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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Review: Tarzan of the Apes

One of the big attractions of the Kindle is the ability to load it up with old goodies for free or a nominal price. An early one was Tarzan (Kindle Edition)

Perhaps the sad thing about reading old books is that you'll never approach the innocence you had when you first read them as a child. For instance, as a child, I never noticed how much a product of his times Edgar Rice Burroughs was. He was racist, convinced of the superiority of the white race in every way. He was sexist, with the women in the stories only concerned about marriage, and constantly either saying that they were glad to have a man around or being told not to worry their pretty heads.

But the main character, of course, is Tarzan, and Tarzan is every bit as much of a super-hero as Batman or Superman is --- intelligent, strong, mobile, and possessed of incredible strength of character (despite his upbringing), Burroughs infused him with every bit of idealism he could find. In many ways, this original Tarzan is primal, skilled, and shy in a way that later renditions never managed.

All in all, I enjoyed the read, but fear reading the sequels, since the overt racism and sexism is quite a bit off-putting. Nevertheless, this is the original Tarzan!

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