“I read this book, one of my dad's favorites, to my kids - 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades. We read the first part of this book about how Tarzan came to the jungle, and then went to "Jungle Tales of Tarzan" (book 6, about his boyhood), and then returned to this book to read about his adult life and meeting Jane. That kept the story in chronological order.
I thought the kids would be interested in learning about how Tarzan came to live in the jungle and about his boyhood. I didn't really expect them to be interested in the romance with Jane, but they were. One kid likes the Disney cartoon movie better, and two like the book better.
Violence is more of an issue in the books than in the Disney movie, although it is generally either to hunt for food or else to escape a predator. Tarzan does have an animosity for the tribe that killed his adoptive ape parent. One child complained that the killing of animals got to be repetitive, but actually, I skipped some of the violence and some of the leaning towards racism as I read to them. I wouldn't have minded discussing these things with the older children, but the 3rd grader seemed a bit young. As one of the other reviewers pointed out, Tarzan does learn that individuals within a race can act differently from each other and actually explains that himself about lions to the men who dare him to hunt one.
Even the child that preferred the movie enjoyed some of the humor in Tarzan, and the child who said that the ending would be "obvious" was surprised by the plot twist. One child said that Tarzan learned he wasn't as smart as he thought he was, that he should've been able to think out a better solution to his problem with Jane. One child said that the purpose of the book was to show that people were superior to apes. I think they were all taken by surprise by the ending, because they're used to happily-ever-after endings. The middle child notes that it has an evolution worldview.
My favorite part of the whole series is how Kala adopted the human baby, but I thought it was funny, too, when Esmerelda fainted with her head in the cupboard. My oldest child thought lion attacks were over-done in this book, but really, if they were in a jungle, lions would've been hungry and attracted to the helpless.”
“What an adventure. Nothing like the movies. A great story that kept my attention. Did you know that Jane was a blond from Boston?”Joe Barfield wrote this review Wednesday, November 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was great fun to go back and read the first novel in the series. The story has been so "Disney-fied" that you forget the original thrust of the story. Really, Tarzan, feels like our first super-hero. I found the story line compelling, and I read it quickly. I wish the e-book version that I used was annotated so that the breaks in the story were better delineated.”Blaine Strickland wrote this review Monday, September 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book has been on my list 'to read' for a while now, and I've gotta say, it's been a great read for me. It only took me a bout a week to get through because I couldn't put it down! I've always loved the story of Tarzan (the Disney version of course) and though changes have been made - as always - the story is still incredible and very interesting. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a classic read.”Robyn - The Sidekick! wrote this review Thursday, March 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting... okay. The ending is kind of lame, and I don't like how he becomes civilized. I really liked the movie better :) I like how the movie uses many of the same names/characters, but they're better and not so brutish.”Elise M wrote this review Monday, March 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is not like the Disney movie... at all, but I loved it! The ending was a bit tragic, almost forcing you to read the next book.”Tiffany R wrote this review Friday, January 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bored and rereading tales read in the past.”Diana L wrote this review Sunday, January 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Don't quite remember the movie, but this was a good story. Definately worth the time to read.”Scotty B. wrote this review Friday, December 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really loved this book. It kept me entertain and interested. Tarzan had such a lovable quality to him. My only complaint is with the ending. It seemed rushed and didn't flow with the rest of the book.”AnimalCracker wrote this review Thursday, November 29, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No