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King Solomon's Mines (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 29, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
It is also interesting to see the book in its historical perspective. "King Solomon's Mines", 1885, records European ignorance of and fascination with Africa, which was still partly (as Joseph Conrad later called it in "Heart of Darkness") a blank area on the map: The source of the Nile had been discovered only two decades earlier; Henry Stanley and Richard Burton were still living, the memories of David Livingstone and John Speke were still fresh; and the Berlin Africa Conference was taking place just as the novel was going into print. If that's not of interest to you, skip it. Want to curl up with a good book? Here's one for you and your kids.
The story is told first person by Allan Quatemain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.
King Solomon's Mines Starring: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger
Surely a classic, this was Haggard's first foray into the literary field -- to prove he could do it better than some of his contemporaries. Having spent time in South Africa as a minor civil servant, he drew on his experiences of that land to impart a feel for the country in this short, but by no means small, tale of treasure hunting and adventure among unknown and exotic peoples. This is the story of an over the hill "white hunter" taken into the service of two English gentlemen seeking the brother of one of them, who had disappeared years before on the edge of a great desert in vain (or perhaps not so vain) pursuit of the fabled mines of King Solomon. Along the way they are joined by an enigmatic native guide who is much more than what he seems as they stumble across previously unexplored (at least by Europeans) tracts of Africa and into a lost nation related, apparently, to the Zulus of southern Africa whom the English of that day so feared and respected. Drawn at once into the internal politics of these people and overawing them w/their European technology, they are soon in deadly peril from the cruel king of that country and the evil sorceress who conspires behind his throne.
But there's no use telling too much of a tale like this in a review -- the interested reader is urged to read it for him or herself. It's adventure in strange parts, for those with a taste to see how the great ones, like Haggard, did it.
The King of Vinland's Saga
The narrator, Allan Quatermain, is a middle-aged big game hunter who has somehow managed to survive decades in the African wilderness. His name is known far and wide, and as a result he is approached by a pair of men with an unusual proposition. One of the men, Sir Henry Curtis, has lost an estranged brother whom he believes was searching for the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon. Quatermain just happens to possess a map and some personal knowledge of the legends, and with a deal in place to grant him half of the diamonds--should they find some as well as Curtis's brother--he agrees to join them on the journey.
Naturally, a great deal more happens to the party than they originally expected. Elephant hunts, witchcraft, and tribal warfare complicate their quest, but in the end all works out well--if unexpectedly--for most involved. Quatermain recounts the tale in a rapid, exciting manner that gripped me from the first chapter. This is one of a very few books I've read in a single day.
This Penguin Classics edition of King Solomon's Mines reproduces the first edition text of Haggard's novel. As an appendix, a heavily-revised chapter from later editions is offered as a point of comparison with the original. The editor's notes are good, though they failed to explain one or two minor things and missed some rather obvious historical allusions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
King Solomon's Mines is a pretty straightforward adventure book, no hidden meanings, no discussion of societal mores, just a good book to sit back and read on a rainy day. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Fin Boro
The perfect adventure book for any level or quality of reader! I can't speak highly enough of this tale of mystery and rugged adventure.Published 1 month ago by Austin
Really nice adventure story, if somewhat dated. Definitely not PC, as it has the regal white empire builders attitude toward the native and animal life that lived there before. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Richard
Now I know where the ideas and plot for the Indiana Jones movies came from! A lot of fun to readPublished 1 month ago by Christina
This adventure of Allan Quartemain is a journey through the desert of Africa in a very different time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Butthatsjustme