King Solomon’s Mines

Monday, February 14, 2011

King Solomon’s Mines
by H. Rider Haggard

Before reading A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen I’d never heard of Allan Quatermain. So I went into this with low expectations and was more than pleasantly surprised at what I found. This adventure story is more about friendship than treasure.

Sir Henry Curtis (Incubu) is searching for his last brother who was last scene on his way to find the illusive King Solomon’s Mines, which are allegedly filled with diamonds. Curtis hires Quatermain (Macumazahn) to travel with him with the stipulation that if Quatermain dies, which he fully expects to, Curtis will provide for his son. Curtis’ friend Captain John Good (Bougwan) will also embark on the quest.

As the three men begin their journey they have no idea what’s in store for them; harsh deserts, elephant hunting, a war between tribes and so much more. Though parts of the story were predictable, they were still entertaining and the plot never lags. The adventure story had real heart, which made it stand apart from more generic versions.

I loved Quatermain’s honesty. There are moments when he says he doesn’t want to fight because it’s senseless, courage be damned. He’s honorable and sincere, a true friend to the end. I absolutely thing he deserves a spot in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

For another great review of the book check out Shredded Cheddar.


Jeanne said...

This is a great book, at least if you like this kind of genre fiction, which I do. But it was the worst movie I've ever tried going to see. I think the one I'm remembering came out in the 80s, with Richard Chamberlin playing Quartermain.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Seriously, Richard Chamberlin? That's just awful.

Teacher/Learner said...

I love when older adventure stories are still exciting and fun to read. P.S. You might want to check the spelling of "deserts". But I love it the way it is. "Harsh desserts" made me laugh :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Teacher/Learner - Ha, thanks! Sand storms and dehydration are delicious!

She said...

I really liked this book, but I liked Haggard's She: History of Adventure even more!

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for the link, Avid Reader! =D

My brother, who is very young, saw the trailer for the Chamberlain movie and wondered aloud, "Is that Chuck Norris?"


I agree with you that Quatermain is a great narrator for this novel because he's not the typical buff, brassy adventurer and is willing to admit it. He is the reason the novel has as much heart as it does. I'm glad he's on the LXG--but what do you think of Sean Connery playing him?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

She - I've added it to my TBR list!

Enbrethiliel - Chuck Norris, that's awesome. I was ok with Connery, but I didn't love him. I wish it had been someone a bit more reserved.