Friday, February 15, 2013

Return of Tarzan, Beasts of Tarzan, Son of Tarzan

[july 2009] Return of Tarzan is great escapist entertainment. Though it stands alone as a story, it is best to read after reading the first book (Tarzan of the Apes). The book reads like any entertaining summer movie, and has enough plot elements to fill at least a dozen films. Tarzan finds himself a french secret agent, an "Indiana Jones" gold hunter, an African King, and of course an "Ape Man". In all, he seems to posses just enough 'superhuman' ability and uncanny luck to get out of the most dire predicament.

The story is always quick paced, and exposes the early 20th century view of "Western European superiority" while at the same time being sympathetic to many of the "savages".

Beasts of Tarzan, the third Tarzan book, starts out with Tarzan settled in to English life. Of course, its not too long before he finds himself in the jungle again, this time accompanied by a motley crew of jungle animals. This book was not as good as the first two, though it was still quite entertaining. It also seemed to be a little shorter. The best image I remember from this is the thought of a boat with apes and a panther cruising through the water.

"Son of Tarzan" hardly has Tarzan in it at all. Instead it focuses on his boy as he grows from a tween to a married man - spending most of that time in the African jungle. This is a great book, and the "love story" between Korak and Meriem is touching, and is better developed the that between Tarzan and Jane in the initial books. The book does, however, seem to have some of the more violent moments. Perhaps my only complaint was that the book seemed to drag on a bit at the end. Two-thirds of the way through it becomes fairly clear what is going to happen, however, a number of plot twists are thrown in there, dragging out the novel.
What I also find interesting is that the novels seem to be filled with many elements that I've seen in movies that have come out well after the Tarzan books. It seems that the influence of the books has been well felt in hollywood (even if not in the Tarzan movies themselves.)
In the copy I have, page 208 end in the middle of a word, while 209 starts a new paragraph. The story seems to still flow properly, but I'm wondering what is missing from the "printers error"

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