Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Tarzan of the Apes Del Rey cover

Tarzan of the Apes (1914)

The first book of many telling the unashamedly fantastic adventures of an English aristocrat's son raised by apes in the jungles of Africa. Tarzan is one of the most well known fictional characters of the century.

current Del Rey cover art by Barclay Shaw (left)
1977  Ballantine cover art by Neal Adams (right)

Tarzan of the Apes Ballantine cover
How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 7 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
Cheri - Barb 8
Aaron 8 Cynthia 8
Lars 8 Jackie 7

Aaron's Commentary   Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan of the Apes

       In this cynical age, it's wonderfully refreshing to get to cheer for characters of uncompromising nobility and bravery like Tarzan and Jane Porter. I find it very easy to get caught up in their stories despite their comic book attributes and even though they are virtuous to an absurd extreme (as exemplified by Jane's willingness to marry a man she doesn't love rather than hurt his feelings by telling him she really loves Tarzan).
       Why did Tarzan become such a cultural phenomenon? I think the fantasy of combining the virtues of civilized man with the strengths of the wild savage is compelling. The joy of roaming the jungle is so fresh in this book (it wears thin over two dozen sequels), you have to love it.

What do you think? Your comments are welcome. Please send them to

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was a prolific US writer of fantasy, and science-fantasy. He wrote ninety-one books, and numerous short stories and articles. His works are still popular today, and they have spawned many imitators. His most important series are Tarzan, Mars or Barsoom, Pellucidar, and Venus. There have been around fifty Tarzan movies. Most of Burroughs earlier works were published first in magazines.

Tarzan Series - as numbered by Ballantine books
Tarzan of the Apes (#1, 1914)
The Return of Tarzan (#2, 1915)
The Beasts of Tarzan (#3, 1916)
The Son of Tarzan (#4, 1917)
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (#5, 1918)
Jungle Tales of Tarzan (#6, collection 1919)
Tarzan the Untamed (#7, linked stories 1920)
Tarzan the Terrible (#8, 1921)
Tarzan and the Golden Lion (#9, 1923)
Tarzan and the Ant Men (#10, 1924)
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (#11, 1928)
Tarzan and the Lost Empire (#12, 1929)
Tarzan at the Earth's Core (#13, 1930)
Tarzan the Invincible (#14, 1931)
Tarzan Triumphant (#15, 1932)
Tarzan and the City of Gold (#16, 1933)
Tarzan and the Lion Man (#17, 1934)
Tarzan and the Leopard Men (#18, 1935)
Tarzan's Quest (#19, 1936)
Tarzan and the Forbidden City (#20, 1938)
Tarzan the Magnificent (#21, fixup 1939)
Tarzan and the Foreign Legion (#22, 1947)
Tarzan and the Madman (#23, 1964)
Tarzan and the Castaways (#24, 1965)
other books:
The Tarzan Twins (1927)
Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion (1936)
(the two above combined as Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins (1963)
Tarzan The Lost Adventure (1997, completed by Joe R. Lansdale)

Mars or Barsoom Series,
Inventive, scientifically implausible adventures

Princess of Mars (#1, 1917)
The Gods of Mars (#2, 1918)
Warlord of Mars (#3, 1919)
Thuvia, Maid of Mars (#4, 1920)
The Chessmen of Mars (#5, 1922)
Master Mind of Mars (#6, 1928)
Fighting Man of Mars (#7, 1931)
Swords of Mars (#8, 1936)
Synthetic Men of Mars (# 9, 1940)
Llana of Gathol (#10, fixup 1948)
John Carter of Mars (#11, collection 1964)
Three Martian Novels (1962 omnibus, contains books #4-6)

Pellucidar Series,
Adventures set in a Hollow-Earth, featuring dinosaurs

At the Earth's Core (#1, 1922)
Pellucidar (#2, 1923)
Tanar of Pellucidar (#3, 1930)
Tarzan at the Earth’s Core (#4, 1937, overlap of two series)
Back to the Stone Age (#5, 1937)
Land of Terror (#6, 1944)
Savage Pellucidar (# 7, fixup 1963)

Venus series,
Exploits of spaceman Carson Napier

Pirates of Venus (1934)
Lost on Venus (1935)
Carson of Venus (1939)
Escape on Venus (1946)
Wizard of Venus and Pirate Blood (1984, collection)

Other SF books
The Land That Time Forgot (1924)
set in lost world of Caspek near South Pole
(contains The Land That Time Forgot (1982), The People that Time Forgot (1982), and Out of Time's Abyss (1982))

Moon Maid (1926) - a civilization in the hollow interior of the moon
(The Moon Maid (text restored 1962) and The Moon Men (text restored 1962))

Beyond the Farthest Star (collection 1965) - only tales with a interstellar setting
Tales of Three Planets (collection 1964) includes Beyond the Farthest Star

The Eternal Savage (as the Eternal Lover 1925, 1963)
The Mad King (1926)
The Monster Men (1929)
Jungle Girl (or The Land of Hidden Men 1932) - lost civilization in Cambodia
The Cave Girl (1925)
Beyond Thirty (1957, or The Lost Continent, 1955) - set in the 22nd century
The Man Eater (1955)

Some other ERB books...there are undoubtedly more than this
The Mucker (1922) - classic adventure
The Man Without a Soul (1922, or The Return of the Mucker)
The Bandit of Hell's Bend (1925)
War Chief (1927)
The Outlaw of Torn (1927)
Apache Devil (1933)
The Lad and the Lion (1937)
The Oakdale Affair (1937)
The Rider (1937) - The highwayman who plagues two countries
The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County (1940)
The Girl from Farris's (1959)
The Efficiency Expert (1966)
I Am a Barbarian (1967)

Edgar Rice Burroughs - Wikipedia
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs - Project Gutenberg - etext of book

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This page was last updated October 20, 2008