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Tarzan of the Apes (Dover Thrift) Paperback – April 14, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0486295701 ISBN-10: 0486295702 Edition: New edition

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Tarzan of the Apes (Dover Thrift) + The Return of Tarzan + The Beasts of Tarzan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (April 14, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486295702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486295701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

First published in 1914, Edgar Rice Burroughs's romance has lost little of its force over the years--as film revivals and TV series well attest. Tarzan of the Apes is very much a product of its age: replete with bloodthirsty natives and a bulky, swooning American Negress, and haunted by what zoo specialists now call charismatic megafauna (great beasts snarling, roaring, and stalking, most of whom would be out of place in a real African jungle). Burroughs countervails such incorrectness, however, with some rather unattractive representations of white civilization--mutinous, murderous sailors, effete aristos, self-involved academics, and hard-hearted cowards. At Tarzan's heart rightly lies the resourceful and hunky title character, a man increasingly torn between the civil and the savage, for whom cutlery will never be less than a nightmare.

The passages in which the nut-brown boy teaches himself to read and write are masterly and among the book's improbable, imaginative best. How tempting it is to adopt the ten-year-old's term for letters--"little bugs"! And the older Tarzan's realization that civilized "men were indeed more foolish and more cruel than the beasts of the jungle," while not exactly a new notion, is nonetheless potent. The first in Burroughs's serial is most enjoyable in its resounding oddities of word and thought, including the unforgettable "When Tarzan killed he more often smiled than scowled; and smiles are the foundation of beauty." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

[Burroughs has] a gift very few writers of any kind possess: he can describe action vividly. Gore Vidal --Gore Vidal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

It leaves you feeling like you need to read the next book to get the full story (The Return of Tarzan).
Steve
Never had I imagined that Burroughs was a creative writer with such an imaginative mind and an exceptional way with the English language.
S D C Bookstore
For all the Tarzan movies, original TV show, and comics I have enjoyed since childhood, I never read the book until now.
Gary A. Stafford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on January 17, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was a prodigy of imagination. He started his writer career quite late; his first work was published in 1912. From that point on a ceaseless flow of imaginary worlds & heroes poured from his pen: John Carter of Mars, Carson Napier of Venus, David Innes and Abner Perry on Pellucidar at Earth's center and the most famous of them all Tarzan of the Apes.

Tarzan's world is Africa. But an extraordinary Africa populated with apes more intelligent than any known ones and in later adventures with a plethora "lost cities", "ant-men" or whatever suit ERB in order to deliver a fast paced adventure.

As other reviewers, of this same book in other editions, point out do not expect "politically correct" tales, they are the product of a society still torn by racial prejudices.
Another assumption that closely follows this is: "superior traits" are inherited directly and a Lord will always be a Lord no matter what the circumstances.
The reader may assume all this adventures occurs in an "alternate reality" that have some common traits with our world such as the ones depicted by Guy Gavriel Kay for example.

Now you'll be ready to enjoy the original story of Tarzan as it was delivered by ERB, free from Hollywood changes or comic's stereotypes.
A couple of English nobles are abandoned by a mutinous crew in the coast of Africa where they barely survive.
Adversity proves to be more than what they may endure and both die leaving an infant that is miraculously adopted by Kala an anthropoid that has lost her baby-ape.
Protected by her, Tarzan starts a life struggle to conquer a space among the over towering brutes.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Alan R. Holyoak on May 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Edgar Rice Burroughs started writing adventure novels nearly 90 years ago. The most famous of his characters is, or course, Tarzan. And this book is the one that got the Tarzan legacy started.
In this book you meet Tarzan, learn who he really is, where he came from, how he became lord of the apes and protector of the jungle, and the English Earl of Greystoke. You also learn the story behind the story about Tarzan and Jane.
I've been a Tarzan fan for nearly 20 years. I've been collecting Tarzan books (older ones) for the past 15 years. I've read nearly all the books in the series, and this one is probably the best. I'll be the first to admit that if you read a lot of Tarzan books back to back you will see a somewhat formulaic approach to some of the installments. This first book, however, is original, interesting, and immensely entertaining.
I encourage you to read the book that got it all started in 1914 -- the premis, the character, and the mystique that spawned numerous films, and other spin-off media, and a series of books that spanned publication dates from 1914 well into the 1940s.
Move over Indiana Jones and James Bond -- Tarzan is the real McCoy. He's strong, brave, modest, wise, and good. He's got the attributes that we could sure use in a hero today!
Give this book a look. You'll be glad you did. It's a book that you could enjoy reading to your children.
5 stars for story, character development, readability, and content. Is it a literary classic? Yes, in that it holds its own respected place among fictional literature. Will it ever will literary acclaim? I don't think that Joyce or Faulkner need to worry.
But, hey, it's a fun read! Give it a try.
Alan Holyoak
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on December 4, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's hard to imagine a time when no one had ever heard of Tarzan, when the ape man hadn't swung his way across countless B movie screens and Disney features. When I saw Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes listed among the public domain texts easily downloaded to the Kindle for free, I was curious to see what the original Tarzan looked like, before his cartoonification. It was worth the download.

The outline of the story told in Tarzan of the Apes--the first of what would be 24 Tarzan novels written by Burroughs--will be familiar. It begins with the story of Tarzan's parents, who were generously put ashore by a mutinous crew rather than killed, abandoned on an island that was inhabited only by wild beasts and cannibals. John Clayton is an Englishman's Englisman, brawny and brave and possessed of an innate nobility. His pregnant wife Alice strives to be a suitable companion to such a man. They survive in the jungle for a time, until their son is a year old, and then they both die from separate causes. Tarzan is adopted into a family of apes, where he eventually thrives because he is able to compensate for his physical shortcomings (compared to apes; compared to your average man he is a god) by employing his intellect. Tarzan teaches himself to read from the books he finds among his dead parents' possessions, and so he is able to communicate when the island is finally visited by Europeans, Jane Porter and her bumbling father, who've been marooned themselves. A romance ensues, which leads Tarzan to civilize himself and follow Jane to America.

One can complain that Tarzan is sexist and racist.
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