Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tarzan and the Elephant Men

Finally got around to the second novella in Tarzan the Magnificent. This one, Tarzan and the Elephant Men, picks up directly after Tarzan and the Magic Men and features some of the same characters as the first novella. It also acts as a sequel to an earlier Tarzan novel, Tarzan and the City of Gold.
   In City of Gold Tarzan visited the lost city of Cathne, where the wicked queen Nemone fell for him of course, and then tried to kill him when he spurned her advances. (Tarzan was always loyal to Jane.) The enemies of the Cathneans were the people of the city of Ivory, Athne, which was on the other side of the valley where Cathne lay. Tarzan never got to Athne in City of Gold but in Elephant Men he gets to visit the city and ends up in the usual trouble, captured by the Athneans and thrown in an arena to fight for his life. What was it with lost cities and arenas?
   The Athneans learn a valuable lesson though. Never throw a man into an arena to be killed by elephants when that man can talk to animals.
   In his book Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure, Richard Lupoff scores Tarzan the Magnificent pretty low on the scale of Tarzan novels, mostly because he feels that it's derivative of too many other earlier Tarzan books. I can see what he means, but coming to it without having read a lot of Tarzan recently, I found the two novellas to be a lot of fun. Like most series, it's better not to read too many books back to back. They weren't published that way originally.
   The good thing about the novellas is they're only about 100 pages each, so they can be read at a sitting. A short, adventure filled visit with Tarzan of the Apes. Vando. (That's good in ape talk for those of you who don't speak mangani.)

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