Jungle Tales of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs is the sixth book about the Lord of the Jungle. Even though this is the sixth book about a character with an established history, it is a prequel.
My rating for Jungle Tales of Tarzan — 3
Jungle Tales of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a collection of short stories which tell of the adventures of Tarzan before he met any white people. As the other books, these tales are very readable and make for a quick read.
The stories are loosely related to one another and most of them are told in chronological order. In these stories Tarzan learns to love, develops religion, and philosophizes about the moon. Meanwhile, our prolific ape-man analyzes himself in relation to the other jungle animals in general, and specifically apes.
The book is filled with fights, it seems Tarzan fights a representative of every jungle animal he encounters as well as the Gomangani tribe. The novel is filled with fast paced action and good characterization.
For the modern reader however, the book will seem racist – that is because it is. The author’s bias towards the Africans is notable in almost every story which they appear in especially in Tarzan’s almost enthusiastic (psychotic?) violence towards them.
I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars as an average for the stories, some are better than others as is the case in many such books. The star of the book is the land of Africa which Burroughs manages to describe and realize superbly.
- Tarzan’s First Love – In this story Tarzan is enamored with a female ape named Teeka. This is the time when Tarzan feels different from teh rest of the apes. The villagers appear but Tarzan only studies them and doesn’t realize that they are the same and thinks that he is the only white man that exists.
- The Capture of Tarzan – Trying to save Tantor the Elephant from the local tribe, Tarzan gets captured.
- The Fight for the Balu – A strange story about Tarzan’s attempts to pay with Teeka’s baby ape (Balu is how the apes say “baby”).
- The God of Tarzan – An interesting story, especially for a bibliophile. The tale revisits the part where Tarzan learns how to read from his parents’ books but doen’t know how to pronounce the letters so he gives them names. Tarzan keeps seeing the name G-d and wants to find out who it is.
The story does an with an interesting conclusion.
- Tarzan and the Black Boy – Tarzan is jealous of Teeka’s baby and wants his own boy, so he kidnaps one from the village. Tarzan teaches the boy survival skills and communication but, of course, things don’t turn out as he planned.
- The Witch-Doctor Seeks Vengeance – Part 2 of the previous story.
- The End of Bukawai – Part 3 of the story, Tarzan doesn’t come out as the hero we’d all like to think of him to be.
- The Lion – A funny story where Tarzan pulls a prank on the apes who don’t appreciate his humor.
- The Nightmare – Tarzan ate cooked elephant mean and had his first dreams.
- The Battle for Teeka – A good story with a suprise ending. Tarzan finds some cilinders in his parents’ cabin and Teek gets kidnapped by a bull ape of another tribe.
- A Jungle Joke – At this point Tarzan is a man and decided to cuts his hair and play a joke on the villagers.
- Tarzan Rescues the Moon – A funny short story in which the author taps into Tarzan’s beliefs and the supernatural.
Zohar – Man of la Book