Book Review: Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration

08:28 21 December 2012

Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration

Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration

Archant

(Titan Books)

FEW fictional characters succeed in achieving the status of cultural icon, let alone triumphantly traversing media to win acclaim in formats ranging from novels, newspaper strips and comic books to movies, musicals and TV series.

A straw poll of candidates will include the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Superman, Batman, and yes, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ jungle lord, Tarzan.

Created 100 years ago this year, John Clayton, aka Lord Greystoke, alias Tarzan of the Apes is an extraordinary resilient fictional success story whose influence has remained buoyant across the decades.

The simple origin story of an orphaned baby raised by apes and gaining dominance over the jungles of Africa was just the beginning of Greystoke’s adventures. Burroughs’ subsequent stories saw Tarzan marry his sweetheart Jane Porter, join the French secret service, raise his son Korak, explore lost worlds, fight in the First World War, encounter prehistoric monsters and 18-inch tall Ant Men, and eventually gain immortality across 24 original novels.

Beyond the books, Tarzan enjoyed healthy runs of films and television series at various points over the 20th Century, and also appeared in assorted comic books, radio plays and sequels – not bad for a character Burroughs initially only considered for a one-off appearance.

This justifiably luxurious book offers a comprehensive look at every aspect of the Tarzan phenomenon, as well as Burroughs himself and his incredible legacy, illustrated by a beautiful collection of photographs, cover paintings, comic strips and rare merchandise, combining to produce perhaps the most indispensible Tarzan companion book ever published.

Added bonuses include an ape-English dictionary, a map of Tarzan’s Africa (including many of his lost worlds), and a complete bibliography of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, plus a checklist of Tarzan’s appearances in films, on television, stage and radio, and in comics across a host of publishers including DC, Marvel, Gold Key and Dark Horse.

A remarkable piece of work which succeeds in being both a lavish treasury of Tarzan images and a comprehensive guide to the character on his 100th birthday. Worth standing on the top of a waterfall and doing a jungle cry about!

* Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration by Scott Tracy Griffin, with an introduction by Ron Ely. Titan Books, £29.99

0 comments

More news stories

02:31
The new free Beacon service aims to get the best support to those who need it most

A brand new service for victims of crime in Hertfordshire which aims to offer better support for those who need it most will be launched next week.

Yesterday, 21:29
Mary Berry

If you’re bonkers about baking, remember that the grand dame of all things cake will be chatting about her latest book at Letchworth’s Broadway Cinema next Thursday, April 2.

Yesterday, 14:53
Christine Knight.

The final decision on whether to build a food recycling plant in Shepreth has been postponed by South Cambridgeshire District Council due to strength of opposition to the controversial scheme.

Yesterday, 12:29
The inquest was heard at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield.

A 20-year-old motorcyclist died after his speeding motorbike smashed into the back of a van turning out of a driveway, an inquest heard yesterday.

”North

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition today E-edition