Sunday, March 10, 2013
Tarzan and the Magic Men
Tarzan and the Magic Men originally appeared (apparently in a somewhat different form) in the pulp magazine Argosy in 1936. The second novella, Tarzan and the Elephant Men, was published in another pulp. Blue Book, in 1938. The first edition of Tarzan the Magnificent came out in 1939.
Anyway, Tarzan and the Magic Men is that rare item, a Tarzan story with actual magic in it. Most of the witch-doctor types that Tarzan ran into were charlatans, using tricks and superstition to make their followers believe they actually had magic powers. However, in this book there are two men who use strange jewels to practice actual sorcery which includes mind control and other weird powers. Fortunately for everyone, Tarzan proves immune to their power, apparently because his thought processes are more like those of beast than man.
This is a rousing good yarn with many familiar ERB elements, including lost cities, a romantic subplot, battles with dangerous beasts, and the usual credibility straining coincidences. I was reminded again that the man was a born storyteller. There's even some wry humor and Tarzan himself is in top form.
Don't know if I'll get to the second novella today or not. Hope it's as much fun as this one was.