Tarzan and the Castaways

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tarzan and the Castaways
Tarzan and the Castaways.jpg
Dust-jacket illustration for Tarzan and the Castaways
Author Edgar Rice Burroughs
Illustrator Frank Frazetta
Country United States
Language English
Series Tarzan series
Genre Adventure
Publisher Canaveral Press
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 229 pp
Preceded by Tarzan and the Madman
Followed by Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966)

Tarzan and the Castaways is a collection of stories by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the twenty-fourth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. In addition to the title novella, it includes two Tarzan short stories. Of the three pieces, "Tarzan and the Jungle Murders", was written first, in January 1939. It was first published in the magazine Thrilling Adventures in the issue for June 1940. "Tarzan and the Champion" was written in July 1939, and first published in Blue Book Magazine in the issue for April 1940. "The Quest of Tarzan" was begun in November 1940 and first published in the magazine Argosy Weekly as a three-part serial in the issues for August 23, August 30, and September 6, 1941. The three stories were gathered together and first published in book form in hardcover by Canaveral Press in 1965. At that time "The Quest of Tarzan" was retitled "Tarzan and the Castaways" to avoid confusion with the earlier Tarzan novel Tarzan's Quest. The first paperback edition was issued by Ballantine Books in July 1965.[1]


Tarzan and the Castaways[edit]

This story was originally entitled "The Quest of Tarzan". Tarzan is stranded on a Pacific island inhabited by the remnant of a lost Mayan civilization.

Tarzan and the Champion[edit]

Tarzan, his monkey friend Nkima, and Chief Muviro and his faithful Waziri warriors confront an American prize fighter, One-Punch Mullargan, who has come to Africa to hunt the wildlife, using a machine-gun. Both Tarzan and Mullargan are captured by cannibals, from whom they escape with heroic acts. Tarzan banishes Mullargan from Africa at the story's end.

Stan Galloway writes: "Mullargan’s ambiguous character development, beginning as a thoughtless hunter ending with some questionable thoughts, leaves the story thought-provoking without being poignant."[2] David Bruce Bozarth described the story as "… a kind of “tongue-in-cheek” joke that really never comes off as being all that funny. One serious moment in this little piece of fluff is Tarzan’s lecture about suffering animals."[3]

Tarzan and the Jungle Murders[edit]

In seven chapters, Tarzan applies his jungle lore to solving the mystery of the disappearance of some people after their airplane has crashed in the jungle. In the first chapter, Tarzan finds a downed Italian plane, with the pilot dead, not from the crash but from a bullet wound. Footprints tell Tarzan others left the wreckage on foot. The development of a new device that will disrupt the ignition system of an internal combustion engine has spies from Russia, Italy, and England scrambling for possession. In the battle for possession of the plans, Tarzan is captured by cannibals and escapes by calling elephants to rescue him. As the three factions tangle and intermix, Tarzan visits and is (falsely) identified as the murderer of one of the party. Tarzan vindicates himself with evidence which he says is unnecessary, because he already knew the guilty party by his scent.

As a mystery story, Stan Galloway concludes, "… any avid mystery reader will leave “Jungle Murders” saying the author didn’t play fair"[2] because the scent clue is not transferable to the reader.

Comic adaptations[edit]

The stories in the book have been adapted into comic form by DC Comics; the title story in Tarzan nos. 240–243, dated August–November 1975, "Tarzan and the Jungle Murders" in Tarzan No. 245–246, dated January–February 1976, and "Tarzan and the Champion" in Tarzan nos. 248-249, dated April–May 1976.


  1. ^ Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923–1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd. p. 133. 
  2. ^ a b Galloway, Stan (2010). The Teenage Tarzan: A Literary Analysis of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ "Jungle Tales of Tarzan". Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 15 & 222. 
  3. ^ Bozarth, David Bruce (2001). "Tarzan and the Champion: Summarized by David A. Adams". Edgar Rice Burroughs Summary Project. ERBLIST.com. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tarzan and the Madman
Tarzan series
Tarzan and the Castaways
Succeeded by
Tarzan and the Valley of Gold