Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration by Scott Tracy Griffin is a coffee table book (13″ x 10 1/4″) celebrating 100 years of the famous lord of the jungle. Mr. Griffin is the leading authority on Edgar Rice Burroughs and on his 1912 creation of which this book is about.
The book is, in one word, amazing. It’s a feast for the eyes; I spent hours looking at it and explaining to my son (age five) who’s who as we took in all the great visuals and animals. (He had just done the letter “E” in kindergarten so we were looking for elephants.)
The book is full of great art, pictures, illustrations, and even sketches by Edgar Rice Burroughs himself. The text associated with the pictures is very interesting and enlightening about every subject Tarzan fans would like to delve into, from his animals to synopses of each of the stories by Burroughs and others.
A fascinating introduction by actor Ron Ely starts the journey into Tarzan and other writings by Burroughs. It’s followed by a short biography of Burroughs and a short synopsis of every Tarzan book he published, with high-quality images of gorgeous covers. A short chapter about Tarzan for children is included, followed by a “How to Speak Ape” section and maps of Africa drawn by Mr. Burroughs himself.
Next comes a fantastic section about the comics, followed by an account of those who played Tarzan on radio, stage, the silver screen, and television. Even Disney’s Tarzan gets a mention. The book closes out telling the fans about Los Angeles’s Tarzana district, collectibles, authorized sequels, foreign editions, the web, and more.
This is a wonderful book with a “wow” factor for the inner geek in all of us. The book will grace the coffee table in our house and is a great present for the geek who has everything.