Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan #1) by Edgar Rice BurroughsClassic Adventure
100 years old and still a great adventure read--that's why it's a classic! Although some of the story is politically incorrect by today's standards and some of the details are scientifically incorrect, it is still worth suspending disbelief for.
Tarzan starts with a love story--a husband and wife who can't bear to be separated so she accompanies him on a military trip by ship. The trip is fraught with strife, and soon the two are abandoned by the mutinous crew on a deserted tropical beach. As things will happen, Lord and Lady Greystroke have a child and then die, leaving the infant at the mercy of the elements. An ape tribe finds the infant, and he is ultimately saved by a female named Kala, who had just lost her own baby. Kala treats him as her native-born son, taking him into the tribe and raising him. During adolescence, Tarzan discovers that he is not an ape, but a man. He finds his family's hut on the beach and teaches himself to read. One day, a ship lands with other humans, and Tarzan is captivated by Jane, the professor's daughter, so much so that he leaves his wilderness behind and travels to England to become civilized.
At that time, Africa must have seemed like a distant planet and I love the imagination Burroughs used to describe this lush, tropical wonderland. Burroughs has to be the master of the cliffhanger endings--you have to keep reading to the next one to find out what happens to our main characters. I absolutely loved the story--the writing was amazing and the book has it all: romance, adventure, danger! I can't wait to start reading the next one.