THE BIG SWINGERS by Robert Fenton


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Tarzan, that jungle joy boy, that irresistible folk hero, was probably the biggest swinger of all time...branch to branch. This book is a chatty dissection of his creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. ERB was not a particularly happy lad, chafing under the military disciplines imposed by his father. He was a somewhat indifferent student who failed to get into West Point and led an erratic existence that took him into a variety of jobs, one of which led to interviewing ""a young man who claimed to have been raised by a band of apes on the coast of Africa. He attained quite a little notoriety as Dan, the Monkey Man."" Burroughs claimed publicly that the real inspiration was the legendary Romulus and Remus but admitted privately that the deciding influence was Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli. Mr. Fenton, in an analysis of the man and his work, points out that Burroughs' early disillusionments turned him to escapist plots and that somewhere along the line he acquired a passion for the English which put the finishing touch on Lord Greystroke. Certainly the books revealed the man--his notions on a gentleman's behavior, his strong anti-feminist stance, his contempt for civilization, especially hatred of the Germans and Russians, etc. They even reflect particular stages i.e. after twenty passionless years Tarzan suddenly is almost seduced, later he contemplates death a great deal. There is an immense amount of memorabilia here, and coming at the time of the great comic-folk-hero revival, it may attract enough attention to keep Mr. Fenton's book from dying on the vine.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1967
Publisher: Prentice-Hall