The Tarzan Twins

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Series: Tarzan
Reviewed date: 2018 Nov 2
Rating: 1
48 pages
cover art

Cousins Dick and Doc are on a trip to visit their uncle Tarzan in Africa. They stupidly manage to wander away from their train and get lost in the African jungle, where they're promptly captured by a tribe of cannibals (the boys helpfully stumble right into the village.)

The boys call the chief Uncle Tom, so it's nice to know that even when faced with certain death at the hands of cannibals, the boys have enough self-respect and culture to engage in a bit of racist name-calling. *sigh*

Later, the boys fool the African chief and his whole tribe by a sleight-of-hand trick which the stupid tribesmen are convinced is real magic. *sigh* It's like Burroughs doesn't even conceive of black Africans as being human.

Also, everything African is dirty and bad:

As for the furnishings of the hut, they consisted of several filthy sleeping mats that must have been discarded by their original owners as absolutely impossible for human use, and when anything becomes too filthy for a native African, its condition must be beyond words.

Africans themselves, of course, are stupid and superstitious--but the good ones are generous and loyal to white people like our heroes Dick and Doc:

Bulala, a West Coast black, densely ignorant and superstitious, had, nevertheless, a heart of gold, that revealed itself in his loyalty and generosity; while little Ukundo, the pygmy, perhaps among the lowest in the social scale of all African peoples, proved a staunch friend and a good comrade.

At best, Africans should be treated like children:

Fifty ebon warriors were camped in a grassy clearing. ... [Tarzan] dropped lightly to the ground beside the camp. Instantly the warriors were upon their feet, their weapons ready in their hands.

"It is I, my children," said the man. "It is I, Tarzan of the Apes!"

The warriors tossed aside their weapons. "Welcome Big Bwana!" "Welcome, Tarzan!" they called.

And they're lazy and irresponsible:

[With] true native shiftlessness, the Bagalla had fastened the end of one of the stout chains to a post of the palisade with a bit of grass rope and as a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, this proved a very weak chain indeed.

Not recommended
The plot is thin, it's full of casual racism, and it contains none of the fantastic lost civilizations or strange isolated societies that Burroughs is so wonderful at inventing. There's nothing to recommend here.

Link: The Tarzan Twins []

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