Dick and Doc are fourteen year old cousins born on the same day. One in England and the other in America. They both look alike so are called twins. When it is discovered that they are distantly related to Lord Greystoke otherwise known as Tarzan the two are called the Tarzan Twins.
When they are fourteen the two are invited to visit their relative Tarzan bungalow in Africa. While traveling in East Africa their train breaks down. Being teenage boys they wander off exploring and get lost. They get captured by a tribe and must use their own wits and cunning to escape.
This is technically not a Tarzan book. Tarzan only makes an appearance at the end and has nothing to do with the story. This was Burroughs attempt at writing a children’s book. There really is not much to the story. I don’t even think children would find it that exciting. Unless your a Burroughs completest like me I’d pass on this book.
It is after World War II and there are two safari’s searching for the lost city of Ur. One is lead by an archeologist and his daughter. The other is made up of deserters from the French Foreign Legion. The deserters are able to overpower the safari lead by Dr. Eugene Hanson.
Luckily Tarzan is back after his service in the RAF. He manages to safeguard the Hansen safari and the survivors reach Ur. There they are captured and Tarzan must battle a giant preying Mantis. Tarzan ends up trapped in the lair of the mantis who is hinted as coming from Pellucidar. Tarzan decides to follow the tunnel down to the earth’s core and leave the modern world.
Burroughs did leave an unfinished manuscript at the time of his death. Back in 1995 Dark Horse Comics with permission from the Burroughs estate contracted Joe Landsdale to complete the novel. It was serialized in four parts with an old John Carter strip done by Burroughs grandson and some articles.
I remember being real excited at the prospect of a new Tarzan story. While the story was good it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I guess I was expecting something a lot more exciting. I also didn’t care for the ending. It didn’t seem like the right ending for Tarzan’s final story. Below is a link to the changes by Lansdale.
My final thoughts on the Tarzan series. Tarzan is obviously Burrough’s most famous creation. He’s one of a handful of characters like Superman or Sherlock Holmes that is recognized the world over. I was a fan as far back as I can remember. I loved watching the old Weismuller movies on a Saturday afternoon and eagerly looked forward to the comics written and drawn by Joe Kubert. Tarzan has lived on in countless books, movies, comics, a Saturday morning cartoon, several TV series and a Disney movie. Tarzan will live on far after my life has ended.
This book also includes two short Tarzan stories.
Tarzan and the Castaways
Tarzan is captured by poachers. An injury robs him of speech and the poacher sells Tarzan with the animals. Krause the buyer plans to take him to America and exhibit Tarzan as a wild man in the circus. Somewhere in the south Pacific the crew mutinies and during a storm Tarzan escapes. The storm grounds the ship on a reef off an uncharted island.
After freeing the animals Tarzan exiles the mutineers and explores the island. He finds a lost civilization of Mayans. Captured he escapes the sacrificial altar and with the help of his elephant and orangutan friends convince the Mayans he is a god.
Tarzan and the Champion
“One Punch” Mulligan has just won the world’s heavyweight championship. He decides to take a trip to Africa. Mulligan is arrogant and a bully thinking his great size and strength will allow him to get away with anything. Armed with a Thompson sub-machine gun he drives around in a jeep machine gunning herds of zebra and elephants.
This disgusts Tarzan and he confronts Mulligan. Before the two can settle it a savage tribe captures them. After they escape Tarzan teaches Mulligan a lesson in humility and who the real world champion is.
Tarzan and the Jungle Murders
Two men murder a scientist and steal plans for a device that can knock out internal combustion engines. They plan to sell it to Italy. The plans are in turn stolen by a British agent and he takes off for Cape Town. The two pursue in a plane and a gun battle forces both down in the jungle.
Tarzan discovers both planes and tracks the survivors to a safari. Two of the survivors are found murdered and suspicion falls on Tarzan. Tarzan uses his jungle craft to expose the real killer.
The Castaways was a good solid story. It takes Tarzan out of Africa to find a new civilization in the pacific. It had an interesting setup and supporting characters.
The Champion was a very good short story. Mulligan was a villain that you just wanted to get what was coming to him.
The Jungle Murders was my least favorite. It was dull and predictable. It was also very short so it had something good about it.
This was the Twenty-fourth book in the series. It was published after Burroughs death using three short stories that were published previously in a magazine. This is the last book that was fully written by Burroughs. It used to be the last Tarzan book until the 1990’s which I will explore in a future post.
The drums sound out a message across the jungle. Tarzan has become an enemy stealing young women from their tribe. A young English woman who is the daughter of a millionaire has also been kidnapped. The millionaire has offered a huge reward for the capture of Tarzan and the return of his daughter.
Tarzan is not responsible but real pissed that an imposter is ruining his reputation. So he embarks on a quest to bring to justice the imposter. He tracks him to a lost city of descendants of Portuguese explorers.
The twenty-third book in the series is OK. It was interesting but nothing really memorable. This story was found in Burroughs years after his death. Maybe he had plans to improve on it. If you read the first twenty-two you might as well read this one.
An American B-17 bomber is on a reconnaissance mission over Japanese occupied Sumatra in 1944. It is shot down and the crew are forced to bail out. It looks grim for the survivors. To make matters worse the English Colonel who was an observer seems to go mad. He strips down to a loincloth and throws his pistol away. But this English colonel is John Clayton, otherwise known as Tarzan.
Tarzan’s woodcraft and survival skills help the survivors overcome their situation. Now he must lead this group through a hostile jungle filled with savage beasts and men plus the Japanese occupation troops. Joined by a young Dutch girl and her Chinese servant they make for the coast to find a boat and freedom.
The twenty-second book in the series is a unique idea. Burroughs was in Hawaii as a war correspondent during the war. The oldest in his sixties. It would be logical that he would have his hero Tarzan fight the Japanese. The title comes from the multi national makeup of the group. This would be the last book published in Burrough’s lifetime.
This book also attempts to explain Tarzan’s seeming immortality. By now he would be in his sixties but still looks thirty. One story is of a witchdoctor that performed a ritual on him in gratitude for saving him from a lion. The other is the pills he took from the Kavuru in Tarzan’s Quest.
Tarzan is roaming the jungle when he comes upon a half-dead American wandering alone. He is Stanley Wood and relates a strange tale to Tarzan. He has just escaped captivity from a tribe of warrior women. The women are divided into two tribes the Zuli and Kaji. Both are controlled by twin brothers who can control people’s minds with a large gem stone, a diamond and emerald respectively. The woman are obsessed with becoming white so they capture safaris with white men so they can breed with them.
The power of the emerald is too great for Stanley to resist and escapes Tarzan to return to captivity. Tarzan follows and finds out that he is immune to the power of the gemstones. He defeats the wizards and frees Stanley and his love Gonfala the Queen of the Kaji.
Later in the second part Stanley and Gonfala wander into the land of Athne the city of ivory from Tarzan and the City of Gold. Now Tarzan gets involved in overthrowing the corrupt rulers of both Athne and Cathne.
The twenty-first book in the Tarzan series is actually two separate short stories that are combined with one. I found it interesting with a slightly different twist in the lost civilization. He also revisits the Land of Othnat which is the only time except for Opar that Tarzan would revisit a lost civilization.
Tarzan comes to the major settlement after receiving a message from his good friend D’Arnot. D’Arnot asks Tarzan to help look for Brian Gregory. Brian was lost while looking for a lost civilization that contains the Father of Diamonds. Tarzan agrees to help and finds out that he looks exactly like Brian.
Alan Thome is a shady character obsessed with finding the Father of Diamonds. He sees Tarzan and thinks that he is Brian. His agents try to capture Tarzan but finds out that is not something one does with ease. He easily defeats Thome’s minions and heads off with the Gregory safari. Thome follows with an agent placed in the Gregory safari.
Both safaris end up in a secret valley inhabited by a lost civilization of Phoenicians. There are two warring cities and Brian is held prisoner in an underwater temple. After fighting many foes Tarzan rescues his friends and Brian. They then discover the secret of the Father of Diamonds.
Well this is another Tarzan that finds a lost civilization. It’s also the second time that another character was a Tarzan lookalike. Still the story works. Its told in a different way with different characters. I thought it was another solid Tarzan book.