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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » King Solomon's Mines (Thrift Edition) » User review

Thriller escapism in the Victorian style!

  • Sep 24, 2010
Rating:
+4
Like many of its contemporaries - Edgar Rice Burrough's Caspak, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World, Jules Verne's subterranean Lidenbrock Sea and even HG Well's Island of Dr Moreau - KING SOLOMON'S MINES is a story of adventure into an exotic locale and can be summarized with the broadest brush in the most general terms as Indiana Jones with Victorian sensibilities and motives.

Allan Quatermain, a gentleman adventurer who has by a combination of good luck and good management survived well beyond the usual anticipated life expectancy of an African elephant hunter, has been hired to find a long lost expedition. Sir Henry Curtis's younger brother, last heard of leaving civilization to cross a desiccated stretch of trackless desert, had disappeared in the heart of Africa hunting for the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon.

KING SOLOMON'S MINES isn't deep. By no stretch of the imagination can it be called literary or profound. There is no apparent moralistic message or overarching theme hidden within the text which the author wished to convey. It was intended as an enjoyable adventure when it was first written in 1885 and, over one hundred years later, it is still succeeding at its original goal. It's fun, it's light, it's fast-paced and exciting, it's easy to read and, above all, it occupies the mind pleasurably without taxing it in the least. Clearly, even at the turn of the 19th century, escapism writing had its place and could be astonishingly popular.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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More King Solomon's Mines (Thrift E... reviews
review by . September 18, 2008
Written on a bet to be a more exciting adventure story than Robinson Crusoe, KSM falls short perhaps because of the raised expectations.    Yes, the adventurers, lead by the appealingly wry and self-deprecating narrator and big-time lion hunter Allan Quartermain, do reach the mines, but almost as an afterthought, and the anticipatory trek through "darkest Africa" (cultural sensitivity alert! This book is very much a product of its British Imperial times, and the racism can be …
Quick Tip by . December 22, 2010
Like many of its contemporaries - Edgar Rice Burrough's Caspak, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World, Jules Verne's subterranean Lidenbrock Sea and even HG Well's Island of Dr Moreau - KING SOLOMON'S MINES is a story of adventure into an exotic locale and can be summarized with the broadest brush in the most general terms as Indiana Jones with Victorian sensibilities and motives.
review by . January 29, 2000
I formerly rated this one at only four stars since it lacks "gravitas" and is basically a pure, escapist tale. I thought that made it too light for the heady draught of five star-ism. But on reflection I think I was too harsh. The book does have staying power in my memory. So here goes.      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 …
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #16
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Wiki

Praised as "the most amazing story ever written," this 1885 story tells the tale in which Allan Quatermain, a gentleman adventurer, is hired to locate a man who has disappeared into the heart of Africa while hunting for the legendary lost diamond mines of King Solomon.
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Tags

Books, Book, Cafe Libri, Adventure, Africa, Classic, Allan Quatermain

Details

ISBN-10: 0486447820
ISBN-13: 978-0486447827
Author: H. Rider Haggard
Publisher: Dover Publications

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