Wednesday, the 7th of July, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

First published in 1912, my pick today is Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan of the Apes is the first of twenty-four novels featuring Tarzan, published between 1912 and 1966. Tarzan is of course the archetype of a child raised in the wild by animals (in this case, apes) who begins to encounter humans and human society, and finds much he doesn’t like. Tarzan has featured in numerous books and films, including as a Disney character, but this is his original appearance.

In this one, Tarzan is born to aristocratic parents Viscount and Lady Greystone (John and Alice Clayton) marooned in the jungles of equatorial Africa. When Tarzan (born John Clayton) is one, his mother dies, and soon after, his father his killed by a savage king ape. A she-ape Kala, adopts Tarzan and raises him. He has several adventures. When he is 21, another party is marooned in the jungle. This includes Jane Porter, the first white woman he has ever seen, and his own cousin William, who is now in possession of the Clayton estate.

Tarzan is a character one has come across so often, though I haven’t really either seen a ‘proper’ film version or read any books featuring the character (other than the Disney one). I have however read Edgar Rice Burroughs before when I took a MOOC on Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature and one of the readings was A Princess of Mars (in its movie form, John Carter). I found I quite enjoyed the book (I haven’t read further in the series yet) and that had prompted me to look up Burroughs’ other works, and I popped Tarzan onto my list. This was mostly because popular depictions aside, I really wanted to see what the original character that Burroughs created was really like, since interpretations and popular images sometimes do end up very different from the original versions. I’m expecting a fairly fast-paced adventure, though am a little concerned about animals that may be harmed/killed as I don’t really like reading books with such incidents. So in a bit of a dilemma, but I might just start the book, and if there is some of this which I find I can’t skip over, I might reconsider.

Have you read any of the Tarzan books? Have you seen any of the films? Which one/s? How did you like them? Any you’d recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Book description from wikipedia (here); cover image from Goodreads (here)

Lisa’s pick this week is a trio of books by Bill Bryson: here. I’ve read only one of his books before, A Short History of Nearly Everything which I enjoyed very much so her picks sound interesting to me.

6 thoughts on “Shelf Control #142: Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

  1. I’ve never read any of the Tarzan books! And I’ve only seen the Disney movie version, which is charming, but probably very different from the author’s original intention. I bet it would be really interesting and fun to read the book. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I have read this a couple or so times, and even reviewed it! Like the father of one of your commenters I read most of the Tarzan novels as a teenager and in my early 20s, though this was the late 60s going into the 70s, when I haunted a couple of secondhand bookshops which seemed to have a good supply coming their way! I tried the sequel to Tarzan of the Apes recently and found it less riveting than I remembered, but may give it one last go sometime. The first title was definitely the best, I feel, though definitely of its time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing the link. I’m heading over to check it out.
      I do want to read the first at least because (while I haven’t as such seen Tarzan films other than the Disney one) I wanted to see how the popular image/perception was compared to Burroughs original character. I did enjoy his Princess of Mars so hope this will turn out to be fun as well. (Also despite having read seemingly endless amounts of Kipling (I think I went through the library’s entire collection at one point), I still haven’t read the Jungle Book either, so I haven’t actually read any of the ‘feral’ child stories.)

      Liked by 1 person

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