Tarzan of the Apes

Read by Mark F. Smith

(4.7 stars; 1813 reviews)

Tarzan of the Apes is Burroughs’ exciting, if improbable, story of an English lord, left by the death of his stranded parents in the hands of a motherly African ape who raises him as her own. Although he is aware that he is different from the apes of his tribe, who are neither white nor hairless, he nevertheless regards them as his “people.” When older, larger, stronger apes decide that he an undesirable to be killed or expelled from the tribe, it is fortunate that Tarzan has learned the use of primitive weapons.

Although small and weak by ape standards, Tarzan is a human of god-like strength and agility to men who discover him. By studying these people, he gradually decides he is not an ape at all, but human.

And when he meets Jane, a beautiful American girl marooned with her father and friends on the hostile coast of Africa, Tarzan conceives love for her. When they are unexpectedly rescued before Tarzan can find a way to reveal his feelings to Jane, he determines to become civilized and follow her into the world of people – to find her and wed her, though he must cross continents and oceans, and compete with two other suitors for her hand.

This story was the subject of a successful film in 1932, with Tarzan being played by Johnny Weissmuller, who acted in a further eleven Tarzan films. According to Weissmuller in an interview with Mike Douglas, his famous ape-call was audio stitched together from a soprano, an alto, and a hog-caller! Summary by Mark F. Smith (9 hr 20 min)


Out of the Sea 23:18 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Savage Home 20:42 Read by Mark F. Smith
Life and Death 14:52 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Apes 16:21 Read by Mark F. Smith
The White Ape 17:44 Read by Mark F. Smith
Jungle Battles 14:13 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Light of Knowledge 25:53 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Tree-Top Hunter 12:37 Read by Mark F. Smith
Man and Man 23:34 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Fear-Phantom 11:36 Read by Mark F. Smith
King of the Apes 22:41 Read by Mark F. Smith
Man’s Reason 17:58 Read by Mark F. Smith
His Own Kind 29:36 Read by Mark F. Smith
At the Mercy of the Jungle 21:25 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Forest God 10:33 Read by Mark F. Smith
Most Remarkable 20:59 Read by Mark F. Smith
Burials 22:07 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Jungle Toll 23:04 Read by Mark F. Smith
Call of the Primitive 22:40 Read by Mark F. Smith
Heredity 26:01 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Village of Torture 13:30 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Search Party 22:19 Read by Mark F. Smith
Brother Men 18:27 Read by Mark F. Smith
Lost Treasure 17:08 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Outpost of the World 22:29 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Height of Civilization 22:10 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Giant Again 26:41 Read by Mark F. Smith
Conclusion 20:21 Read by Mark F. Smith


great reader

(5 stars)

Five stars for the reader! Somehow, having only known the Disney adaptation before, I wasn't aware of all the race issues in this story. But oh my. I was all prepared for swooning ladies and noble ape men learning to read and speak in two days, okay. Somehow I wasn't prepared for african tribes and how they are shown, the fact that Jane and Co. were NOT the first humans Tarzan has ever seen (he grew up among them!!) but simply the first white ones, so, you know, finally someone intelligent and civilized like him.... I don't want to go on its pointless. If you listen to it, treat it as window to the past and how an average person must have thought of race, civilization and eugenetics back then. It's chilling. On the other hand I'm willing to get through anything just for these jewels like Tarzan's love letter: "I am Tarzan of the Apes. I want you. I am yours. You are mine. We live here together always in my house." Now who wouldn't swoon over that...?

Bravo from Borneo

(5 stars)

So pleased I decided to listen to this book...simply because it was read by Mark Smith...my favourite narrator. The book is so different from the movies and TV series I have previously viewed. Such a treat to listen to older English and to have such an insight into life growing up in the jungle with such binary choices made from a practical perspective to sustain life. Whilst there are clearly flaws in Tarzan's ability to learn the written English language yet not speak it...this can be overlooked in the whole of the book...a rip roaring yarn. Marvellous!!

Oh My, Tut, Tut and Gabriel

(1.5 stars)

Mr. Boroughs had a way with words until he didn't. I understand the creative abilities that must be necessary to imagine the world described in this book from whole cloth. I am also familiar with the imperfect understanding of genetics and enjoyed seeing an early take on the nature vs. nurture argument. I found the early notions of racial superiority and the superman which were part and parcel of eugenics ideology disturbing. That along with the incomplete knowledge of African wildlife and what we now know of cannibalism, I can look at through the lens of the time it was written. What has irritated me so much was the ever repeated tut, tuts and Gabriels. I will say that the reader is 4.95 stars. He had one stumble with his accents getting all jumbled. Unfortunately, his skill could not save this book for me.

Beautifully Read!

(5 stars)

I have been listening to LibriVox for so many years, and I dare say this is the best reader I have ever heard. The cadence and tone of his voice allowed me to understand every single word perfectly. As for the story itself, it is true there are some upsetting parts, but it is a period piece about Africa, with African natives, Europeans, and Americans, so you can imagine. I was struck by the depth of the author's study of the nature of man. It was very thought provoking.

Jenni J

(5 stars)

No rainy Saturday afternoon tv movie of Tarzan ever came close to story line of the original book by ERB. Very well written and thought-out, down to the character and motives of the African wild life. Wouldn't a modern narrated movie adaptation be wonderful? A note of thanks to the reader as well, who did a very fine job. I will persue him further.

a fun novel

(3.5 stars)

Nothing deep but a pretty enjoyable plot to follow. The characters suffered a bit from their predictable and rather shallow behaviors. Tarzan also must’ve been an utter genius to have deduced the meanings of words not relating to images ( like how on earth would he discover what “I” meant?) But all in all a good listen! The reader was also fantastic!!

Great, romping story

(5 stars)

A great story and a window into times past. I enjoyed it as much for the wruting and story as for the time capsule into the thinkung of a distant colonial past. It absolutly does not pass tid today's ethos, thank goodness. But we understand ourselves better when we understand iur past. Another masterful read b Mr. Smith

old school cool

(5 stars)

it's a fun listen by a great narrator. in many ways it reads almost as a comic book with Tarzan's superhuman abilities being both fantastic and otherworldly. while it is definitely a product of another age, it retains a power to captivate the reader [or listener] and weave a tale both ridiculous and fun.