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ERB Summary Project Detail, Roy G Krenkell, Jr--Ace Books, circa 1960s

Tanar of Pellucidar

Summarized by
The Members of ERBList
David Arthur Adams, Editor


Edgar Rice Burroughs

Jason Gridley

Abner Perry

David Innes

Goork - King of Thuria

Tanar, son of Ghak

Ghak the Hairy One - king of Sari

Ja, the King of Anoroc

Fitt - a Korsar

The Cid - chief of the Korsars

Bohar the Bloody


Allara - mother of Stellara

Fedol - father of Stellara

Zural - chief of Lar

Letari - girl of Lar

Coripies - Buried People

Doval - youth of Paraht

Xax - Coripi chief

Jude of Hime

Mow - a young Coripi

Balal - a young Himean

Scurv - chief of Garb

Sloo - wife of Scurv

Gura - daughter of Scurv

Dhung - younger son of Scurv

Bulf - a Korsar




Santa Monica Mountains


Kingdom of Thuria

Land of the Awful Shadow

The Federated Kingdoms of Pellucidar

Korsar Az

Amiocap - the Island of Love

Village of Lar - on Amiocap

Village of Paraht on Amiocap

Grotto of Ictl - Coripi land under Amiocap

Grotto of Xax - Coripi land under Amiocap

Island of Hime - Island of Hate

Village of Garb - Island of Hime

Village of Carn - Jude’s village

Molop Az - the flaming sea









codon - wolf of the Pleistocene


tarag - saber-toothed tiger

tandor - mammoth

thag - Pellucidarian auroch

rat pack

Publishing Information (from Bob Zeuschner’s Bibliography)

This six-part serial was written between September and November 1928, four months after TARZAN AND THE LOST EMPIRE, and right before TARZAN AT THE EARTH’S CORE. It was first published in THE BLUE BOOK MAGAZINE, March-August 1929, and the first book edition was published by Metropolitan, May 19, 1930. The first reprint was by Grosset & Dunlap, 1931 with a second reprint by G&D in 1940. A Canaveral reprint was made in 1962, and the first paperback edition was by Ace in 1962. The novel is 77,000 words in length in 17 chapters with a Prologue, Introduction, and Conclusion.


With the writing of AT THE EARTH’S CORE and PELLUCIDAR ERB seemed to have created a fine and final solution to the Inner World saga, however after a period of 13 years he ventured once more to resume the series with TANAR OF PELLUCIDAR.

The third Inner World novel is of particular interest for it is in this volume that Burroughs introduces his young inventor friend Jason Gridley, whose experiments with advanced radio design offer the frame for the book...(it is) another excellent Inner World tale, its believability enhanced by the lengthy and ingenious introduction.

An opening between Pellucidar and the outer world at the North Pole is introduced in this story. It also provides the lead-in for the next book in the Pellucidar series, one of the most remarkable entangling of the threads of his gigantic web of stories, TARZAN AT THE EARTH’S CORE.

— Richard Lupoff

Managing Editor's Note:

The summary of Chapter 16: The Darkness Beyond contains character dialog of interest. Tanar, a native of Pellucidar, utters a phrase regarding Christian deity that seems unique among the various native characters of the Inner World. Perhaps this reply was only a mirror response to Stellara's previous statement, or perhaps it is an unintended anomaly by the author.

Of additional interest is the exploration of ERB's puns and asides in naming people, places, and things. Anoroc is Corona and Amiocap is Pacoima, two California cities spelled in reverse; the Korsars are Corsairs. Paraht, in reverse, is a location in Nepal (Tharap). We could get silly and search for all possible reverses—which the Internet makes easy, but before we do please bear in mind the era when ERB produced his stories. References to Tanar (for example) must be those ERB might have encountered in 1930s California, whether by newspaper, radio, geographical maps, journals, or current publications. That said, Tanar, if strict reverses are maintained, is Ran At, which the hero of this story certainly did from beginning to end!

Jason Gridley is the link between Tarzan's Jungle, Pellucidar, and John Carter's Barsoom.

— David Bruce Bozarth


David Adams

Burroughs describes his friendship with Jason Gridley, an orphan lad of 23 years who built a “lab” at Tarzana after he graduated from Stanford. Jason Gridley is a radio bug who talks to ERB by means of his ethereal discovery, the Gridley Wave. One evening Jason receives a message from Abner Perry in Pellucidar. It is for Burroughs himself, and it is this present novel.


David Adams

Perry relates fifteen years have passed since he and David Innes arrived in Pellucidar. This measurement of time is not exact since David has issued an edict abolishing time in the Inner World. Perry has established radio stations at their inner Greenwich and at the capital of The Empire of Pellucidar. He reports that David is a captive in the north, or what they call north, and is requesting help. The reptilian Mahars and their gorilla-like Sagoths have been driven beyond the boundaries of their Empire; however, they are now being attacked by a strange, savage race of white men, who are also attacking the Kingdom of Thuria in the Land of the Awful Shadow, which is led by Goork. Both races are begging help from David, who sends Tanar, son of Ghak to demand their departure. David follows with 10,000 warriors to relieve the Thurians, who are able to hold off the swarthy, bearded strangers, who fight with ancient harquebuses, by their superior modern firearms supplied to them by David and Perry. However, Tanar has been captured by the pirates who want to learn the secret of his weapons. David is grieved because Tanar is like a son to him and Empress Dian the Beautiful. David and two men follow the raiders in a small boat. The party includes Ja, the King of Anoroc and a prisoner, Fitt, to guide them to the country of the enemy. Before they depart David gives orders for 50 ships to be built upon this very sea to follow them.

Chapter One - Stellara

David Adams

Tanar is a captive on a Korsar ship. He is brought before the captain, The Cid, chief of the Korsars. During his interrogation, the Cid finds it necessary to punch Bohar the Bloody, an ugly, one-eyed, scar-faced lieutenant who questions the Cid’s methods. Bohar hates Tanar. Stellara, the “daughter” of the Cid speaks up for the brave Thurian captives, but one is forced to walk the plank. Tanar is not impressed and golden-haired Stellara looks away. The Cid asks Tanar for the secret of their superior gun powder (which he does not know) but Tanar gets concessions for the prisoners when he promises to help. Tanar talks with Stellara. He tells her that she is not a real Korsar. Bohar overhears and tries to stab Tanar. There is a brief struggle in which Bohar’s gun misfires because of their inferior gun powder. Stellara tells Tanar than Bohar wants her as his mate and is jealous of Tanar.

Chapter Two: Disaster

David Adams

Time is reckoned in Pellucidar by the important occurrences which mark its course. The people are able to store sleep, and they eat with unbelievable irregularity. A great storm blasts the Korsar fleet, causing much fear among the seamen. Bohar screams, but Tanar seems indifferent. He says to Stellara, “I do not know what you mean by fear.” As the ship breaks up, Bohar gets into a life boat, and the others panic, knifing each other as they struggle for the remaining boats. As the life boats foul one another in the waves, Tanar and Stellara watch alone from the deck. Tanar notices that the hatch is stove in, and all of his friends have drowned below deck. They are on a drifting derelict. Stellara tells Tanar that she is not a Korsar. Her mother was from Amiocap, taken by the Cid on a raid. The Cid thought that Stellara was his daughter, but she bears the small, red birthmark on her left shoulder that marks her as the daughter of her lost father.

Chapter Three - Amiocap

von Horst (Critchfield)

There is no way of knowing how long the derelict drifted on the blue waters of the Korsar Az since Tanar has no concept of time. They slept much, and when Stellara awakes she spots land. They are greeted by twenty canoes filled with warriors who mistake them for Korsars and refuse to let them land. Tanar explains that they are not Korsars and that he is the son of the King of Sari. Stellara tells them that her parents are from Amiocap. At that point, the warriors reveal that the island before them is Amiocap! Stellara cannot convince them of the truth, that her mother is Allara and her real father is the great tandor hunter, Fedol, however, the warriors take them to their village of Lar. Zural the chief doesn’t believe their story either and decides to hold a council of the chiefs to determine their fate.

Chapter Four - Letari

by von Horst

They are imprisoned in a hut while they await the council’s verdict, but remain surprisingly in good spirits. Perhaps it is each other’s company that is making them happy. Tanar flirts with a young girl named Letari who brings them food. Through her, he learns that the Amiocapians intend to burn them at the stake. Stellara is irritated with the young girl and Tanar for unknown reasons. Suddenly a chance for escape presents itself. Two large mammoths are attempting to force their way into the village and all the warriors are engaged in repelling them. Tanar and Stellara slip quickly into the forest. He takes to the trees, a skill he learned long ago while prisoner of the black people with tails, and carries the girl in his arms. She is quite happy with this arrangement until she remembers Letari. After putting a great distance between them and the village of Lar, Tanar stops to make weapons and hunt game. Stellara acts quite coldly toward him.

Chapter Five - The Tandor Hunter

by von Horst

Mammoth Hunt, suggested by RGK image

Suddenly, the two are confronted by one of the hideous Buried People. Tanar fights the repulsive creature, eventually choking the life from it. Stellara tells Tanar the stories her mother told her about the Buried People or Coripies, Amiocap's horrible cavern-dwelling race of carrion-eaters. They take to the trees again for more Coripies may be nearby. Tanar fashions weapons for them, and after they eat and sleep, they begin to feel a sense of security. The jungle gives way to open meadowland and the two see a brave warrior attempting to kill a mighty tandor by himself. The wounded beast is bearing down on his tormentor when Tanar rushes to his aid. The two dispatch the mammoth. When the warrior sees Stellara he momentarily mistakes her for Allara, for the warrior is Fedol, the great tandor hunter. Fedol also believes Stellara to be the daughter of Korsars until she shows him her birthmark, identical to his own! Fedol embraces his daughter.

Chapter VI The Island of Love

by von Horst

The two go with Fedol to Paraht, where he is chief. Tanar and Stellara are both accepted by the Amiocapians and their time on the island of love is a happy one. Doval, the handsomest warrior of Paraht begins to harbor thoughts of love for Stellara and visits her often. This troubles Tanar but he doesn’t realize why. Then Letari emerges from the jungle having traveled from Lar and publicly avows her love for Tanar, which is the custom among the Amiocapians. Tanar is embarrassed as he doesn’t love her and Stellara is upset. Stellara cleverly convinces Doval to woo Letari since he claimed that any woman would be happy to be his mate. Stellara says that she will like him a lot more if he can convince Letari to love him. Tanar, meanwhile, leaves the village to hunt. He is bothered by Doval’s attraction to Stellara. While he is gone, the peace of the village is suddenly interrupted by the cries of, “Korsars!”

Chapter 7 “Korsars!”

David E. Oxford

Tanar discovers the Korsars have captured Stellara while he was away hunting and sets off in pursuit. Bohar the Bloody gloats to Stellara of her capture and his intent to return to Korsar with her as his mate. Tanar attacks the Korsars but falls into a deep well. Finding he cannot climb out, he traverses tunnels that diverge from the stream. He is captured by the Coripies and is ordered confined by Xax with other prisoners until the “feast” when all prisoners are to be eaten, Tanar meets Jude of Hime among the prisoners.

Chapter 8 Mow

David E. Oxford

Among the coripie prisoners is a young male named Mow who reveals to Tanar a way of escape from their cavern. From Mow, Tanar also learns that any Coripie woman who bears a third child is killed owning to a restriction of their population. Jude is recruited to assist in their escape which is accomplished by scaling a wall and being lifted on Mow’s shoulders to an opening into a tunnel. Unfortunately, Mow loses his balance on a narrow ledge after Tanar and Jude are safely lifted into the opening, and falls among the coripies. Unable to aid or assist, Jude and Tanar make their was along an interminable, pitch-black tunnel. Exhausted and starving they arrive at an entrance to the outer world high upon the side of a mountain. From this vantage point, Jude points out the island of Hime faintly discernible in the distance. A group of people are discovered in a glade a short distance below them that causes an enraged Tanar to race toward them.

Chapter 9 Love and Treachery

David E. Oxford

The Korsars are building a boat to get back home. Stellara had a fever and later feigns illness when she discovers that it protects her from Bohar’s attentions. She attempts to escape as the hull of the boat becomes ready to launch and everyone is occupied. Bohar pursues her alone as his men refuse to stop their work. To Stellara’s misfortune she walks by the hiding Bohar and is recaptured. Preferring death to Bohar, she strikes him in the face and is being strangled when Tanar arrives. Initially striking and biting and fighting like wild animals, Tanar later adopts a more methodical tactic of throwing the charging Bohar over his shoulder. Bohar’s neck is broken on the third throw. Tanar and Stellara confess their love to each other and embrace. Jude is introduced and accompanies Tanar and Stellara as they return to Paraht. Jude is posted to watch as Tanar sleeps. Stealthily he abducts Stellara and carries her to his hidden canoe and pushes off into the ocean for Hime.

Chapter 10 Pursuit

David E. Oxford

Tanar awakens to find Stellara and Jude have disappeared. His woodcraft discerns her abduction and he follows their trail. A tarag attacks Tanar at the edge of a cliff, and they both fall over. Arising from the water unharmed Tanar drowns the beast. Tanar takes a canoe after examining its remarkable construction and sea worthiness and casts off in pursuit of an indistinct dot on the ocean that is moving toward Hime that he believes is Jude and Stellara. He follows relentlessly, but a sudden squall causes his craft to be swept miles away from Jude’s landing on Hime. Tanar lands on the end of the island and attempts to return to Jude’s landing place by following the coast. Natural barriers cause him to turn inland where he is charged by thag bulls and flees to the safety of a tree. As Tanar awaits the thags to disperse he fashions a bow, arrows and a spear. Impatient, Tanar tries to drive away the persistent thags by yelling and throwing twigs. He falls onto the back of a thag as the tree limb he is standing on suddenly breaks. The frightened bull races toward the herd and causes a stampede. Carried along a considerable distance Tanar escapes into overhanging tree limbs. He continues his pursuit but hears the growling of a codon, a prehistoric wolf, and discovers a youth in a tree. The youth is menaced from above by a huge snake and from below by the codon. Resolved to help the boy, Tanar kills the codon with his bow and arrows. Tanar discovers the youth is named Balal and his father, Scurv, is chief of the village Garb. Tanar accompanies Balal to his village when assured he will be treated well.

Chapter 11 - Gura

David Bruce Bozarth

Balal and Tanar enter the stump of a tree on a cliff, traversing a tunnel and a cave to the village of Garb, seeing nothing until they meet some Himeans in the underground area. Balal prevents harm to Tanar, bringing him to see his father Scurv. Scurv does not know Jude's location. Tanar is fed by Sloo, and witnesses a dysfunctional family. Gura is harassed by thrown stones by brother Dhung. Tanar intervenes. Later, Tanar observes odd cultural proprieties between males and females. Tanar questions Gura regarding the quarrelsome society and learns her mother was from Amiocap. Later, Tanar sees Gura has a crush on him. She warns him that Scurv intends his murder and suggests an escape. Tanar, exercising the greed of his "captors" offers to hunt deer. In the forest he finds Gura, who demands he take her away from the Himeans.

Chapter 12 - “I Hate You”

David Bruce Bozarth

Bohar's companions build a boat and are wrecked on Hime, known to them from previous raids to steal furs and skins. They cut across the island, intending to build a boat or chance upon a Korsar raider. Meanwhile, Stellara impedes Jude's progress as they skirt hostile villages. Elsewhere, happy Gura leads Tanar to Carn, Jude's village. Nearing Carn, dragging Stellara by a noose, Jude begins the mesa climb to the walled village. Recalling a mate, Jude binds and leaves Stellara in a cave. Stellara struggles erect and sees Tanar--and a girl! Stellara weeps. She looks again, Gura is in Tanar's embrace (Gura has just learned Tanar called Stellara his mate). Gura, though disappointed, swiftly leads Tanar to Carn to save Stellara, unaware they are observed by the 18 Korsars. Tanar and Gura see Jude sneaking from Carn, where he was successful in murdering his mate. Tanar overpowers the Himean and demands Stellara's location. Jude leads Tanar to the cave. Tanar moves toward Stellara--she turns away: "I hate you!" The Korsars emerge and demand surrender. Tanar brokers an agreement if the Korsars return Stellara to Korsar. Jude edges into the cave, escaping in the tunnels. Stellara prevents Tanar's murder, repeating The Cid's desire to learn about modern firearms; and if The Cid has not returned, Bulf would reward them--he is to be her mate. Gura, surprised, comforts pained Tanar with a touch. When asked, she says she goes where he goes. Leaving the mesa they see a Korsar ship anchored. The group is taken aboard. Jealous Stellara calls Tanar a barbarian.

Chapter 13 - Prisoners

David Bruce Bozarth

The voyage ends at a magnificent city (described as Spanish Mediterranean on a wide river. Tanar, emotionally confused by Stellara's rejection, is placed in a dungeon. Tanar kills a three foot rat. Down the corridor a man offers asylum from the approaching pack of rodents--Ja of Anoroc and David Innes are among a dozen or so men. Innes recounts the events that brought him and Ja to their incarceration. Innes reveals his speculation regarding the origin of the Korsars--they are from the outer world, perhaps Moors. Later, before The Cid, Innes listens to the demand for superior weapons. He interests The Cid with descriptions and requirements. They are given freedom of chaperoned movement and broad powers of request, if they produce the weapons. Fitt is detailed to watch them. Later, Tanar sees Stellara and requests to speak to her. Fitt makes the request, in the presence of Gura and Bulf. Stellara again rebuffs Tanar. Gura is silently angry with the woman.

Chapter 14 - Two Suns

David Bruce Bozarth

Innes, Ja, and Tanar examine Korsar resources, delaying production and scouting the area. The Korsar population lives in Korsar city, numbering 500,000. The local natives, of low intelligence--useless as Korsar troops--number 5,000,000. They speak of a cold, barren land to the north and an uninterrupted land mass south and southeast to the Molop Az (the flaming sea). Innes believes Korsar and his empire occupy the same continent. Ja and Tanar's homing instinct agree. Meanwhile, Tanar is continually rebuffed by Stellara. Sometime later, at his palace apartment, Gura cautions silence and gives directions to a garden gate. There, Gura straightens Tanar out regarding Stellara's true affection and impending marriage to Bulf. She urges his escape and rescuing Stellara, else Stellara will suicide before marrying Bulf. Tanar determines Gura should come along. Tanar successfully tests his ability to pass the barracks gate without escort. Tanar returns to Innes and Ja and lays out his plan. The two agree to help and Tanar purchases two bags. Tanar returns to the garden. He embraces Stellara as Gura watches. Innes hires eight porters from the Korsar marketplace. Returning to the garden gate a bundle is placed in each of two hampers. Boldly, the porters are led out of the city at high pace, heading for the wooded north. Gura and Stellara are freed from the bags. The porters are frightened into silence and released. Traveling north the sun's overhead position changes. They encounter cold and snow. Later, they see a second sun reflected on a gray sea.

Chapter 15 - Madness

David Bruce Bozarth

Innes gives the order to go to Sari. They discover the remains of a balloon. The trek is fraught with danger from natural predators as they enter the tropical areas. Suddenly they are confronted by a party of 100 Korsars. Innes offers these instructions before dividing his command: "Tell Perry...I have discovered a polar opening," and Ghak should attack by sea and land. Tanar and Stellara, Ja and Gura, and David split up. Tanar and Stellara are captured by the Korsars and returned to Korsar. Separated at the gate, Stellara to her quarters under female guard, and Tanar to The Cid and Bulf, Tanar sees the recaptured David Innes! The Cid, furious, nearly gives Tanar to Bulf for torture when another Korsar suggests solitary imprisonment in the dark, silent dungeons. Tanar, fighting despair in the unlighted cell, falls asleep to awaken with many serpents invading the tiny room. He attempts suicide by snake bite. Awakening from a swoon, he has no discomfort from the bite and discovers a bowl of food. He eats.

Chapter 16 - The Darkness Beyond

David Bruce Bozarth

Tanar adjusts, eating without question--unsure how the food is delivered--and welcomes the snakes, making a pet of one. He locates an apeture used by the snakes. He shatters the food bowl lid and keeps one iron shard and uses his pick to loosen the stones. Eventually there is an opening large enough. Gathering his nerve, Tanar enters a dark corridor with a wooden support and a dead end. He returns to the cell. Later the snakes come, his pet awakening him. Tanar again enters the corridor. He ascends the wooden support, locating a side shaft that eventually shows a ray of light through a crack in a door. Entering a long unused storeroom, Tanar is annoyed by pitch sticking to his left hand. Locating another door, the corridor beyond has Korsar traffic. The windows reveal the room overlooks the garden. Tanar dons found Korsar garb, cutlass, dirk, and pistols found in the room, but his unbearded face will betray him. He hears a man and woman exchanging words outside the storeroom, threats delivered, then a key in the storeroom door. Tanar conceals himself. Stellara tells Bulf she will kill herself, after killing him for the rape he intends. Tanar draws cutlass and leaps forward. The battle is short. Bulf lies dead. Stellara, relieved, happy, learns of Tanar's imprisonment: "Darkness, solitude and silence--God! That is worse than death." Stellara's hopes fade as she remarks: "...if only you had Bulf's whiskers." Tanar eyes the corpse. "Why not?"

Chapter 17 - Down to the Sea

David Adams

Tanar disguises himself with a beard made from dead Bulf’s hair. Stellara is similarly disguised, and they even fool The Cid himself. Bribing a guard at the palace gate, they pass through and buy a small boat but are pursued and fired upon by cannon and small arms. Tanar and Stellara land on a sandy beach, and one of the 3 pursuing boats manages to pass the treacherous rocks, but they escape into the forest. They make it all the way back to Sari after many adventures untold in this book. Ja and Gura have arrived before them, and Gura still holds a secret love for Tanar.


David Adams

Jason Gridley vows to help David Innes, who still lies in a prison of The Cid covered by creeping snakes.