Tarzan of the Apes

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Series: Tarzan 1
Reviewed date: 2010 Sep 13
Rating: 4
320 pages
cover art

Tarzan of the Apes is a masterpiece. I thought that the Barsoom books were good, but the first Tarzan novel is clearly Edgar Rice Burroughs's best work.

I read the original 1914 version of Tarzan of the Apes. The later version has a few minor changes: some racial terms removed, some dialect rewritten, and the scene where Jane prepares to shoot Esmerelda and herself rather than be mauled by Sabor is deleted entirely. (I suspect that in retrospect, that scene didn't fit with the Tarzan mythos. Would a woman worthy of Tarzan really contemplate shooting herself? And worse, would she really think it was reasonable to shoot Esmerelda to put her out of her misery, so to speak, as if she were a mere beast?) Those don't affect the overall story, which is magnificent no matter which version you get.

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