Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges
As a kid I remember going into a downtown store to play video games with my best friend. On a nearby shelf I would see a book entitled Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan. I'm almost certain it never sold (it was the 2 volume softcover version of the book in a slip case) and was there till the store went out of business. Now I was definitely a fan of Tarzan, having read the first few books and watched almost all of the old movies when they aired on TV (and I believe they were on every weekend for the longest time), so I was very interested in getting that book but sadly it was not to be.
Fast forward a couple decades. I've moved to Toronto (for the third time) and I'm doing a used bookstore crawl. I spot those 2 volumes on a shelf. The slip case is missing but the books are in mint condition. I don't have the money and decide to come back another day and get it. I go outside to wait while my roommate lines up to buy stuff. When my friend steps out of the shop she hands me a package. She bought the books for me. Good friend.
So... The book is fairly hefty. Weighing in at 1310 pages and jam packed with facts and photos. The author of this imposing tome, Irwin Porges, has done a great job of holding my interest although I do find it is occasionally a bit draggy but that is to be understood when you consider the depths that the book goes through to reveal Edgar Rice Burroughs' (ERB from now on to save time) life. You can also thank ERB himself as he apparently never got rid of anything and Porges did all of the research from ERB's personal files, and thankfully that hasn't made for a biased book. You get the good and the bad here.
ERB was a man of many occupations and you will be as surprised as I was at some of the things he did during the course of his life such as Joining the U.S. Cavalry in the 1890s.
As the title says ERB was the creator of Tarzan and for most people that is probably as far as their knowledge goes, but he created a few series' as well as writing many stand alone books. This book covers all of his writing and publishing career as well as his adventures in Hollywood and beyond.
For anyone who has any interest in Tarzan, this book is a must, but I will go one step further. I believe this book will be of interest to anyone when you consider it is about a man who lived from September 1, 1875 to March 19, 1950. He saw the end of the wild west. He went from horse and buggy to driving cars. He lived to see 2 world wars. To top it off he was a best selling author and created one of the most beloved characters in fiction that has crossed over from his original books to movies, cartoons, lunch boxes, comic books, comic strips in newspapers etc.
ERB's life reads as an adventure much like the novels he wrote. This book gets 3 thumbs up.
I suggest you hunt it down and read it immediately!