Tarzan

Fried Egg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
3,534
I've read the first two Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs and I have noticed that there are many others. What I'm wondering is that are they all worth reading? Does the quality of the books deteriate or are they all of the same high standard of the first two?
 

j d worthington

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
13,889
They vary considerably. As the novels progressed (as I recall) the quality dropped a fair amount over time. However, some of the Tarzan books are made up of collections of shorter works which were written throughout Burroughs' career, and some of those are rather good. (Some, of course, suffer from the same problem as the later novels.)

However, it's been a good long while since I last read any of the Tarzan novels (save the first), so someone with a fairly good critical opinion in general, who has read them more recently, might be of more use to you at this point....
 

Perpetual Man

Tim James
Supporter
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
6,381
Like J D I read the Tarzan novels many years ago. I can remember really enjoying them to the extent that I read the first one twice! (Back in the days when I had time to read one book, let alone the same one twice!!!)

The earlier ones were filled with a sense of wonder, and you could almost believe that this man had grown up in the wild with animals, and there is a lot of iconic imagery being put in place; but as the books went on I found they began to get repetative - and you get the feel that Burroughs had no real plan to keep writing more, or as many as he did. Tarzan ages very quickly and is soon an old man doing deeds that he really shouldn't be doing!

It was rectified with son of Tarzan when the offspring took over the adventuring, but by this point I had found the books to be not the same and stopped. But looking back, the early ones were really something quite special - they must have been I suppose to spawn such an icon!
 

Fried Egg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
3,534
Would anyone then know which ones (besides the two I've already read) that I should seek out? How far should I go in the series before stopping?
 

Perpetual Man

Tim James
Supporter
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
6,381
Now that's a question and a half. It's going to be a real stretch of my memory to rember which ones aI really enjoyed. For some strange reason I seem to recall the number 8, so perhaps I read the first 8 and then stopped enjoying them!
 

j d worthington

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
13,889
As noted, it's been a long, long time ago now, but yes, the first several were quite enjoyable; Jungle Tales of Tarzan I remember finding something of a mixed bag, though there were some great things in there, and nothing I recall being really bad... just one or two which were a bit of a let-down compared to others. Also, Tarzan at the Earth's Core (which ties in with Burroughs' Pellucidar books) is also worth a read. I recall thinking several of the others were at least worth reading, often rather enjoyable... but unfortunately, titles escape me at present....
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
22,051
I read the fist 5 Tarzan novels and enjoyed them but didn't read anymore in the series I have Tarzan at the Earth Core which at some point I will. read.
 

Vince W

Towel Champion
Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
5,157
I went through a period where I read all the Tarzan books I could find. The black cover Ballantine books were still in print at the time. I enjoyed them for the most part but the last few were a bit of a struggle. I keep meaning to reread the series at some point.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
22,051
I went through a period where I read all the Tarzan books I could find. The black cover Ballantine books were still in print at the time. I enjoyed them for the most part but the last few were a bit of a struggle. I keep meaning to reread the series at some point.

I had the whole set of galantine Books, They had great covers. :cool:
 

Etablit

New Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
1
I read my first Tarzan novel when I was about 13 years old. I have since read all 24 (or is it 26). I am now 56 years old and have started reading it all over again. I just finished reading Tarzan #15 and would anyone like to comment on this story. Thanks.
 

Anthoney

Bearded Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
692
Location
South Florida
While I don't remember the whole book (it's been over 40 years), one of my favorite scenes from all the original Tarzan books is near the end of book 4 The Son of Tarzan.
 

DeltaV

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
163
I've always enjoyed reading Burroughs, both his Tarzan and John Carter novels. Characters are mostly cardboard and a product of their time (see how Germans are portrayed in the books written during WW1 for example). But the plots and settings were always interesting. And, even if Africa covers thirty million square kilometers, you could be sure that the various safaris, caravans, castaways, solitary hunters, etc.., are going to run into one another, sooner or later. Good, light reads, perfect if you are in bed with a cold.

The covers, both on the Ballentine Tarzan books and the Del Rey John Carter novels, are great.

I just looked at my collection. I have 11 of the 24 books. But I've read all of them at one time or another in English. It has been a few years, but I recall liking The Return of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Ant Men, and Tarzan at the Earth's Core. I always thought that Tarzan should have dumped Jane and ended up with La.

I've recently read Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar in Spanish, and am in the middle of Tarzan and the Leopard Men, again in Spanish. Leopard Men has several parallel plots (which is typical of Tarzan), one of which is about El Viejo, a hunter who has come to bury himself in Africa after a failed love affair, another about Tarzan who is looking for the Leopard Men, and a third about a woman alone on safari. Hmmm. Do you think that the hunter and the woman are going to end up together? Naah. Never gonna happen. Africa is way too big....
 

DeltaV

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
163
I am now 56 years old and have started reading it all over again. I just finished reading Tarzan #15 and would anyone like to comment on this story. Thanks.

You got me curious so I dug this copy out and reread it this afternoon. Ah yes, Danny "Gunner" Patrick, one of the more colourful characters in the Tarzan world. And Lady Collis, not the usual damsel in distress. There are the typical Tarzan hijinks: last minute rescues; capture, escape, capture, escape; coincidental rendez-vous's in the middle of nowhere. But I enjoyed this story. The sense of humour sets this one apart, I think. Yeah, I would put this on my preferred list of Tarzan novels. Thanks for bringing it up!
 

KiraAnn

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
276
Location
Texas
I’m not going to admit my age, but I have read all or almost all of them. The best of the bunch are the first five, then the next two or three are very nice. Then comes all of the middle bunch, which are pulp adventure and vary a lot in quality of writing. The last 2 or 3 are actually back up there with more realistic action and just better writing overall. Those were in ERBs final years.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
22,051
I’m not going to admit my age, but I have read all or almost all of them. The best of the bunch are the first five, then the next two or three are very nice. Then comes all of the middle bunch, which are pulp adventure and vary a lot in quality of writing. The last 2 or 3 are actually back up there with more realistic action and just better writing overall. Those were in ERBs final years.

Overall, I thought ERB a very storyteller . Wonderfully imaginative inventive and very influential , even in the here and now. :cool:
 

Similar threads


Top