The Official Blurb
Tarzan of the Apes is Burroughs’ exciting, if improbable, story of an English lord, left by the death of his stranded parents in the hands of a motherly African ape who raises him as her own. Although he is aware that he is different from the apes of his tribe, who are neither white nor hairless, he nevertheless regards them as his “people.” When older, larger, stronger apes decide that he an undesirable to be killed or expelled from the tribe, it is fortunate that Tarzan has learned the use of primitive weapons.
Although small and weak by ape standards, Tarzan is a human of god-like strength and agility to men who discover him. By studying these people, he gradually decides he is not an ape at all, but human.
And when he meets Jane, a beautiful American girl marooned with her father and friends on the hostile coast of Africa, Tarzan conceives love for her. When they are unexpectedly rescued before Tarzan can find a way to reveal his feelings to Jane, he determines to become civilized and follow her into the world of people – to find her and wed her, though he must cross continents and oceans, and compete with two other suitors for her hand.
Everyone knows who Tarzan is. Or at least we think we do! When I finally got round to listening to the actual book I found out things that had never been hinted at by the saturday morning Tarzan films.
Tarzan is raised by the Apes, and the book reveals what that means. It means Tarzan doesn't have a lot of the human feelings and sensibilities. Humans at first scare him, then he becomes a murderer and a canibal. He doesn't know any better of course and so doesn't even consider it as doing anything wrong.
The story evolved a little slowly, and started with Tarzan's parents going on a trip. However once the parents pop-their-clogs the story becomes a lot more interesting. The auther develops the Apes as real characters and we as listeners are not bored by their interactions.
The story jumps another notch once humans move into the apes part of the jungle. So we have a story that speeds up and gets better as it goes and therefore draws you in and keeps you interested.
The reader is this case is fast becoming one of my favourite Librivox readers, Mark Smith. He also read Mysterious Island which I reviewd a while ago.
Total Score 7/9
You can find the book at Librivox.