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Tarzan and the Ant Men

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Tarzan finds himself in a strange country of stone-age savages and knee-high warriors who ride miniature African deer as though they were horses. But the Minunians are not so small that they cannot take the Ape Man captive, and put him to work in their underground quarries.


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Tarzan finds himself in a strange country of stone-age savages and knee-high warriors who ride miniature African deer as though they were horses. But the Minunians are not so small that they cannot take the Ape Man captive, and put him to work in their underground quarries.

30 review for Tarzan and the Ant Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tharindu Dissanayake

    "only the exceptional man works hard when he does not have to." Continuing from the last book while picking up the loose end of Miranda Estaban, this story spans across an entirely new reality. Although it does not lack any uniqueness that is inherent to the series, I found the first half of the book to be a little too over descriptive. Second half of the book assumes Tarzan's usual trot until the end and, almost at the last page, the story takes a sudden turn to the end. Although the story was go "only the exceptional man works hard when he does not have to." Continuing from the last book while picking up the loose end of Miranda Estaban, this story spans across an entirely new reality. Although it does not lack any uniqueness that is inherent to the series, I found the first half of the book to be a little too over descriptive. Second half of the book assumes Tarzan's usual trot until the end and, almost at the last page, the story takes a sudden turn to the end. Although the story was good, in my opinion it does not measures up to any of the series before. "War and work, the two most distasteful things in the world, are, nevertheless, the most essential to the happiness and the existence of a people."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    I enjoyed this Tarzan novel, but as I move through the series at least two things are becoming evident. In this series, you can't toss a stick in Africa without hitting some type of lost civilization or city, and most likely, that same stick is going to hit someone in the head and give them amnesia. There seems to be a new "lost city" discovered in every Tarzan novel, and in this one there were technically two civilizations found. One was a group of neanderthal type cave dwellers where the women I enjoyed this Tarzan novel, but as I move through the series at least two things are becoming evident. In this series, you can't toss a stick in Africa without hitting some type of lost civilization or city, and most likely, that same stick is going to hit someone in the head and give them amnesia. There seems to be a new "lost city" discovered in every Tarzan novel, and in this one there were technically two civilizations found. One was a group of neanderthal type cave dwellers where the women completely dominated the men, and the other was a race of people around a foot tall. There were three separate storylines going on here. You had the cave people storyline, the ant men storyline, and another storyline featuring Esteban Miranda, who is a Tarzan lookalike. He had been imprisoned by cannibals in the last novel, but pops up again here. (And there's amnesia involved.) So at one point, Tarzan finds himself shrunk down to the size of the ant men at around a foot tall. Its temporary, however, and eventually he will return to full size, but no one knows exactly when. And how do they manage to shrink Tarzan? By hitting him in the head, of course. There's a gland in the brain that when struck will shrink a man down to a foot tall. Yeah, I never knew that either! Another thing of note is how difficult some of the names of the ant men were. Komodoflorensal. Veltopismakus. Elkomoelhago. Trohanadalmakus. You get the idea. If you can get past that, there's a decent story here. It seems to suffer from the same twisting plots as several of the Tarzan novels, but overall it's still a good read. If you like the other Tarzan novels, you'll probably like this one.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    "And you intend," he demanded "to defy a city of four hundred and eighty thousand people, armed only with a bit of iron rod?" "And my wits" added Tarzan. That's some good Tarzan right there. "And you intend," he demanded "to defy a city of four hundred and eighty thousand people, armed only with a bit of iron rod?" "And my wits" added Tarzan. That's some good Tarzan right there.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    The tenth Tarzan novel revolves around another lost civilization that Tarzan discovers, this time after he crash lands an airplane. Actually, there are two lost civilizations. One is a race of large female-dominated people and one is the titular ant-men consisting of small pygmy-like folks. These are not small villages but rather cities of thousands of people. Tarzan has plenty of adventure among both groups including getting captured, escaping, leading battles, and even encountering his own loo The tenth Tarzan novel revolves around another lost civilization that Tarzan discovers, this time after he crash lands an airplane. Actually, there are two lost civilizations. One is a race of large female-dominated people and one is the titular ant-men consisting of small pygmy-like folks. These are not small villages but rather cities of thousands of people. Tarzan has plenty of adventure among both groups including getting captured, escaping, leading battles, and even encountering his own look-alike from previous books, Esteban Miranda. Jane puts in a cameo appearance, being in England at the beginning of the story. For fans of this series, it’s a pretty decent Tarzan yarn but you will have to wade through a fairly large amount of world building and corresponding info dumps. ERB obviously spent some time working out the two cultures and especially the complex system of buildings and structures that make up the ant people’s city. Also complicating matters are the long, complicated names of the characters such as Veltopismakus, Komodoflorensal, Trohanadalmakus, and Elkomoelhago. If ERB was getting paid by the word, then he certainly did himself a disservice with these long names. So yes, a decent Tarzan entry for veterans but not the place to start for readers curious about Tarzan novels.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric Atkisson

    Surprisingly enjoyable, I have to admit. At this point I'm committed to finishing the series even if it kills me. Surprisingly enjoyable, I have to admit. At this point I'm committed to finishing the series even if it kills me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    Even though the Tarzan stories are over 60 years old they remain timeless. These books are fantastic reading. These books make all the movies and cartoons seem meaningless. Highly recommended

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bobde1234

    By far the best book ever written.

  8. 5 out of 5

    LadyCalico

    The good parts of this book were really a hoot--Tarzan learns to fly and discovers that his arrog...er, self-confidence is not an asset in a pilot, Tarzan's evil twin discovers that he is NOT King of the Jungle while Gulliver's Travels meets the Taming of the Shrew. Obviously Burroughs was having a great time writing this book. Also, Burroughs indulged himself by letting loose rants of social commentary about the spoiling effects of easy living, the welfare state, and heavy taxation raising up a The good parts of this book were really a hoot--Tarzan learns to fly and discovers that his arrog...er, self-confidence is not an asset in a pilot, Tarzan's evil twin discovers that he is NOT King of the Jungle while Gulliver's Travels meets the Taming of the Shrew. Obviously Burroughs was having a great time writing this book. Also, Burroughs indulged himself by letting loose rants of social commentary about the spoiling effects of easy living, the welfare state, and heavy taxation raising up a nation of weak, lazy, indoctrinated syncophants, which so accurately prophesies today's ridiculous spoiled snowflakes, so be warned if you are a feminazi or a pampered entitled liberal snowflake sobbing in your safespace, you might find the commentary less amusing than I did. All this in such a slim book--it must be very busy! Yes, it certainly is. The downside is that Burroughs got too involved in building the world of antmen taking the description and explanations to extremes and when such descriptions interrupted the action for too long, they got really boring to the adrenaline fueled reader who was panting to get back to the action. A problem easily solved by honing your art of the fast skim when reading this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leaflet

    I've been enjoying the Tarzan books enormously up until now, but this one was horribly tedious. Way too much information about the ant-men, their customs, sewage systems, monetary systems, language, etc. etc. etc. Then try wading through tongue-twisting names like these in sentence after tiresome sentence: Komodoflorensal Adendrohahkis Veltopismakusian Trohanadalmakusian Zoanthohago Hamadalban Zertolosto Kalfastoban Burroughs must've randomly pounded his fist on the typewriter keys to come up with names f I've been enjoying the Tarzan books enormously up until now, but this one was horribly tedious. Way too much information about the ant-men, their customs, sewage systems, monetary systems, language, etc. etc. etc. Then try wading through tongue-twisting names like these in sentence after tiresome sentence: Komodoflorensal Adendrohahkis Veltopismakusian Trohanadalmakusian Zoanthohago Hamadalban Zertolosto Kalfastoban Burroughs must've randomly pounded his fist on the typewriter keys to come up with names for his characters. I gave up reading it about three-quarters of the way through. Hopefully, this book was just an unfortunate aberration and ERB will get back on track with more of the Tarzan I love in the volumes to follow.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    One of the worst Tarzan books by Burroughs and maybe a sign that he was starting to lose interest in his most successful creation. Fortunately, he still had a few good ideas left for some of the later books. This one is only interesting for hardcore Tarzan fans, boring, ludicrous, an example of all the worst traits of so called pulp-fiction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Edgar Rice Burroughs has an interesting story, always. This book is no exception. Tarzan learns to fly a plane, which crashes in an unknown land to him. He discovers new species of people, makes friends, makes enemies, and uses his wits and strength to get him out of his fix. Definitely a fun read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    Probably one of my favorite Tarzan novels about his adventures among a tribe of 18-inch high pygmies.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked the Ant men that were small. And Tarzan turning tiny was brilliant! 10 down, 15 to go!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Warren Fournier

    By this point, the Tarzan series was getting, well, a little "Tarzan-y." You couldn't take a leak in Africa without stumbling upon some lost civilization, Tarzan had become a barrel-chested superhero, and his romance with Jane was largely forgotten. Whereas the early stories were written like some of the best of Jack London and had some profound critique about what it means to be human and about civilization in general, the later stories turned into pure escapism. Not that there's anything wrong By this point, the Tarzan series was getting, well, a little "Tarzan-y." You couldn't take a leak in Africa without stumbling upon some lost civilization, Tarzan had become a barrel-chested superhero, and his romance with Jane was largely forgotten. Whereas the early stories were written like some of the best of Jack London and had some profound critique about what it means to be human and about civilization in general, the later stories turned into pure escapism. Not that there's anything wrong with that! These stories are a blast, and can be enjoyed by young and old. Mine is a Tarzan family--my kids read Tarzan, I read Tarzan, and my 80-year-old mother reads Tarzan. "Tarzan and the Ant Men," however, is one of the last of the bunch that actually has something serious to say in this strange mashup of Radium-Age scifi and jungle adventure. Back in the 1920s, this story was very topical as first-wave feminism was just starting to chip away at traditional gender roles in Western society, and imaginative writers were playing it forward in the science fiction of the day. For example, there are remarkable similarities between this work and Karinthy's "Capillaria" written in Hungary over half a globe away. In both stories, the question asked is how well would a society function if there was just as much devaluation of one gender, but with men being the more "diminutive." Both stories feature civilizations with powerful, aggressive women and bite-sized males reduced to their essential breeding and domestic functions. Some have interpreted works like this as being in defense of the need for better equality of the sexes, while others have seen it as representative of male castration fears and poking fun at the audacity of women thinking they could be equal or better than men. And as a result, a piece of pulp escapism becomes a timeless classic still read and discussed today. So this is one of the more bizarre and interesting of the Tarzan mashups, and perhaps of the whole series in general. Definitely worth taking a look at it, though admittedly it won't be to everyone's sense of good taste.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Tenth in the series. Tarzan’s son Jack now has a wife, Meriem and a son of his own. And Tarzan has learned to fly and during his first solo flight he discover a basin of jungle he’d never seen before. Unfortunately his curiosity causes him to crash. Actually two races are involved in this (like Gulliver’s Travels). The Alalus, a matriarchal race of mute Neanderthals and the Ant Men, true pygmies who seem amazingly high tech for the time and place. And the Minunian’s names are horrible. I’d defini Tenth in the series. Tarzan’s son Jack now has a wife, Meriem and a son of his own. And Tarzan has learned to fly and during his first solo flight he discover a basin of jungle he’d never seen before. Unfortunately his curiosity causes him to crash. Actually two races are involved in this (like Gulliver’s Travels). The Alalus, a matriarchal race of mute Neanderthals and the Ant Men, true pygmies who seem amazingly high tech for the time and place. And the Minunian’s names are horrible. I’d definitely use nicknames. There’s a lot of inconstancies and/or things that don’t make any sense. I know it’s supposed to be a fantasy adventure, so maybe I'm expecting too much, but it should follow some sort of rules or the story just becomes a comedy. First, that diamond locket really leads a charmed life. The way it’s been lost and found and traveled all over is truly a miracle. But then a lot of stuff in these books have done so. Second, you’d think that two escaped prisoners would be caught after roaming around so long. But that is the way of bureaucracy, everything is so compartmentalized nobody knows or cares what others are doing as long as it doesn’t interfere with their own job. Third, when Tarzan escapes from the lion into the underground borrow with his friends why didn’t the lion eat/kill the antelope mounts left up top? They were all there the next morning. Must have been a stupid lion. Then there’s the quick personality changes, etc. But the surprise at the end was totally unexpected, but still a bit implausible. Fave scenes: the young Alalus boy helping Tarzan, Zoantrohago’s experiment explanation, escaping down the shaft and the two locked doors.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James

    Yet again, ‘in premise’ a good idea and concept for a story, but again it failed it hit the mark in almost every respect. The story is similar to that of the previous book ‘Tarzan and the Golden Lion”. An interesting premise of a hidden world and culture from society within Africa itself. The people’s within this region have grown up and evolved separately and independently from those around them. Whilst out flying, Tarzan accidentally crashes into this world. Tarzan learns about the various war Yet again, ‘in premise’ a good idea and concept for a story, but again it failed it hit the mark in almost every respect. The story is similar to that of the previous book ‘Tarzan and the Golden Lion”. An interesting premise of a hidden world and culture from society within Africa itself. The people’s within this region have grown up and evolved separately and independently from those around them. Whilst out flying, Tarzan accidentally crashes into this world. Tarzan learns about the various warring cultures, tribes and so forth. In some cases IT WAS rather interesting, having tribes run solely by women and the are subservient. Enter Tarzan, man triumphs over woman who then becomes a kept woman and cook........ NOT A GOOD STORY. Within the story you get to see Tarzan learning new languages super quick, the warring cultures view on slavery and hierarchical system. All of which again COULD BE the premise of a good story, but, never made it so. This story, perhaps a product of its time, the who issue of men being better than women and slavery, but, why write a story like this? There was no continuity of plot and story line from one area to the next. We then have the fake Tarzan of the last story who randomly pops up. Both Korak/ Jack and Jane, name only but Burroughs can’t be bothered to integrate them into one tangible story. Above all, ‘Tarzan of the Apes’ is pretty useless in Africa.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen (belles_bookshelves)

    "Hope is a beautiful thing." Wow. There's like... A LOT going on here. There's not one, but TWO lost civilizations in this book. (Good Lord, there's a lot of them here. Can't throw a stone without finding a new civilization, it seems.) First there's a group of people where the women are all huge, brutish things - like the Amazons from Futurama, and the men are docile weaklings. Until Tarzan comes along. And the second it like something from Gulliver's Travels - the people are barely over a foot hi "Hope is a beautiful thing." Wow. There's like... A LOT going on here. There's not one, but TWO lost civilizations in this book. (Good Lord, there's a lot of them here. Can't throw a stone without finding a new civilization, it seems.) First there's a group of people where the women are all huge, brutish things - like the Amazons from Futurama, and the men are docile weaklings. Until Tarzan comes along. And the second it like something from Gulliver's Travels - the people are barely over a foot high, and the ride around on deer (I'm honestly picturing Princess Mononoke here for some reason) and there are thousands and thousands of them at war with one another. There's also Estaban, our Tarzan impersonator, back from captivity and wandering around. There's amnesia, which happens more often than you would think. And Tarzan is shrunk down to a foot high, which is apparently a thing that can happen. The names are all literally insane.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Brooke

    One of the most preposterous of Burroughs’s Tarzan novels but also one of the most fun. There is often a tongue-in-cheek tone to ‘Tarzan and the Ant Men,’ as the author throws in more social commentary than usual. Being Burroughs, much of it is far from politically correct—even at the time it was written. The subplots are diverting and nicely done, adding interest without intruding too much on the main story. The world-building involved in creating the ant men and their hive-like cities is certai One of the most preposterous of Burroughs’s Tarzan novels but also one of the most fun. There is often a tongue-in-cheek tone to ‘Tarzan and the Ant Men,’ as the author throws in more social commentary than usual. Being Burroughs, much of it is far from politically correct—even at the time it was written. The subplots are diverting and nicely done, adding interest without intruding too much on the main story. The world-building involved in creating the ant men and their hive-like cities is certainly more thorough and well-realized than the two-lost-cities-at-war we typically get in the later Tarzan novels. Whether it is always completely believable is another question, but we could say that about any of his books. Knee-high warriors? Speechless ape-men dominated by their women folk? An unknown world within a thorn forest? Well, that’s all a bit far-fetched but within the realm of possibility. Barely. But some of the story goes a little further in asking the reader to suspend their disbelief. If we can get past that, it’s a pretty good read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    VLT

    One of ERB's better books. Although scientifically impossible, the shrinking of Tarzan gives it a sci-fi spin. ERB was definitely a product of his times, and sometimes his attitudes about race seem more than a bit off-base, but You can see him evolving with the times. In this middle section of books, I am observing more social commentary - some very incisive thoughts are worked in to the mostly action-filled prose. One of ERB's better books. Although scientifically impossible, the shrinking of Tarzan gives it a sci-fi spin. ERB was definitely a product of his times, and sometimes his attitudes about race seem more than a bit off-base, but You can see him evolving with the times. In this middle section of books, I am observing more social commentary - some very incisive thoughts are worked in to the mostly action-filled prose.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    Tarzan flies solo in an airplane that crashes inside a thorn forest. Inside he encounters the Alali, a group of primitive humans, and beyond them the "ant men", a race of foot high humans living in two mutually hostile cities. Tarzan is captured by one of them and they have the technology to shrink him (temporarily) to their size and enslave him. And so it goes... Tarzan flies solo in an airplane that crashes inside a thorn forest. Inside he encounters the Alali, a group of primitive humans, and beyond them the "ant men", a race of foot high humans living in two mutually hostile cities. Tarzan is captured by one of them and they have the technology to shrink him (temporarily) to their size and enslave him. And so it goes...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ed Wyrd

    Took me well over a year to finish this. The story contained way too much backstory and interuptions for world building as ERB had to explain several different civilizations Tarzan runs into. Made the story drag on terribly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Addyson Huneke

    Tarzan's a grandpa! John Clayton IV is really cute, although he only gets a few paragraphs and is referred to only as "Dackie." Also, why in the world did Korak let Tarzan up alone in an airplane? Of course he was going to get stranded in a part of the jungle hitherto unexplored because it is surrounded by an impassable thorn forest. Tarzan's double is in this one, too, and is under the delusion that he actually is Tarzan, but he isn't quite as annoying as before, although they even perform surg Tarzan's a grandpa! John Clayton IV is really cute, although he only gets a few paragraphs and is referred to only as "Dackie." Also, why in the world did Korak let Tarzan up alone in an airplane? Of course he was going to get stranded in a part of the jungle hitherto unexplored because it is surrounded by an impassable thorn forest. Tarzan's double is in this one, too, and is under the delusion that he actually is Tarzan, but he isn't quite as annoying as before, although they even perform surgery on him under the delusion that he's Tarzan and has lost his memory again. Thankfully, the misunderstanding is cleared up at the end, and Tarzan gets his diamonds back, which is a plus. I really loved this one. Tarzan was enslaved! There were a couple scenes that kind of even reminded me of Half-Blood. And Tarzan was only eighteen inches tall! It was amazing. Quite amazing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steven Wilson

    More violent than some other entries, and the 6-and-7 syllable names make it a hard read. Still, some interesting development of the female dominated cave society. Russ Manning’s comic strip sequel was more fun.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shea Carlson

    Better Than the Ninth Book This time there weren't as many helpless women. I found the abundance of strange names difficult to keep track of, but the plot is decent, and the ending, although sudden, is satisfying. Better Than the Ninth Book This time there weren't as many helpless women. I found the abundance of strange names difficult to keep track of, but the plot is decent, and the ending, although sudden, is satisfying.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Another good adventure with a lost civilization.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Read before 1972.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Excellent old fantasy. Decent read. =)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dan Blackley

    This one is confusing. Somehow the Ant Men, sized of ants, capture the Apeman and they fight.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    I read all the Tarzan books in my youth. Now nearly sixty years later I'm enjoying a second read. I read all the Tarzan books in my youth. Now nearly sixty years later I'm enjoying a second read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel Wallart

    Another lost civilisation, no two lost civilisations, if you want to have fun, read it.

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