By Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Library of America, $20.00, 432 pages
When Lord and Lady Greystroke die in the wilds of Africa, their infant son, Tarzan is adopted by the she-ape, Kala. Growing up, Tarzan develops incredible strength and cunning. Able to kill lions with comparative ease, the young man quickly becomes a respected figure within his tribe, but longs for much more. Using the books he finds in his father’s abandoned cabin, Tarzan learns to read and write and becomes increasingly curious about the creatures called M-A-N. When the beautiful Jane Porter becomes stranded in the ape-man’s jungle, Tarzan’s curiosity quickly develops into a fascination that will change his life forever.
Tarzan of the Apes is a tricky book to recommend. On the one hand, the story is, at its heart, the very best kind of romantic high adventure. In the depths of an African jungle, a powerfully handsome and passionate wild man sweeps a civilized American woman off her feet. Even without the mutineers, buried treasure and lions, Tarzan of the Apes has the guts of a great escapade. However, the rampant racism, sexism and religious intolerance painfully outdate this 100 year-old story and make it a challenging book for the modern reader to enjoy.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Goss