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Tarzan of the Apes (Penguin Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 29 May 2008

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (29 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141036532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141036533
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875- 1950) is best remembered as the creator of the world famous character of Tarzan, one of the indispensable icons of popular culture. Burroughs also published science fiction and crime novels.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Howard Green on 16 Dec. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barty Literati on 25 April 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback

If you are tempted to get your hands on a copy of `Tarzan Of The Apes', but are umm-ing and err-ing because of an underwhelming preconceived notion of the character and story, I can only recommend that you wipe the slate clean and grab it with both hands, for this is boys'-own adventure at its very best. Forget any lingering `versions' of Tarzan that you might have (Jonny Weismuller, the Disney cartoon...) and dismiss the ridiculous "Aargh-a-aargh-a-a-a-argh!" call that you might have heard, for this is a story of remarkable freshness and creativity, with Tarzan himself existing as a wholly compelling literary creation.

I suppose that we all know the story to some extent: Baby of noble birth grows up in the jungle, reared by apes, following the tragic death of his parents. Said ape-man grows up swinging from tree to tree, meets civilised, sexy babe, Jane Porter in various perilous jungle-set scrapes and wins her over with his primitive heroic antics. On one, superficial level, this is `Tarzan Of The Apes' in a nutshell. However, this is a far more eclectic and engaging novel that might be assumed.

For starters, the back-story of Tarzan becoming an orphan and his development within the ape tribe is told with remarkable pathos and energy. There is genuine emotional resonance to our hero's origins, especially his absolute ignorance of his human heredity. Burroughs also peppers the exciting narrative with flashes of ingenuity. Perhaps the most fascinating element of the back-story is Tarzan's learning to read and write whilst remaining unable to understand a word of spoken English. As noted here, it may sound ludicrous, but as part of the unfolding story, it is both touching and amazingly credible.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs is an undisputed classic. Until four years ago, I was only familiar with the Disney version. But something must have triggered in my eight-year old mind, something must have latched onto me, a tentative spark, because all those years later, when I first discovered the original novel, I knew I had to read it - to return to where it all began.

In the veil of Mark Twain and the (American) coming-of-age (or bildungsroman) adventure stories made famous in the period, "Tarzan of the Apes", published in 1914, is perhaps the most well-known; if not the novel itself, the legend of Tarzan - envisioned as the pinnacle of masculinity, a demigod; a gifted hunter and fighter, a gentleman and connoisseur. "Tarzan" was written in a period of Western literature that cannot be championed; saw the publication of the adventure stories of Anthony Hope, Rudyard Kipling, and H.G. Haggard, the science-fiction of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells; and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness".

Like Dracula, or Frankenstein's Monster (though not to the same extent of cliché and pastiche), Tarzan has become derivative of his humble origins, but in a way that is awe-inspiring, and most importantly, human. These three central figures have become the stuff of myth and legend. They have become stereotypes; staples of their respective genres, both literary and cinematic. We associate them not with the critical insight or analysis of contemporary critics; or the background of their creators. But instead with the iconography of the characters through the aesthetics of film and theatrics - the pose, the stature of the actors against shades of black and white, and lashings of colour, that create a kind of chameleon effect, emphasising mood and the power of their persona.
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