Facebook

2001 A Clash of Kings A Feast for Crow A Game of Thrones A Scanner Darkly A Storm of Swords Abney Park Adrianne Palicki AEG Aether Shanties alderac Allen Steele AMC Andew Stanton Anne McCaffrey Asimov Assassin's Creed Atari 2600 Atlanta Nights audio books Babylon 5 Barsoom Ben Bova Bill & Ted 3 Blade Runner Blind Guardian Blue Oyster Cult Bo Hansson Board Game Board Games Bob Catley Books brian lewis Bruce Boxleitner Bruce Sterling bucephalus C.S. Lewis Cady Coleman Captain Robert card game Carl Sagan Carol Clerk Chad Jensen Charlton Heston Christmas music christopher badell Chronicles of Narnia Civilization COD Comic Books comic books Commentary Conan Conan movie Cons Contact contest Conventions conventions Corey Konieczka crysis 2 dance with dragons Darkwalker on Moonshae Darrell K. Sweet Dave Brock David Arkenstone David Gerrold David Gregg David Mack d-day dice Deathlands Dejah Thoris Digital Content Disney doctor who Dominion Dork Tower Double Fine Adventure Douglas Adams Douglas Niles DragonCon Dragonriders of Pern DRM Drowning Towers Dune dungeon crawl Dungeons and Dragons Echo Edgar Rice Burroughs Edwin A. Abbott EEdgar Rice Burroughs Elric Eminent Domain emissary Emmanuel Aquin epic duels ereader Facebook fallen Famous Monsters of Filmland fanboy fandom fantasy Fantasy art Fantasy Flight Fantasy Lit fantasy literature Fantasy music Fantasy quotes film Flatland Forbidden Island Forrest Ackerman Frank Frazetta Frank Herbert Frankenstein Friday From the Earth to the Moon furniture Gabriele Mari Gadgets game of the year Game of Thrones game review Game Table Gamewright Gaming Furniture gaming table Geek Chic Gene Wolfe George Alec Effinger George R.R. Martin George Turner GGeorge R.R. Martin Gianluca Santopietro GiftTRAP Glory Road Glory to Rome GMT Games gozer games Graphic Audio Greater Than Games Gryphon Games GtR H.G. Wells Halo Harrison Ford Harry Harrison Hawkwind Hollow Earth Expedition Hollywood Homeworld Horror Humor humor Ian Anderson Idoru Ignacy Trzewiczek Infinity Beach International Space Station interview Intrigue Isaac Asimov J. Michael Straczynski J.R.R. Tolkien Jack L. Chalker Jack McDevitt Jack Vance James Axler James Bama James P. Blaylock Jason Momoa Jeanne Cavelos Jethro Tull Jhereg Jim Burns JJames Axler Jodi Foster John Carter John Carter of Mars john hughes John Kovalic Johnny Rotten Jules Verne Jungle Tales of Tarzan Justin Oh keanu reeves Ken Kelly Kenneth Branagh Kentucky Kevin Wilson Kickstarter Kim Stanley Robinson Knizia Langdon St. Ives Larry Elmore Larry Niven Lazarus Long Leigh Brackett Lemmy Leonard Nimoy Les Johnson Letters from Whitechapel Lifeforce Lost Horizons Lynn Collins Manowar Mansions of Madness Margaret Weis Martial Law Martin Matt Leacock Max Holliday Mayday Games Michael Apted Michael Chabon Michael Moorcock Michael Stackpole Michael Whelan Middle-earth Midnight at the Well of Souls Monte Cook Mostly Harmless movie Movies music NASA NBA Nebula Awards netflix News nexus games Nightfall Nik Turner Nine Princes in Amber Ninjas Octavia Butler out of the box Outlanders Parable of the Sower parents' guide PARSEC Party Game Patrick Stewart Paul Kearney Paul Koenig Pern Peter David Peter Jackson Philip Jose Farmer Philip K. Dick photoshop Pirates Planet of Mystery portal publishing post apocalyptic Potion making practice Poul Anderson prequels Pret a Porter Print-and-play qFantasy quotes Race for the Galaxy Ray Bradbury Reach reboots Red Mars remakes review reviews Ridley Scott RightGames Ringworld Robert E. Howard Robert Heinlein Robert Kirkman robots Rock Roger Zelazny Role-playing Games rook city RPG RpgFan Rush San Juan Satire Science Fiction Science Fiction art Science Fiction music Science Fiction quotes Science Fiction Writers of America script Sean Young Sentinels of the Multiverse sequels Sergey Machin Seth Jaffee SETI SFWA shakey cam Sherlock Holmes Slough Feg Small Matters Smurfs Southern Fandom Resource Guide space flute space rock Space Shuttle spiel des jahres Sports Stanislaw Lem star trek star wars Starworld steampunk Steven Brust strike force one Stronghold Super Dungeon Explore super heroes Tabletop Game of the Month Tad Williams Tars Tarkus Tarzan Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar Tasty Minstrel Games Taylor Kitsch Terror Bull Games Terry Bisson Terry Pratchett The Hobbit The Adventurers The Beasts of Tarzan The Black Wizards The Boat of a Million Years The Book of the New Sun the coldest war The Complete Elmore Artbook The Death of Tragedy The Difference Engine The Dying Earth The Fellowship of the Ring The Gods Themselves The Great Tarzan Adventure The Heretic Kings The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy The Hobbit movies The Lord of the Rings The Lord Weird Slough Feg The Matrix The Moon is a Harsh Mistress The Moonshae Trilogy The Newspaper Clipping Generator The Saga of Hawkwind The Secrets The Shadow of the Torturer The Shadow Within The Son of Tarzan The Stars My Destination The Walking Dead The Wind Whales of Ishmael therapy thrift store Time Enough for Love Time Machine Tour Titan Books titans of industry To Green Angel Tower To the Stars Toc Toc Woodman Tracy Hickman Traveller Ursula K. Le Guin valentine's day Valley Games Victorian Undead Victory Point Games Video Games Voyage of the Dawn Treader Voyage to the Red Planet War Against the Chtorr Wargame wargames watchtower games Well of Darkness Wheelworld wii Willem Dafoe William Gibson William Shatner Wonder Woman word game worker placement Writer Beware Writing Yahoo Zelazny zombies
Search Nerdbloggers:
Nerdbloggers

 

 

 

Nerdbloggers RSS
Sunday
Jun012014

Quite Quotable

Things are always going to be falling apart on Earth, you might as well get used to it.

Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars

Thursday
May292014

The Great Tarzan Adventure #5: Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

Burroughs’s fifth Tarzan novel, Tarzan of the Jewels of Opar, is the first, to me anyhow, that read like a stand-alone adventure.  There were references to earlier volumes, we meet an old friend, the Waziri, and, of course, La and the lost city of Opar.  Still, there is no narrative carry over the way there was with the Russian storyline.  This would be a good place for the casual reader to jump in.  There’s a sense of continuity but not a necessity to know it.  For the dedicated reader, however, there’s little to be learned of the character or history of Tarzan.   

Be warned – spoilers ahead!

Tarzan has gone broke from some venture at the beginning of this tale.  No big deal for him, since his fortune came from the lost colony of Atlantis, Opar.  He simply has to go get more.  Until, that is, he takes a blow to the head and awakens with amnesia.  I don’t know how clichéd the plot device was during Burroughs’s time, but it just didn’t work for me.  I could be biased; these types of stories tend to frustrate me.  For one, I don’t like seeing the protagonist acting the opposite of the way he typically does.  And for another, it just seems like a lazy, too simple way to make conflict.  It happens, however, and bad stuff happens.  Jane is kidnapped by a band of Arabs with plans for ransom.  There’s the story of a Belgian who has murdered his officers and fled into the jungle and who gets wrapped up with the Arabs, and therefore Tarzan. 

Yeah, my thoughts exactly – where’s Opar in all of this?  I mean, he goes there, gets amnesia, and leaves.  La does pursue him to win back a sacred knife and because she’s totally, madly in love with him, but that’s pretty much it.  Everything, of course, works out in the end, but I was expecting a bit more from this one. 

So, yes, I was disappointed.  I rated it three on Goodreads, so I didn’t hate it.  I didn’t not like it. I was just disappointed.  Here’s my major complaints:

  1. Lack of information about Opar.  Burroughs spends about a page or so info-dumping about the history of Opar, for which I’m eternally grateful . . . I just wanted more.  I was expecting Tarzan to delve into the deep, dark recesses of Opar and uncover hidden truths, etc.  Didn’t happen.
  2. La made me cringe.  She made a brief but memorable appearance in Return, so I was expecting something earth-shattering here.  I mean, she’s pretty ingrained in the mythology outside the novels.  I wanted to know more about her, see her as a powerful woman.  Didn’t happen.
  3. Where’s Tarzan?  Was it just me, or did it seem like Tarzan was only in about half the book?  I wanted him exploring a lost world, battling strange beasts . . . Didn’t happen.
  4. Where’s Korak and Meriem?  They were introduced as a great power couple in the last book.  No, I didn’t expect them to reside at the Tarzan mansion, but I did expect them to at least be mentioned once.  Didn’t happen.
  5. An uncomfortable number of lions died in the course of the story.

If I could point to one thing that saved the book from total disillusion, it was Mugambi and the Waziri.   I was especially glad to see the return of Tarzan’s companion from Beasts, and his and the Waziri’s defense of Jane ranks as one of my favorite Edgar Rice Burroughs scenes.  Probably in my top twenty of reading period.  When the Arabs are attacking the Greystoke estate, the Warzir, lead by Mugambi, are gradually pushed into the house, then into the very room where Jane has sought refuge.  They fight and die, not giving an inch freely.  It was like a scene from Cy Endfield’s Zulu.  When Mugambi fell, I was genuinely saddened.  What a way to go though – very memorable.  And then when Burroughs brought him back, I can honestly say I wasn’t totally surprised.  I usually hate tricks like this one because they make the powerful death scene seem cheapened; it feels like a cheat.  Not this time.  I hope to see Mugambi later.  (Of course, I wrote the same thing about Korak and Meriem last time, and look where that got me.)   

The Jewels of Opar, by far, has been the biggest disappointment for me so far on this journey.  I probably sound a bit more bitter than I actually am, but I was so looking forward to this one, more than many of the others just based on titles.  Oh well, I’ve still got nineteen to go.  I expect there will be lots of ups and downs along the way.  Next on the list is The Jungle Tales of Tarzan.  It’s a collection of short stories from Tarzan’s youth.  If you’ve been thinking about joining the Adventure, here’s probably a very good chance to climb on board.

See you next time!

Sunday
May252014

Quite Quotable

We are all slaves to our histories. If there is to be a .. bright future, we must learn to break those chains.

J. Michael Straczynski, GROPOS, Baybylon 5

Sunday
May182014

Quite Quotable

It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.

Frank Herbert, Dune

Sunday
May112014

Quite Quotable

There are things which cannot be taught in ten easy lessons, nor popularized for the masses; they take years of skull sweat.  This be treason in an age when ignorance has come into its own and one man's opinion is as good as another's.

Robert Heinlein, Glory Road