Tarzan the Terrible
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dust-jacket illustration of Tarzan the Terrible
|Author||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|Illustrator||J. Allen St. John|
|Publisher||A. C. McClurg|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Preceded by||Tarzan the Untamed|
|Followed by||Tarzan and the Golden Lion|
Tarzan the Terrible is a novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the eighth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. It was first published as a serial in the pulp magazine Argosy All-Story Weekly in the issues for February 12, 19, and 26 and March 5, 12, 19, and 26, 1921; the first book edition was published in June 1921 by A. C. McClurg. Its setting, Pal-ul-don, is one of the more thoroughly realized "lost civilizations" in Burroughs' Tarzan stories. The novel contains a map of the place as well as a glossary of its inhabitants' language.
Two months have passed since the conclusion of the previous novel (#7) in which Tarzan spent many months wandering about Africa wreaking vengeance upon those whom he believed brutally murdered Jane. This places the story around 1933 in the beginning of World War II when Tarzan would be 45 years old. At the end of that novel Tarzan learns that her death was a ruse, that she had not been killed at all.
In attempting to track Jane, Tarzan has come to a hidden valley called Pal-ul-don filled with dinosaurs, notably the savage Triceratops-like Gryfs, which, unlike their prehistoric counterparts. are carnivorous and stand 20 feet tall at the shoulder. The lost valley is also home to two different adversarial races of tailed human-looking creatures: the hairless and white skinned, city-dwelling Ho-don and the hairy and black-skinned, hill-dwelling Waz-don. Tarzan befriends a Ho-don warrior, and the Waz-don chief, actuating some uncustomary relations. In this new world Tarzan becomes a captive but so impresses his captors with his accomplishments and skills that they name him Tarzan-Jad-Guru (Tarzan the Terrible).
Having been brought there by her German captor, it turns out Jane is also being held captive in Pal-ul-don. She becomes a center-piece in a religious power struggle that consumes much of the novel until she escapes, after which her German captor becomes dependent on her due to his own lack of jungle survival skills.
With the aid of his native allies, Tarzan continues to pursue his beloved, going through an extended series of fights and escapes to do so. In the end success seems beyond even his ability to achieve, until in the final chapter he and Jane are saved by their son Korak, who has been searching for Tarzan just as Tarzan has been searching for Jane.
- Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 68.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- ERBzine.com Illustrated Bibliography entry for Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Terrible
- Text of the novel at Project Gutenberg
- Tarzan the Terrible public domain audiobook at LibriVox
- Edgar Rice Burroughs Summary Project page for Tarzan the Terrible
- Geography of Pal-ul-Don
- Pal-ul-don in ERBzine by Rick Johnson
Tarzan the Untamed
Tarzan the Terrible
Tarzan and the Golden Lion