Day 25: Favorite book you read in school
Why not? We already did Moby-Dick, right? And “school” is ambiguous. Yay for open doors. In door #2, Tarzan! In college, I always spent my summers reading as much as I could get my hands on. Eventually, I got my hands on Tarzan of the Apes. I was surprised. It came out in 1912, 1914 in book form. I figured, it being a “classic,” it would be slower than it was. More like Ivanhoe than Stephen King. Turned out, the latter was a closer comparison. Tarzan is fast. Maybe it’s not a quick read for everybody, but it definitely was for me.
Here are two things I didn’t know about Tarzan. It was so popular, author Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote two dozen sequels, which took the series into the 1940s. (Secondly,) unlike many “classics,” Tarzan was never meant to be anything but the pulp-like fiction it clearly was. Burroughs was a “pencil sharpener wholesaler” and desperate for money, so he started writing what he considered throw-away fiction. I don’t have the exact story on me, but I read that he actually had some ambitions about the novel before remembering what kind of audience he was writing for. The end of the novel, I think, speaks to this. It’s a jumble of action that not a lot of adaptations follow faithfully but that, I think, set up the long series of sequels perfectly.
Now, I AM going to spoil it for you, because it’s important for my reading of the novel. If you don’t want to know, stop after the next sentence. Just know that Tarzan of the Apes does not end the way you think it does.