Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Me Tarzan, you Jane

I just finished a very good book, which I have read several times. It is Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Now, when I was younger I had no interest in this book which we had on the shelf, for I was swayed by those cheesy black-and-white movies made about Tarzan and Jane. Alas, I wasted many years where I could have been reading more Tarzan! The books are in no way cheesy, and in fact are very well written.
My mom was who got me interested, when one summer she instituted, "Quiet Time". I think she needed a break from all the kids that came over during the summer, and for two hourse after lunch it was just us kids at home and we would listen as she read. I was reluctant at first, becuase I had my own books to read, but I found myself drawn into the story, and soon, I had commandeered the book and finshed it on my own.
I believe there are 22 books in the series, all about Tarzan, and his adventures. They are out of print, and so hard to come by, but every now and then you can find some at a 2nd hand book store. The first couple can still be found at most libraries. Any way, I am including an excerpt, and hope you are intrigued- Enjoy!

"...The tribe of anthropoids over which Kerchak ruled with an iron hand and bared fangs, numbered some six or eight families, each family consisting of an adult male with his females and their young, numbering in all some sixty or seventy apes.

Kala was the youngest mate of a male called Tublat, meaning broken nose, and the child she had seen dashed to death was her first; for she was but nine or ten years old.

Notwithstanding her youth, she was large and powerful--a splendid, clean-limbed animal, with a round, high forehead, which denoted more intelligence than most of her kind possessed. So, also, she had a great capacity for mother love and mother sorrow.

But she was still an ape, a huge, fierce, terrible beast of a species closely allied to the gorilla, yet more intelligent; which, with the strength of their cousin, made her kind the most fearsome of those awe-inspiring progenitors of man....

...The King ape turned his attention toward the little cradle; but Kala was there before him, and when he would have grasped the child she snatched it herself, and before he could intercept her she had bolted through the door and taken refuge in a high tree.

As she took up the little live baby of Alice Clayton she dropped the dead body of her own into the empty cradle; for the wail of the living had answered the call of universal motherhood within her wild breast which the dead could not still.

High up among the branches of a mighty tree she hugged the shrieking infant to her bosom, and soon the instinct that was as dominant in this fierce female as it had been in the breast of his tender and beautiful mother--the instinct of mother love--reached out to the tiny man-child's half-formed understanding, and he became quiet.

Then hunger closed the gap between them, and the son of an English lord and an English lady nursed at the breast of Kala, the great ape."

(this is from the first book in the series: Tarzan of the Apes. You can find the first four books online at this address:

Oh, and don't judge this book by its cover! Look at those muscles!


shaina said...

I love these books too! Very excellently written. I, too, was not interested until you presented the book on tape during a road trip. I am forever changed.

kdaygirl said...

Shavonne My friends that own the antique store also have a book store and I bet u can find the ones u cant. Which ones dont u have?

Shavonne said...

I packed them up, but I think I have the first seven. That would be cool if you found them. You should read them too Kim!

Queen of Chaos said...

If you didn't speak so highly of these Tarzan books I wouldn't be interested in reading them at all. They say word of mouth is the best in book sales and I'd have to agree. ;) I bet Conner would love these.

I have SO many books on my list to read it isn't healthy! teehee

sharon c... that's me said...

oh, i love these books, and i loved it when mom would read to us. i got mom like 13 books for christmas, byui replaced theor set with new ones that were given to the library after someone died, they're so good.

The Girls' Mom said...

Cool, I will add these to my list. I love that you added and excerpt. It really drew me in.