Tarzan the Terrible

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Tarzan the Terrible
Tarzan the Terrible.jpg
Dust-jacket illustration of first edition.
Author Edgar Rice Burroughs
Illustrator J. Allen St. John
Country United States
Language English
Series Tarzan series
Genre Adventure
Publisher A. C. McClurg
Publication date
1921
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 408 pp
Preceded by Tarzan the Untamed
Followed by Tarzan and the Golden Lion

Tarzan the Terrible is a novel by American writer 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.

Plot[edit]

Map of Pal-ul-don from the first edition.

Two months have passed since the conclusion of the previous novel, Tarzan the Untamed, in which Tarzan spent many months wandering about Africa wreaking vengeance upon those who he believed brutally murdered Jane. 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 omnivorous 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.

Comic adaptations[edit]

The book has been adapted into comic form by Gold Key Comics in Tarzan #166-167 (July–September 1968), with a script by Gaylord DuBois and art by Russ Manning.

References[edit]

  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 68. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tarzan the Untamed
Tarzan series
Tarzan the Terrible
Succeeded by
Tarzan and the Golden Lion