I'm not bestowing this book with five stars is that it is largely told as narration - not such a popular style now but quite acceptable for its day. Set this aside together with any racial regards or grievances, both towards humans and animals. This book is a product of a by-gone day. And if anyone is thinking that's all very well to say, as a woman I can honestly say that although Jane was probably one of our first true heroines there are times I wanted to slap her. I've never known women of any nationality to faint so much no matter what their race. She's undoubtedly brave but also in many ways a woman of those times. I also love animals but hey, this is set in a jungle. People hunted back then and Tarzan has to do his share of killing to survive. Take the book for what it is and enjoy!
The other comment I wanted to make is that I had forgotten what a mixture this book was. It's a 'boys-own' adventure that girls will also love. It's a love story. And it's got a great sense of humour! Some parts of this book are simply very funny. If you've seen Disney's version you might be surprised to know that Jane's father is pretty much presented as written. The characters are flawed, courageous and endearing, even though they can also be occasionally irritating. But if you want to truly ever 'know' Tarzan then read the originals.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of Tarzan is timeless and brilliant 16 Dec 2008
Most would claim to know the story of Tarzan, at least in outline. And many would quote the famous line `Me Tarzan, you Jane'. But don't be disappointed that the line does not appear in the original work for the book will not disappoint. It is one of the great stories of the early 20th Century and a novel of far more depth and excitement than one might expect.

It is the story of the young Lord Greystoke, named Tarzan when he is taken into the care of a pack of Apes after the death of both of his parents. The story follows Tarzan as he learns that he is different to the Apes and discovers his parents's possessions, still in their jungle cabin.. The connection is not made, however, and Tarzan wrestles throughout the novel with the internal conflict between the wild creature he has been raised to be and the human instincts which still run strong in him. Through an extraordinary sequence of coincidences Tarzan eventually comes into contact with other `white apes' like him and this is where his love affair with Miss Jane Porter begins.

Tarzan of the Apes is adventure at its best and its extraordinary popularity is testament to this. Everyone expects the story to include Tarzan swinging from vine to vine but how many would expect mutinies, eccentric professors, French detectives and buried treasure? Tarzan of the Apes will appeal to the wild spirit in everyone, whether it is the longing for the dangers of the jungle or the simplicity of his existence, his story is totally compelling. Burroughs ensures that each chapter continues with the pace and adventure of the previous and he tells the story with wit and style throughout.

The book is also an interesting study on racial attitudes of the time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 days ago by Grant Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
cant beat a classic
Published 25 days ago by David Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Ape for 5-Star Tarzan!
With Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs delivers one of the best reads I've ever had. It has the animalistic brutality you'd expect of a Man raised by Apes, but also offers... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. J. Emblen
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong book.
I bought the Tarzan advertised for the iconic cover. This has happened on a number of occasions ( NOT with this seller) but several other sellers. Read more
Published 3 months ago by magee
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated
I was disappointed, the book was not as I remembered it as a child. The style has dated and it does not read that well now. Read more
Published 4 months ago by DC Magpie
5.0 out of 5 stars john perry
this book is so good. I have only read a bit of it but at least seeing as I live on my own it wont get read by other people people
Published 5 months ago by john perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
I read this book and its not what I expected, i watched to much Disney. this is Darker, violent and a brilliant book
Published 10 months ago by pjones
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Made a mistake and bought this separately as I didn't know how good they were. Made up for it by getting the Giant Book of Tarzan
Published 12 months ago by Mr. David Howellls
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Well written classic children's book, taking one back to ones childhood! Looking forward to follow up book! Great afternoon read.
Published 12 months ago by hmeraai
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
I chose this book as it was a favourite of mine when young. Going back to it 40 years later and having seen the films and all the spoofs, Rice Burroughs writing is so vivid and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ian Taylor
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