Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan -- Robin Maxwell

Robin Maxwell is known for her historical novels that have sold zillions of copies. This time she's tried something a little different: the story of Jane as told by Jane herself.  It's not quite the same story that Burroughs told, and some fans might object to certain changes that Maxwell has made.  But here's the deal.  There's a frame story that has Burroughs meeting Jane, with her relating the story to him.  So the story that Burroughs told is his version.  This is the "true" version because it's Jane herself talking.  If she's a reliable narrator, that is.

After the frame story there's a lot of setup, as we learn about Jane.  She has an American father who teaches at Cambridge.  Which is good because he's able to pull a lot of strings and get Jane into the medical program.  No women are allowed, technically, and Jane won't be allowed to graduate even if she completes her studies.

Before she gets very far, the attractive Ral Conrath shows up with an offer Jane and her father can't refuse.  He'll be their guide in Africa as they search for the "missing link."  

Things pick up a lot when they arrive in Africa.  There's action and adventure aplenty, and while I won't tell you any more about the plot, I'll say that it does involve some traditional Burroughs tropes.  

While the book was written with the full consent, cooperation, and approval of the Burroughs estate and heirs, I don't know how true fans will react.  I read the Tarzan novels long ago and haven't tried them again.  I loved them at the time, but I'm not a scholar or obsessive fan.  I saw many movies with Johnny Weismuller, Gordon Scott, Lex Barker, and Jock Mahoney.  But that's as far as it goes. 

That being said, I enjoyed the book.  It's well written and clever and entertaining.  There's plenty of room for a sequel, as you can imagine.  I suppose of Maxwell wants to, she can retell all the tales from this new perspective.  Check it out.

1 comment:

Cap'n Bob said...

Here's an idea: The movie can star Bo Derek.