King Solomons Mines

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ReadHowYouWant.com, Nov 1, 2006 - Fiction - 524 pages
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'King Solomon's Mines'' is a classic adventure tale of treasure hunt by Henry Rider Haggard. It is told in a straight-forward and simple narration by the elephant hunter, Quatermain. It is the story of three men, Quatermain, Henry Curtis, and John Good who together embark on an adventurous journey in quest of the legendary treasure of King Solomon. Captivating!
 

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If you were raised on the movie version, prepare yourself for a shock: Allan Quatermain is no quipping, whipping, dynamite-tossing Indiana Jones knock-off. He is, instead, a fop, a bit of a coward, and not especially given to action or daring-do.
The rough plot is the same: a group of British adventurers set off in search of a legendary diamond mine. They cross a desert, encounter hostile natives, and engage in the kind of causal racism one only finds in adventure novels of this vintage.
Is it exciting? Meh. A lot of the dangers faced are overcome by asinine coincidences. At one point, starving and dying of thirst after a desert journey, our heroes find a patch of melons growing on the side of a mountain. Seriously.
The tone also takes some getting used to. Our 'hero' is a reluctant adventurer and a coward, by his own admission. Quatermain's first-person narration make it clear from the beginning that he was dragged kicking and screaming into both embarking on and recording the tale. He's a hunter, having killed animals his whole life. He's reluctant to drop the "n" word but still a pretty racist guy. He's very much a product of his times, hard to relate to from our perspective.
Still, this is THE classic adventure tale, the inspiration for countless serials, novels, and films. All griping aside it's a breezy read, worth reading for the sake of history alone. If you have trouble getting into Allan's head, it helps to read the story as if it were an Indiana Jones movie retold from the comic relief's point of view.
 

Contents

CHAPTER I
1
CHAPTER II
22
CHAPTER III
44
CHAPTER IV
69
CHAPTER V
90
CHAPTER VI
120
CHAPTER VII
145
CHAPTER VIII
182
CHAPTER XII
293
CHAPTER XIII
316
CHAPTER XIV
336
CHAPTER XV
374
CHAPTER XVI
397
CHAPTER XVII
421
CHAPTER XVIII
447
CHAPTER XIX
471

CHAPTER IX
201
CHAPTER X
231
CHAPTER XI
262
CHAPTER XX
492
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) is best remembered for his 34 adventure fantasy novels set in exotic locations. As a child, Haggard, whose father was an English barrister, was considered dim-witted and was inclined to daydreaming. His parents ended his formal education when he was seventeen, and he was sent to work in South Africa, where his imagination was inspired by the people, animals, and jungle. He became close friends with authors Rudyard Kipling and Andrew Lang. Haggard's most popular books are King Solomon's Mines (1886) and She (1887). He also wrote short stories, as well as nonfiction on topics such as gardening, English farming, and rural life, interests which led to duties on government commissions concerned with land maintenance. For his literary contributions and his government service, Haggard was knighted in 1912. Several of Haggard's novels have been filmed. She was filmed in 1965, starring Ursula Andress. King Solomon's Mines was filmed with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr in 1950, and again with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone in 1985. Also, the novel Allan Quatermain was filmed as Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone in 1986.

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