Tarzan forever : the life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan

by Taliaferro, John, 1952-

Format: Print Book 1999
Availability: Available at 1 Library 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3503.U687 Z88 1999
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3503.U687 Z88 1999
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3503.U687 Z88 1999
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3503.U687 Z88 1999
When Tarzan of the Apes was published in The All-Story in 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs was just another would-be writer struggling to support himself and his family by penning adventure stories for readers of "the pulps, " the cheap mass-market magazines popular at the time. When he died in 1950, he was the bestselling author of the twentieth century, overseeing interests that spanned publishing, movies, radio, newspaper syndication, toys, even real estate. He had millions of enthusiastic readers around the world and had earned the respect of magazines that never published his stories: The Saturday Evening Post admitted of Burroughs's writing, "There are pages of his books which have the authentic flash of storytelling genius." He was, in short, a publishing wonder who had unexpectedly created the century's first superhero, Tarzan -- a popculture icon that has known few rivals.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "A late-blooming Burroughs in 1912 threw a science-fiction story over the transom of a pulp fiction magazine. The editor bought it and asked him for a second story: it was Tarzan of the Apes. Taliaferro's lively biography explores how initially Burroughs' latent imagination found outlets other than literary. War grabbed him, and he tried to join the colors three times. Time spent gold mining in the West gave him source material for the westerns he wrote in an effort to break out of his Tarzan type casting. The fallow years, in Taliaferro's judgment, were not blank failures, as Burroughs' jobs of railroad guard, salesman, and advice columnist for a business magazine would indicate. Those experiences emboldened him to treat his writing as a business, which Taliaferro argues was the forerunner of multimedia entertainment. Conceding the obvious literary limitations of Burroughs, Taliaferro traces his original and continuing appeal in popular culture and criticizes head-on the white supremacist overtones of the Tarzan books. A skillfully narrated life that confirms Taliaferro's excellent Charles M. Russell (1996) was no fluke. --Gilbert Taylor"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Burroughs (1875-1950), the prolific pulp novelist whose Tarzan saga unfolded in adventure tales and movies, sold 60 million books during his lifetime, making him the bestselling American author of the first half of this century. While Taliaferro, former L.A. bureau chief at Newsweek, acknowledges the mediocrity of Burroughs's fiction, and fully exposes the pulp writer's racism and outlandish political beliefs, this low-key bio is also a compelling case study of the mushrooming of popular culture. In 1923, the one-time pencil-sharpener salesman became one of the first writers to incorporate, overseeing an empire encompassing story syndication, ranching and real estate. He struck lucrative deals to turn his lord-of-the-apes yarns into motion pictures, plays, a radio show and a daily comic strip. He also licensed Tarzan statuettes, Tarzan ice cream and Tarzan board games. Burroughs emerges as a predecessor of Walt Disney, whose life often seems as improbable as his fantastical plots. A frequent school dropout, rejected by the Rough Riders in 1898, he took a string of dreary jobs and failed in two marriages, finally turning to writing in his mid-30s. A rabid eugenicist, he advocated sterilization of "instinctive criminals" as well as "defectives and incompetents." He "never set foot in Africa," according to Taliaferro, but at age 66, he traversed the Pacific as the oldest American correspondent to cover WWII. Taliaferro convincingly portrays the adventure novelist as a vain workaholic who lived beyond his means and kept churning out material to finance his tastes for cars, thoroughbreds and even an airplane of his own. Despite the myriad poor films and imitators Burroughs inspired, Tarzan lives on, and his fans will find this entertaining, warts-and-all bio irresistible. Photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Burroughs, Edgar Rice, -- 1875-1950.
Tarzan -- (Fictitious character)
Novelists, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Adventure stories -- Authorship.
Publisher New York :Scribner,1999
Language English
Description 400 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [369]-383) and index.
ISBN 068483359X
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