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TARZAN FOREVER by John Taliaferro

TARZAN FOREVER

The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan

By John Taliaferro

Pub Date: April 12th, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-83359-X
Publisher: Scribner

From out of the literary jungle, a fast-paced, ripsnorting biography of the bestselling American writer of the first half of the 20th century. Though Tarzan may be Burroughs” most lasting claim to fame, nearly all of his dozens and dozens of books are still profitably in print. With an oeuvre that spans the pulp universe from sci-fi adventures to costume dramas to westerns, Burroughs was as successful as he was prolific. Though he didn—t turn his hand to writing till the relatively advanced age of 37, he quickly made up for lost time, regularly churning out 100,000-word serialized novels in just a couple of months. Before he found his muse, as he—d cheerfully admit later, he—d failed at almost every occupation he—d tried his hand at, from soldier to policeman to salesman. Writing was a quick, almost desperate attempt to eke out his slender income. But in only a few years, he was able to turn to writing full-time. It was the golden age of American popular fiction, with dozens of magazines paying top dollar for everything from stories to full-blown novels. While few admired Burroughs’s vigorous but workaday prose, his storytelling gifts, even if they got hackneyed from time to time, were what attracted increasingly large audiences. But Burroughs’s true gift was in pioneering cross-promotion: “As he saw it, the act of writing was only part of his job description; marketing, he grasped, could and should be its own fine art.” Burroughs was one of the first writers to incorporate, one of the first to build a multimedia empire, one of the first to license his creations to everyone from ice-cream makers to toy manufacturers. Taliaferro, a former editor at Newsweek and Texas Monthly, has put together a fast-paced, highly readable account that walks a perfect line between appreciation and critical awareness. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)