Frazetta Friday

The Mucker and its sequel, Return of the Mucker, are E.R. Burroughs novels about the kind of guy who might be a third-class mook in some of his other novels. The Mucker is a thug from Chicago with no talents, no prospects, no education, and no morals.

Somehow he develops all of these after fighting degenerated headhunter samurai after being shipwrecked on a Pacific island along with a parcel of high society dudes including a beautiful and nervy girl who is good with a wakizashi. (Not making that up.)

The Return of the Mucker switches genres to Western, but I never got ahold of it to finish.

The Return of Tarzan – Edgar Rice Burroughs (repost)

The one where the hero fights a crocodile, the damsel takes over the ship at gunpoint, and the cook dies a hero.

Tarzan’s infant son, Jack, is kidnapped by his nemesis, Rokoff the Russian. Rokoff’s plan is to take Jack to the primordial vastnesses of Darkest Africa and give him to the cannibal tribes–not to kill, but to raise as their own in his own twisted evolutionary programme for the Greystoke family. The father an ape–the son a cannibal. Rokoff does even better than he thought he would, because with baby Jack as bait, he manages to capture both Tarzan and Jane (separately). Tarzan he maroons on an uninhabited island, Jane he keeps–for himself.

But! The uninhabited island is home to a tribe of Mangani, of whom Tarzan soon becomes leader and escapes to the mainland. But! Jane gains the sympathy and help of the cook and escapes to the mainland….But a variety of twists and turns (and crocodiles) keep them from actually finding each other until the very last chapter.

(Burroughs was an expert at maddeningly delaying reader gratification with headlong coincidences, random twists, and crocodiles.)

Will Tarzan go down beneath the clubs and spears of the frenzied cannibal horde? Will he live to save his child and his wife? Will Jane escape the clutches of Rokoff and reach safety with her baby? Will Rokoff live to twirl his moustache another day?

You already know the answer…