Fritz Leiber: Tarzan and the Valley of Gold



BOOK READ Tarzan and the Valley of Gold AUTHOR Fritz Leiber – ecogenlife.org

The villain of the piece resembles a Bond villain so the book has a somewhat different tone than an Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan book but it is ite good Leiber is clearly an expert about Tarzan and his exploits referencing many past adventures within this one So good is this story compared to many of the Tarzan novelizations and adaptations over the years that the Burroughs estate has deemed this to be within the official canon Leiber definitely captures the sense of Tarzan as an intelligent athletic man at home in the jungle certainly but also in the halls of sophisticated government and businesses The story takes Tarzan to the depths of Brazil where he must fight to save a hidden civilization descended from the Incas The cast of characters is diverse and interesting including an obligatory lion and chimpanzee although the villain is a two dimensional psychopath obsessed with gold and death I ve never seen the movie this novelization is based on but I suspect Leiber includes a lot of extra detail as well as smoothing out some. He ape man finds himself facing his most deadly nemesis yet a criminal mastermind named Vinaro whose enemies perish in mysterious explosions of gold and flame But that may be.

This book doesn t deserve a review It certainly didn t deserve to carry the name of Tarzan Leiber s writing was excellent Just a shame it was based on a 1960s screenplay filled with Hollywood cliches Tarzan This is a pretty fun book that is apparently an adaptation of a 60s movie that Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking updated Tarzan for the James Bond era This sounds awful but is actually pretty fun Leiber at his worst is always enjoyable anywayWhat s interesting is that the story behind this bookmovie ruthless Bond villain esue Vinaro searching for a lost city in the Brazilian seems to be based on the true story of the Fawcett expedition for the Lost City of Z Unsurprisingly Tarzan and his friends both human and animal manage to prevent him from conuering a mystical hidden land of peaceful peoples descended from ancient Incas who fled Pizarro to the There is nothing terribly original here but it is evocative and enjoyable Leiber could have done a good jobpdating Tarzan with a slightly modern style if he had gotten the green light from the Burroughs estate. The burning wreck of a passenger jet with a missing cargo of gold and a desperate plea from a friend lead Tarzan of the Apes deep into intrigue in the jungles of Brazil Soon

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Of the inconsistencies and plot holes movies like this inevitably have This is a book that I think Burroughs would have enjoyed As someone who loves Leiber s work but whose familiarity with the Tarzan character was limited to absorption of popular culture this was kinda fun I could imagine watching this movie on a summer Saturday afternoon The great fantasist Fritz Leiber s adaptation with the Burroughs family s agreement of the Mike Henry movie Leiber makes it than just a novelization fashioning a novel that can take it s place alongside the original novels In fact it was numbered 25 which makes it part of the canonTarzan comes to central America at the behest of a friend to solve the mystery of the young boy that walked out of the jungle telling of his home in a hidden valley and wearing a medalluion of gold around his neck it incites the wrong people and Tarzan is in a race to get the boy home and help his people stop the army of looters headed their way with a tankA lot of fun for a longtime fan of both Burroughs and Leiber. Only the beginning of Tarzan's challenges For if he is to defeat Vinaro Tarzan must confront him in the legendary golden city of Tucumai from where no outsider has ever return.

Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr was one of the interesting of the young writers who came into HP Lovecraft's orbit and some of his best early short fiction is horror rather than sf or fantasy He found his mature voice early in the first of the sword and sorcery adventures featuring the large sensitive barbarian Fafhrd and the small street smart ish Gray Mouser; he returned to this series at various points in his career using it sometimes for farce and sometimes for gloomy mood pieces The Swords of Lankhmar is perhaps the best single volume of their adventures Leiber's science fiction includes the planet smashing The Wanderer in which a large cast mostly survive flood fire and the sexual attentions of feline aliens and the satirical A Spectre is Haunting Texas in which a gangling exo skeleton clad actor from the Moon leads a revolution and finds his true love Leiber's late short fiction and the fine horror novel Our Lady of Darkness combine autobiographical issues like his struggle with depression and alcoholism with meditations on the emotional content of the fantastic genres Leiber's capacity for endless self reinvention and productive self examination kept him until his death one of the most modern of his sf generation