Friday, May 1, 2015

Book Review Friday: King Solomon's Mines

King Solomon's Mines
By H. Rider Haggard

I grew up watching Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr in the movie King Solomon's Mines.  This is the first time I ever tried reading the book.  Wow, is this a different story.  Main character, Allan Quartermain narrates this tale of adventure and the first thing he points out to his reader, the story is written primarily for his son, is that there are no women in it.  Except for one evil, extremely old, witch, named Gagool.  So if you loved the romance between Granger and Kerr in the 1950 movie, you won't find it here.  H. Rider Haggard's story is an adventure tale, through and through. Set in 19th century, colonial Africa and told at a much slower pace than modern adventure stories, King Solomon's Mines is the story of adventurer Allan Quartermain leading Sir Henry Curtis and his friend John Good on a quest to find Sir Henry's missing brother George, who was lost while looking for the legendary treasure trove, King Solomon's Mines.  On their way they encounter savage animals, natives both friendly and hostile, blazing deserts, and long lost civilizations. 
The slow pace and rich detail might put off some readers used to the short, clipped prose of Patterson, but for the reader willing to spend the time, it's a good story.

If you like adventure stories set in far of locales, you may enjoy:

The Tarzan series by Sir Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sigma Force series by James Rollins
The Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters (set in Egypt)

Other authors to explore include:

Christian Jacq
Rudyard Kipling
William Dietrich
Robert Louis Stevenson

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