Tarzan of the Apes (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Tarzan of the Apes (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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by Edgar Rice Burroughs
     
 

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Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes &

Overview

Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
 
In 1888 Lord and Lady Clayton sail from England to fill a military post in British West Africa and perish at the edge of a primeval forest. When their infant son is adopted by fanged “great anthropoid apes,” he becomes one of the most legendary figures in all of literature—Tarzan of the Apes. Within the society of speechless primates, Tarzan wields his natural influence and becomes king. Self-educated by virtue of his parents’ library, Tarzan discovers true civilization when he rescues aristocratic Jane Porter from the perils of his jungle. Their famous romance, which pits Tarzan’s lifetime of savagery against Jane’s genteel nature, has captivated audiences for nearly a century.
 
First published in 1914, Tarzan of the Apes is the first of several works by Edgar Rice Burroughs that delineate Tarzan’s manifold and amazing feats. Despite his reputation as a pulp writer, Burroughs spins an exhilarating yarn detailing the laws of the jungle and the intricate dilemmas of the British gentry as he examines the struggle between heredity and environment.
 

Maura Spiegel teaches literature and film at Columbia University and Barnard College. She is the co-author of The Grim Reader and of The Breast Book: An Intimate and Curious History. She co-edits the journal Literature and Medicine.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781411433250
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
06/01/2009
Series:
Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
87,552
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt


From Maura Spiegel's Introduction to Tarzan of the Apes

 

Tarzan of the Apes was a runaway success when it first appeared. Before he knew it, Burroughs had created a Tarzan industry. He struck deals for daily Tarzan newspaper comic strips and movies (and, later, radio shows), and he licensed Tarzan statuettes, Tarzan bubble gum, Tarzan bathing suits, and an assortment of other merchandizing ventures. Burroughs would write twenty-three Tarzan sequels, and estimates of his lifetime sales range between 30 and 60 million books.

With all the enthusiasm came detractors, those who said Tarzan was unoriginal, his hero just a variation on Kipling’s Mowgli, who, in The Jungle Books, is adopted as an infant by wolves. Kipling himself was of this opinion, writing in his autobiography, “If it be in your power, bear serenely with imitators. My Jungle Book begot Zoos of them. But the genius of all genii was the one who wrote a series called Tarzan of the Apes. I read it, but regret I never saw it on the films, where it rages most successfully. He had jazzed the motif of the Jungle Books, and, I imagine, had thoroughly enjoyed himself.”

In some respects, Tarzan is a distant descendant of frontier legends such as Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and James Fenimore Cooper’s character Hawkeye. Tarzan follows the tradition of frontier stories in which white heroes achieve their full manhood by emulating the ways of Indian hunters and warriors, of “savages.” In Tarzan of the Apes, the frontier is replaced by the jungle, and the “savages” are apes and Africans instead of Indians. Like the pioneer heroes, Tarzan symbolically merges the skill and ferocity of the savage with the superior mental and moral acuity attributed to the “civilized” man. Richard Slotkin has argued that the false values of “the metropolis,” be it European culture or urban modernity, can be purged by the adoption of a more primitive and natural condition of life, by a crossing of the border from civilization to wilderness. But adopting the ways of the beast or “savage” does not mean becoming one; it means you know how to turn his own methods against him.

Critic Leslie Fiedler described Tarzan of the Apes as “that immortal myth of the abandoned child of civilization who survives to become Lord of the Jungle.” This basic plot has been adapted and readapted in several dozen film versions. There are many Tarzans; there are noble savages, simple and gentle guardians who protect the jungle and its creatures from arrogant but frightened jungle-intruders, and there are fierce fighting Tarzans, whose primitive existence is poignantly harsh and brutal. Specific features of the Tarzan that Burroughs created, however, are commonly omitted from adaptations; rarely is he represented as the son of an English lord and lady who teaches himself to read and who demonstrates, through his demeanor and skill at killing, his Anglo-Saxon “racial superiority” and his inherited aristocratic taste and sense of honor. These elements of the story don’t have the kind of appeal they once did. As early as the first sound film adaptation in 1932, Hollywood democratized Tarzan, taking away his title and his British heritage. Over the years the representations of Tarzan’s Africa have varied as well. In many of the films, including the 1999 Disney animated version, no Africans appear at all, nor does Tarzan employ his method of killing by hanging, an evocation of lynching that, dismayingly, Burroughs seems to have been untroubled by. Because we want our heroes to embody our principles, Tarzan continues to evolve.

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Tarzan of the Apes (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 213 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had seen some Tarzan films before I read this book. I wanted to read it to see how Burrough's vision differed from the diffrent films that chronicled Tarzan's origin. And, I must say that I was amazed at how rich and entertaining THIS FANTASTIC BOOK was. I so enjoyed it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to see this legendary character in his true splendor, or to anyone looking for a good read.
theokester More than 1 year ago
I think most people have at least a vague concept of the Tarzan story and its characters. There have been many official Tarzan movies over the years and many stories and other movies that refer to or borrow from the Tarzan mythos. To a large extent, I went into this first Tarzan book (there were over 20 books written) with a pretty good feel for what to expect from the storyline. Despite that, I found some unique elements that I didn't expect. The adventure story within the book is pretty much what I had expected from the movies and TV shows I'd seen. There were a few elements where movie-makers had taken some liberties (possibly with concepts from other books and sometimes to make things more "screen worthy" - such as "me tarzan, you jane" which never happens in the book). I actually found that the adventures of the book were pretty fun to read and kept the pace of the book moving rather well. The book dealt a lot with exploring the character of the characters and the concept of what makes a man. At some times, these sections of narrative were interesting and insightful. At other times, these segments felt poorly informed, assumptive and racist/misogynistic . Generally speaking, the negative aspects of character development distracted me from the positive workmanship to the point that I had a hard time placing any validity on any of the characters. Scientifically speaking, Tarzan's development in the wild is completely unbelievable and his later development of "human" traits is likewise unbelievable. Setting those concepts under the "suspension of disbelief" clause used in fiction, I then got hung up on the behavior of the animals and especially of the other humans. The Women are as helpless lumps of life with their main purpose in life being to provide something that man can provide for and save from hardship and peril. The Men are inconsistent and can either be heartless self-centered ingrates willing to hurt (or kill) anyone for their own advancement, well-intentioned heroes who are physically incompetent and unable to follow through, or complete idiots unfit to do anything productive at all. Tarzan is the only "true man" and as such he finds himself ostracized and unable to find a happy existence either in civilization or the jungle (though he definitely prefers the jungle). Despite not being a fan of the way the characters were portrayed or the way everyone interacted with each other, I still enjoyed the story and there's a part of me that wants to read some of the other books simply for the fun, fluffy enjoyment of wild adventures. Burroughs writing style was fluid and rich and provided for a quick and enjoyable read. This is a book worth reading for the fun of it and to look at its influence on the media and culture of the 100 years since it was written. 3 Stars
shelley1AL More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Tarzan of the Apes when I was a kid, I read it several times, and reading it again many decades later has been a delight. It's been a great escape. I appreciate B&N Classics Series, the great prices encourage me to revisit many classics I grew up with, and also read some great classics for the first time.
PureMagick More than 1 year ago
I very much believe this belong in every reader's library.
Wompus More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows the Tarzan story, right? Well, I thought I did but I didn't. This story was thoroughly engrossing and moves very, very fast. There are some uncomfortable themes (Burroughs' ethnocentric view towards other races, etc.), but I think it comes with the times in which it was written. The storylines are fantastic and leave you wanting to read the next chapter. Some parts are unbelievable (a man killing apes, lion, etc. or a man swinging through the trees carrying another person), but the escapism and adventure are thrilling. It was a fun read that I would definitley recommend.
Anonymous 13 days ago
She puts food in her pu.ssy going up to the gorrilla
Anonymous 15 days ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
Excellant
AnnaPiranha More than 1 year ago
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chinitaNJ More than 1 year ago
Very good book, my child love it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never thoght I would like Tarzan of the Apes until I read A Princess of Mars. I liked it so much that I thought I would see what Tarzan was like, since it was written by the same auther. As soon as I picked it up, I couldn't put it down until I had finished it. Edgar Rice Borroughs was an incredibly imaginative writer and I can't wait to read his other books!
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Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Bur­roughs is the famous novel of the boy who was raised by simi­ans in the jun­gles of Africa. The book was first seri­al­ized in All-Story Mag­a­zine 1812 and pub­lished in 1814. John and Alice Clay­ton (Lord and Lady Greystoke) are aban­doned on the coast of Africa after a mutiny on their ship. They barely sur­vive but man­age to cre­ate a shel­ter and have a baby; how­ever they are no match to the jun­gle ani­mals who despise the strangers. Their infant though has been adopted by Kala, a female ape who recently lost her own son. Pro­tected by Kala, Tarzan (white skin) grows in a soci­ety filled with tow­er­ing brutes who won­der why the small white ape takes so long to grow up. A few weeks ago I put in a request to review Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell, the Tarzan story from the per­spec­tive of Jane (post com­ing next week). I then decided to re-read the orig­i­nal Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Bur­roughs to refresh my mem­ory has it has been decades since I read it first. I did not regret that deci­sion for a moment and can cer­tainly under­stand why Tarzan achieved a cult icon sta­tus. Bur­roughs wrote an excit­ing novel, mak­ing the unbe­liev­able seem some­what plau­si­ble in a story which tags on the read­ers’ imag­i­na­tion almost every page. The char­ac­ters, espe­cially that of Tarzan, are mas­ter­fully writ­ten, com­bin­ing intel­li­gence and wis­dom. We have grown up on a char­ac­ter of Tarzan who barely speaks, but in the book he is a com­plex char­ac­ter with intel­li­gence and brawn to match. The char­ac­ter is writ­ten with child­like inno­cence and alarm­ing vio­lence which in turn makes Tarzan an inter­est­ing and com­plex character. The begin­ning of the book deals mostly with Tarzan’s par­ents, John and Alice Clay­ton, who have found them­selves in the midst of a tragedy despite their best efforts. We are all used to sto­ries of hope, Bur­roughs played that angle won­der­fully, I still felt sad­dened by their untimely end which was sad and vio­lent despite know­ing of their demise ahead of time. Each chap­ter it seems is a new adven­ture in which Tarzan learns a new skill, whether it is to read or to use a weapon. Tarzan feels con­flicted between his iden­tity as a mem­ber of the ape soci­ety and his self taught skills which put him above a phys­i­cally supe­rior specimen. Tarzan, being a prod­uct of his upbring­ing, sees every­one as sub-human, includ­ing whites – until he meets Jane (and later D’Arnot). Tarzan feels the apes are intel­lec­tu­ally infe­rior, the natives are phys­i­cally infe­rior and the whites are morally substandard. We could learn a lot from Tarzan, who helps the inno­cent and help­less with­out sac­ri­fic­ing him­self or his goals. The pro­tag­o­nist does not need, nor does he under­stand, social approval or soci­ety pres­tige, he has enou
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book. But is hard to read with all the editing problems. I personly like the disney verison better. It has a petter mooral of the story. But thats just me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago