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Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of Tarzan is timeless and brilliant, 16 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Tarzan of the Apes (Read Red) (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. Written in America less than 50 years after the Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 abolished slavery, the attitudes and beliefs of certain characters within the novel illustrate how long it took for racial attitudes to change. Tarzan's moral instinct is strong. Unschooled in ethics, his leadership and decision making are unfaultable and it is this that leads to the moving and quite humbling ending.

Tarzan of the Apes book is so enjoyable, I am jealous of those of you yet to read it.
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