THE MAN-EATER BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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tarzan

Copyright 1915

Two hunters in the Belgian Congo visit a mission. One of them Jefferson Scott Jr. falls in love with the missionaries daughter and is soon married. He decides to stay with the mission an soon the two have a daughter. Tragedy strikes when a native uprising kills Jefferson and his in-laws. The wife takes her newborn daughter to live with her father in-law in Virginia. Jefferson Sr. welcomes to two into his home where the three live a happy life.

Nineteen years later Jefferson Sr. dies. It is assumed that all his inheritance will pass to his granddaughter Virginia. Unfortunately the will can’t be found and Scott Tyler the nephew has come back. He is a sleazy good for nothing that was disinherited by Jefferson Sr. Without a will he stands to inherit half the estate. When he is rebuffed in his attempts to woo the beautiful Virginia he decides to dispute her claim. Unless a legitimate marriage certificate is produced to prove Virginia is the granddaughter he will inherit all.

Virginia writes to her father’s friend for a signed deposition that he attended the ceremony. Robert Gordon died a few years ago but his son Dick Gordon decides to help. Bored with his rich lifestyle he mounts an expedition to the Congo to find the certificate in the ruins of the mission. The nephew discovers this and goes after him with his hired thugs. Dick Gordon is helped by a lion he rescues from a native’s trap and together the two foil the nephews plot.

This is a fascinating obscure story that I came across. It’s a fun read with plenty of action and intrigue. It has a loathsome villain and a great hero that wins the day and gets the beautiful girl. So this is my last Edgar Rice Burroughs books I have. There are three more that I never read and may someday in the future but this is the last of my reviews for Burroughs for now. He was a prolific writer that is best known for creating Tarzan. He did so much more and tried his hand at practically every genre. Science Fiction, westerns, crime, historical, social commentary, even a zombie story before they became popular.

So I will now write a review every weekend or other weekend depending on how long the current book I am reading will take to finish. I am now starting The Warlord an eighties post-apocalyptic series. I am sure that there will be plenty of books that are obscure and you have never heard of before. And if you do recognize it I hope it brings back a pleasant memory as they do for me.

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THE RESURRECTION OF JIMBER-JAW BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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tarzan

Copyright 1937

An aviator who has invented a new type of engine is hired by the Soviet government. He strikes up a friendship with another American who is a cryogenicist. They go off on a flight to test the new engine when their plane crashes in the wilds of Siberia. The two find a frozen caveman and the they decide to revive him. The caveman proves intelligent and they teach him English and take him back to the states.

Jimber-jaw as they name him becomes a successful boxer. He sees a movie and recognizes the actress who looks like his mate. Unfortunately the actress does not act like his former mate. When he catches her with another man he decides to commit suicide by locking himself in a meat locker. He leaves a note stating not to thaw him out.

At 21 pages this is actually more a short story then an actual book. The story starts out with an interesting premise but the author sort of lost interest and ends it on a dour note. The story is a curiosity on a very obscure writing of Burroughs. That would probably be the only reason to bother with this short story.

THE BANDIT OF HELL’S BEND BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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tarzan

Copyright 1925

Elias Henders is the owner of a prosperous ranch and gold mine in 1880’s Arizona. One day an Apache attack kills him and leaves his nineteen year old daughter Diana in charge. The will that was written was between Elias and his brother. It stated that the surviving brother would inherit everything. Shortly after Elias dies so does his brother out east. His daughter comes out with some unscrupulous eastern businessmen and claims that the ranch and mine are legally her. They also attempt to frame Diana’s friend Bull as the bandit of Hell’s Bend. The bandit has been robbing stagecoaches.Luckily Bull is able to find papers that prove that Diana is the rightful heir and the two eventually get marries.

This was Burroughs first western. It is an interesting story in that the characters are colorful and comic. An introduction by Robert Moseberger an English professor goes on that Burroughs was someone actually qualified to write about the west. He served in the cavalry in the 1890’s and later worked on his brothers ranch in Idaho. He based many of the characters on actual people that he knew. The book has an authentic feel about the old west. An interesting book that I would recommend.

THE GIRL FROM FARRIS’S BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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Maggie Lynch is caught by police officer Doarty as she is climbing down a fire escape from Farris place. Abe Farris runs a notorious brothel and Doarty is not getting the kickbacks that he thinks he deserves. So he uses Maggie as a pawn in his dispute. Maggie decides that she has had enough with the sleazy red light district and sets out to find a more respectable life.

She finds out that the business world is full of greed and deceit even more than the streets she left behind. She finds a job as a secretary to Odgen Secor a respectable businessman. One night he is hit over the head in a robbery. While incapacitated his business partner runs the company into the ground. He finds himself friendless and starts over in Idaho where he strikes it rich in finding gold.

Maggie now using her real name June Lathrop is arrested for the murder of his father John Secor. Luckily an amateur detective finds the real murderer.

This book was written in 1913 and is one of his realistic books. If my summary is a bit confusing that is because this book was confusing to me. It starts off good but in the second half he sort of crams everything together and it becomes a jumbled mess. It is supposed to be social commentary on the corruption of Chicago. I think that it does portray an accurate picture of the society at that time and the slang is very authentic. It still doesn’t make up for the dull and confusing plot. This is one of my least favorite Burrough’s books.

So unless your a Burrough’s completest I would skip this book.

APACHE DEVIL BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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Copyright 1964 published after author’s death.

The continuing story of Shoz-Djiji the adopted white son of Geronimo. Shoz had just defeated his enemy Juh after he killed his love Ish-kay-nay. The story finds the Apache tribe lead by Geronimo in a tough situation. They have been driven out of Mexico and are now surrounded by the US cavalry. With no other choice Geronimo must surrender his people. The Apache are disarmed and sent to live on a reservation in Oklahoma. Shoz-Dijiji refuses to surrender and instead goes off on his own.

He will though honor the spirit of the treaty and plunder and kill the whites no more. He befriends a white woman named Wichita Billings. Evil white men kidnap Wichita and Shoz-Dijiji must take up arms for the last time on a blood soaked trail of revenge.

The ending of the saga of Shoz-Dijiji and the Apache. The Apache were the last tribe to surrender. This is another good story about the Apache and their sad ending. I think these two books are great in telling the history and culture of the Apache. It is also a good action packed western.

THE WAR CHIEF BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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A man and his Cherokee wife are traveling through New Mexico when they are attacked by none other than Geronimo. The couples infant son is adopted by Geronimo and raised as an Apache. The son at the age of ten kills a black bear and earns his name Shoz-Dijiji which means black bear in Apache. Shoz-Dijiji grows into a powerful warrior and war chief of the Apache. He raids and fight not only Mexicans and white settlers but must contend with Juh a fellow Apache who hates Shoz-Dijiji. They both are competing for the affections of Ish-kay-nay.

This is a book that was a pleasant surprise. It has a fascinating story that tells about the culture and history of the Apache. The author is clearly sympathetic to them. The Apache are portrayed as a proud people that a harsh land has made to be a harsh people. Burrough’s did serve in the cavalry briefly in the southwest. He clearly developed an admiration for them and the history and culture seem to be quite genuine.

THE DEPUTY SHERIFF OF COMMANCHE COUNTY BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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Copyright 1940

Ole Gunderstrom has been shot. The circumstantial evidence points to Buck Mason as the murder. Buck and Ole had an argument over a fence between their property. Since Buck the deputy sheriff disappeared right after the murder everyone thinks that he is guilty.

Buck knows he is innocent and has opted to go undercover. Adopting the persona of Bruce Marvel a wealthy eastern tenderfoot he checks into the TF dude ranch. The owner Cory Blaine is running a cattle rustling. Buck acts the perfect clueless easterner but there are instances that betray his knowledge of the west. Skillful detective work results in the capture of the real murderer.

This is a interesting book that has well thought out characters and consistent action. Burroughs lived and worked on ranches in Idaho and Arizona so there is a feeling of authenticity in the stories. It is set in modern times i.e. 1940 but has the feel of a western. One of four westerns that he wrote and this one is my favorite.