Great preview right!?
So after loving that, having watched many of the past versions of his story (George of the Jungle, Disney's Tarzan, etc.), and knowing I had the first book in the original book series by Edgar Rice Burroughs at my middle school library I had to know how they compared to the book. I decided to grab it and give it a try!
Tarzan of the Apes, Book 1 - 4 Stars
The Return of Tarzan, Book 2 - 4 Stars
Beasts of Tarzan, Book 3 - 3 Stars
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Original Release dates: 1912, 1913, 1914
My thoughts on the books: These were FANTASTIC! After reading the first book I immediately went on Goodreads to see which book was next and exactly how many books were in the series. Boy was I surprised! There are 24 books in this series! I quick went to the public library and grabbed book 2 & 3 which they happened to have on the shelf and started reading. Again...FANTASTIC! These were full of action and adventure from beginning to end. They were filled with great detail, but not too much and seemed so knowledgeable for someone who was an American writer from Chicago! When I read about him it never said he even traveled abroad = wow!
I really liked how believable these were. I could really jump into them and be carried away into the jungle with the characters. The stories were full of such a wide adventure too which if I told one to you would seem bizarre because it's so vast but when you read it everything just fits and works. One of the things that makes everything so believable is that the life in the jungle is very brutal, and Burroughs never strays from how brutal it is for Tarzan and his "people".
I did begin to notice that the books began to take on a template of far too much similarity in their plots. I decided to not continue with the series at this point, but may in the future. I will definitely be buying books 2 & 3 for the library as well as a newly updated one over the 70's version we currently have of book 1 hoping to get some kids into them now that I know how great they are.
My thoughts on the Movie v. Books: This most recent movie, The Legend of Tarzan, is the closest to the books stories then any other. The origin story isn't right but it's not entirely wrong either. The natives and Jane's back story are a bit closer, except that Jane's father is actually a bit like the one in the Disney film. The thing that really compares is the brutality of the jungle, its inhabitants and the people he interacts with. There are some very scary moments in this movie, as well as some terrible violence which is very hard to watch. I knew that much of it was CGI but it was so well done and incredibly beautiful making me just not care. Plus, Jane in the books may not be quite as kick ass as the one in the film, but she IS extremely resilient and quite incredible in a time when women were expected to look good, marry and have babies. Disney on the other hand, seems to have taken random people from Burroughs's books, and the very general story and then done whatever they wanted with it. Ridiculous as usual when compared to this classic, but on its own its still pretty adorable and fun. Plus, the music is fantastic.
We will certainly be buying this recent movie for our collection and enjoying it over and over again.
p.s. I was SO darn thrilled that there is a part of Book 1 that takes place in Wisconsin! Too fun!
What did you think?