Monday, June 25, 2012

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

In Tarzan of the Apes, a young couple sent on a diplomatic mission end up marooned in the Africa jungle. They build a platform house and live fairly comfortably, until a unfortunate series of events leaves the couple dead and a toddler orphaned. Luckily, a passing ape who just lost a child hears the young boy's screams, finds him, and raises him as her own. She names the child Tarzan, and he soon becomes the most powerful beast in the jungle. The intelligent child, using picture books he finds in his parent's old jungle house, even teaches himself how to read English. When Tarzan grows up, he stumbles upon "white apes" just like him. Jane Porter and her befuddled father, along with Tarzan's cousin, were the unlucky passengers on a ship whose crew mutinied. Tarzan takes it upon himself to protect the strange creatures, and falls in love with Jane. The story follows Tarzan as he figures out in which world he belongs- the jungle, or civilization?
Despite the "classic" feel of the book, Tarzan of the Apes is a fantastic read. The plot is completely unique and believable, with plenty of fun personification and helpful details. Tarzan himself is incredibly interesting- as a man raised by wild animals, one is constantly amazed at his instincts, both human and ape. Jane is a likable heroine, who knows how to shoot a gun and remains brave throughout her adventures. She is not drawn to power and riches, and her down-to-earth thoughts about her situation added greatly to the story. I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy adventure, as well as those who enjoy the "summer reading list" type of book. Don't get scared away because it was written almost 100 years ago- the story is timeless. 

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: , Pennsylvania USA