ERB Book Reviews
Edgar Rice Burroughs book reviews from fans like you.
Tarzan and the Ant Men
Reviewed by: L.M. Campos 1999-08-21
Personally, as a female, I didn't like this book. My issue is with the role reversal of the Zetacolol women with the men; the men treat them at the end abusively and they seem to *like* it. ERB had some REAL problems in his life to have written this seriously. But, I can take it as a joke in view of the time in which it was written and because a man wrote it. It was a more *primitive* time; and well, it was written by a *man.*
The prose was tiresome in some aspects as it dwelled too much on the process of something and not real action that was vital to the plot. Also, alas, the plot was the Tarzan-disappears-and-finds-a-lost-civilzation-and almost-forgets-that-he's-married-and-that-his-family-is-more-than-wondering-where-he-is.
ERB never really dwelled on the ape-man's affections for Jane, though it was evident at the end that he does love her for he covers her lips with kisses, not letting her finish her sentence. Their relationship was not developed very much and as many have commented, it was a reflection of the author's personally troubled life. (Ah for a book that explores what Jane is thinking while Tarzan is away. Maybe it was Tarzan's way of getting away from restrictive civilization, or a way of getting away from Jane. Their marriage may have not have been as perfect as it seemed...)
The merits of the book at the original names in the Ant Men world, though hardly pronounceable. ERB is also an avid user of dramatic irony in its simplest form (i.e. Tarzan not realizing he has been shrunken to the size of the Ant Men). This literary device is his most popular (Return of Tarzan, Beasts of Tarzan, and Son of Tarzan).
This is not his best work. It is better for a novice to ERB to read this book; but if one has read the series, the enjoyment will be minimal. This ERB is one which is writing to pay the bills and to explore one more time a proven formulaic way of writing. Nothing really new here, folks.