Tarzan Alive


Tarzan Alive

A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke

Philip Jose Farmer
New Foreword by Win Scott Eckert
Introduction by Mike Resnick

Bison Frontiers of Imagination Series

316 pages


April 2006


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Through the tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, generations of readers have thrilled to the adventures of Lord Greystoke (aka John Clayton, but better known as Tarzan of the Apes). In this biography Philip José Farmer pieces together the life of this fantastic man, correcting Burroughs’s errors and deliberate deceptions and tracing Tarzan's family tree back to other extraordinary figures, including Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Doc Savage, Nero Wolfe, and Bulldog Drummond.
Tarzan Alive offers the first chronological account of Tarzan's life, narrated in careful detail garnered from Burroughs’s stories and other sources. From the ill-fated voyage that led to Greystoke's birth on the isolated African coast to his final adventures as a group captain in the RAF during World War II, Farmer constructs a comprehensive and authoritative account. Farmer’s assertion that Tarzan was a real person has led him to craft a biography as well researched and compelling as that of any character from conventional history. This definitive Bison Books edition also includes Farmer’s “Exclusive Interview with Lord Greystoke” as well as “Extracts from the Memoirs of ‘Lord Greystoke’” first anthologized in Mother Was a Lovely Beast.

Author Bio

Philip José Farmer has had a long and illustrious career in science fiction, winning three Hugo awards, the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement award, and the Nebula Grand Master award. Mike Resnick is the winner of five Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award. His novels include Santiago, Kirinyaga, the Widowmaker series, and Ivory. Win Scott Eckert is the editor and author of Myths for the Modern Age: Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe and the editor of the Web site An Expansion of Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe.


“The old vine swinger is one of a handful of fictional characters to rank a biography. Such books give the authors the opportunity to expound on the characters, providing background, side stories, and updates not offered by their creator. Farmer’s 1972 volume borrows from Edgar Rice Burroughs but also adds to the legend by tracing Tarzan’s lineage . . . and extends his exploits beyond the African jungle as an RAF pilot in World War II. Great fun.”—Library Journal, Classic Returns

“Farmer goes one step further than mere literary fun. He takes engaging advantage of the reader’s inherent susceptibility to myth.”—Publishers Weekly

“Tarzan is seen as a 20th-century heroic figure having much in common with the mythical demigods of an earlier day, and this book will not fail to please and enthrall his many followers.”—Library Journal

“The most innovative part of the book [is] Tarzan’s family tree linking him to every great hero in pulp literature. . . . Farmer is less well known today than he was forty years ago. Nevertheless, Alive ages well and gives the reader the sourcebook for so many writers today.”—American Book Review

"Farmer does a fine job of consolidating all the material. He leaves the reader with a three dimensional portrait of the main characters, their foibles, and motivations. . . . For an introduction to one of the most resilient heroes in literature, Tarzan Alive is a remarkable offering."—Green Man Review

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