Tarzan had renounced his right to the woman he loved, and civilization held no pleasure for him. After a brief and harrowing period among men, he turned back to the African jungle where he had grown to manhood. It was there he first heard of Opar, the city of gold, left over from fabled Atlantis. It was a city of hideous men — and of beautiful, savage women, over whom reigned La, high priestess of the Flaming God. Its altars were stained with the blood of many sacrifices. Unheeding of the dangers, Tarzan led a band of savage warriors toward the ancient crypts and the more ancient evil of Opar . . .
The first and best of the Tarzan novels, of which Edgar Rice Burroughs eventually wrote several dozen, Tarzan of the Apes remains one of the signature stories of American popular literature, as readable as it is famous. Tarzan himself, in the words of Arthur C. Clarke, is “the best known character in the whole of fiction.” As John Taliaferro asserts in his Introduction to this Modern Library Paperback Classic, “There is no question that [Tarzan of the Apes] is one of the most entertaining and exemplary books of the last century. . . . [It] is not merely a story from a bygone era; it is a tale as old as time, and for all time, too.”