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Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan: The Lost Adventure Hardcover – January 16, 1996

3.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Hardcover, January 16, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Ape Man rampages through the African jungle once again in a brawny, brutal adventure that Burroughs (1875- 1950) left unfinished at his death. It was recently completed by Lansdale in a series of paperbacks (1995), which have now been combined into this hardcover. Johnny Weismuller and those familiar with Tarzan only through film and TV may blanch at this noble beast who drinks hot blood from his bare-handed kills and slays foes with abandon and near superhuman skill. But this Tarzan is in the dark spirit of the Burroughs novels, and he's revived with pulpish glee by Lansdale, a smart choice whose own fiction (The Two-Bear Mambo, 1995) acknowledges the ferocity of life. Here, Tarzan, aided by Jad-bal-ja the lion and Nkima the chimp, defends a party of American archeologists in search of the Lost City of Ur. He combats brigands who would plunder the party and the jungle, the savage inhabitants of Ur and, finally, a mantis-like monster from the earth's core-a reminder that Burroughs's Tarzan novels were as much science fiction as jungle adventure. It's a fierce tale, told in rough prose, but readers who pant, for instance, at the sight of Tarzan slashing through a band of apes who have kidnapped a young blonde as their "slave" will thrill to this yarn.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; Gph edition (January 16, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156971083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569710838
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,662,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Sadler on January 19, 2004
I did not necessarily have high hopes for this book. As a pre-teen and teenager I was in love with the writing of Burroughs and Robert E. Howard, as well as their most famous characters, Tarzan and Conan, respectively. And I have had a lot of respect for the company controlling Burroughs's copyrights for not dumping a lot of Tarzan pastiches on the marketplace as has happened with Conan. But having watched hack after hack literally destroy Conan, my expectations for this book were fairly low.
Fortunately, I was somewhat surprised. While it definitely lacks Burroughs's tone in many places, it's relatively true to the original character. Lansdale appears to be a decent enough writer and I think he has a lot of respect for the Tarzan mythos. He wisely introduces one of my favorite characters into the storyline, Jad-Bal-Ja (the golden lion), but I ultimately wasn't overly impressed with what I considered the science fiction aspects of the story, e.g., the bug-like monster.
Not that Burroughs didn't frequently troll the waters of science fiction in Tarzan, it just seemed to lack a degree of originality. The downer ending was also something of an oddity. Admittedly, "Tarzan of the Apes," the one that started it all, had a downer ending, but for the most Burroughs generally wrapped up his Tarzan stories with a semblance of "everything is now right in the world." Okay, so maybe I'm being picky.
I do recommend this book. It is an entertaining read and is never boring. I guess anyone who tries to pick up where my favorite authors left off is usually going to face some negative criticism.
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Mr. Lansdale has come up with a passable plot by copying Mr. Burroughs' most used formulae. Unfortunately, the book disappoints, even offends, in two critical areas. First, I wonder if he has ever read ERB's Tarzan stories enough to know the character. Lansdale's Tarzan alternates between taciturnity and sarcasm. By the time ERB got to "Tarzan and the Foreign Legion", Tarzan was amazingly social, able to carry on friendly conversation, given to smiling, even laughing occasionally, and had no problem with contractions. Lansdale's Tarzan ponders how he and Jane have grown apart and is unconcerned about getting home. ERB's Tarzan loved Jane deeply and she, in turn, understood his occasional need to escape into the jungle for the adventures of his boyhood. The second failing, one the introduction attempts to make excuses for, is Mr. Lansdale poor grammar and sentence structure. He writes in repetitive short sentence structure. Remember how you English teacher taught you to take: "He crossed the camp and sat on the stool. He picked up the map. Then he took a drink of coffee." and make it more interesting by changing it to: "Crossing the camp, he settled himself onto the stool. As he began to study the map, he reached for his coffee, taking a relaxing sip from it..." I think Mr. Lansdale missed that class. Dialogue is filled with a repetition of "said" and "asked". It becomes tedious. How about announced, sighed, grunted, gasped, commented, corrected, argued, inquired, added, continued, etc.? Variety holds a reader's interest better than repetition. I had high hopes that, like Fritz Leiber with "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold", it would be a well-written story, honoring the personality Mr. Burroughs created, which evolved through his 25 books (including "Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins"), as well as Mr. Burroughs' flowing style.
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By A Customer on February 15, 1999
I was looking forward to this latest offering from the "Burroughs vault" It was a fast paced adventure that was hard to put down. But I think it was more from wanting to get to the real ERB stuff, than wanting to see what happened next. It just never happened. The blood and gore was sadly overdown, even for Tarzan. Interesting cliff hanger. First time that has happened.
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There's just too much of Lansdale and not enough Burroughs. In Poodle Springs by Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker, you can not tell where Chandler ends and Parker picks up. In finishing a lost manuscript, the author finishing should attempt to stay as true to the original authors style as possible. Lansdale failed in this area. The book is good reading and a good adventure, but just like the movies, just not Burroughs Tarzan.
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