Adventure Fiction Book Review

Tarzan and the Valley of Gold

by Fritz Leiber
Series: Tarzan 25
Reviewed date: 2023 Dec 27
Rating: 2
317 pages
cover art

Tarzan and the Valley of Gold owes more to James Bond than to Tarzan. Leiber is talented and has taken a mediocre movie and crafted a novelization that surpasses the film, but if I wanted Bond I'd read Bond. I don't want Bond. I want Tarzan. This would rate a three, but because it's not properly Tarzan I knocked it down to a two.

Still, it's an authorized Tarzan book, and despite my stylistic quibbles, it's easy to accept it as canon. The other authorized Tarzan book, Philip José Farmer's Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time, is a bit harder to accept as canon because of its Lovecraftian overtones. I'd put it this way: Tarzan written as James Bond is stylistically wrong, but the events easily fit into established canon. John Clayton, the Lord Greystoke, is certainly capable of anything James Bond is capable of. On the other hand, Tarzan teaming up with a sasquatch to fight a hideous extra-terrestrial frog-monster deep in the jungles of Africa is stylistically perfect, but it's hard to square time travel and elder gods from outer space with the established Tarzan universe. But on balance, I preferred Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time.

Archive | Search