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In Search of King Solomon's Mines

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  357 ratings  ·  35 reviews
King Solomon, the Bible's wisest king, also possessed extraordinary wealth. He built a temple at Jerusalem that was said to be more fabulous than any other landmark in the ancient world, heavily adorned with gold from Ophir. The precise location of this legendary land has been one of history's great unsolved mysteries. Long before Rider Haggard's classic adventure novel Ki ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 22nd 2004 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 836)
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Ita
May 26, 2013 Ita rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults and children over 7
Recommended to Ita by: Tahir Shah
‘In Search Of King Solomon’s Mines’ was first published over a decade ago, but it is still a treasure whose value becomes more apparent with the passing of years.

Ten years ago I was captivated by the journey through Ethiopia, by the ancient churches hewn out of solid rock in Lalibela, the hair-raising ascent to the monastery in Debra Damo, the desert trek with people from the greatly feared Danikil tribe and their sullen camels, the final leg under atrocious conditions after the dilapidated jeep
...more
Louise
While Tahir Shah stumbles on a map that claims to show King Solomon's mines, he does not totally stumble upon this trip. He says that his father had sought out these mines. While this thread is not developed, Shah must have an unusual passion to have made such an arduous journey.

This is a travelogue that one does not need to care about mining or gold to enjoy. Shah leads an mini-expedition through rural Ethiopia to find the sites shown on the map. While the journey is rough, Shah seems to have a
...more
Kate
This book reads quite well and there are some interesting bits about Ethiopia scattered throughout. It was a fairly entertaining read, enough so that I did not put it down even though I was sorely tempted to because of how arrogant and sad the author seemed to me.

I was expecting that someone who really wanted to discover such a historical site(s) would do plenty of scholarly research beforehand and that the whole thing would read a bit more legitimate than it did. He admits to not doing much res
...more
Lissa
Tahir Shah is one of the best travel writers ever. Period. I want desperately want to travel with him. No, scratch that, I want to BE him. I want to get paid to go on grand adventures with the threat of death and disease in foreign countries in pursuit of impossible goals. Is this so much to ask?
Shah’s first two books take place in India and Peru respectively. In this book, Shah finally writes about a continent near and dear to my heart – Africa. While on vacation in Isreal, Shah finds an “old m
...more
Toni

This review is from: In Search of King Solomon's Mines: A Modern Adventurer's Quest for Gold and History in the Land of the Queen of Sheba (Paperback)
Thoroughly recommended. An immensely appealing book. In search of treasure and 'treasure'. Footprints in out of the way places take us across Ethiopia. This author has an inimitable beam to his torch light that fans into daylight.
Read it and see mining's and cuttings of unfamiliar life. With Solomon to help and aid off he goes.
In the middle of re-
...more
Aubrey Davis
A cockeyed, hilarious, shocking romp through unfamiliar territory. Bursting with fascinating facts, people and strange but true tales. Challenged my assumptions about Ethiopia and Africa... Ostensibly a quest for gold, it is oddly generous...if you're lucky you may discover something far more valuable.
Sooz
so I have a new reading challenge. my sister and I are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Ethiopia this fall, so I will endeavour to try to get at least a bare bones understanding of the country's long, rich history. and I begin with this one. it is kind of dated now, but it is such an engaging story I understand why it continues to be read.

The book is not overly-long, nor does it get bogged down in minutiae research - Tahir Shah gives exactly the right amount of information to put t
...more
Wayland Smith
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book. I read a review in the Washington Post that made me curious, so I thought I'd check it out. It's kind of a mixed bag.

I was thinking there'd be more about the search for a mythological place. There was some of that, sure, but a lot of it read more like a travelogue of Ethiopia. There was more about the author and his travels than the search I expected.

It's certainly not bad, I just would have preferred a slightly different focus. Decent read if
...more
Brita
Book Lust

While browsing a shop in Jerusalem, Shah comes across a hand-drawn map that the shop owner claims could guide him to the legendary gold mines of King Solomon. Dubious map in hand, Shah sets out on a quest to Ethiopia.

In the capital, Addis Ababa, Shah collects two locals to help him - an educated, devout Christian with a rare love of his country's history, and a sketchy and reckless Somali driver. Together the three explore the corners of Ethiopia, withstanding humor and hardship the who
...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
It's perfectly natural for a young expat member of the Afghan aristocratic class to become consumed with the idea of King Solomon's Mines. Especially if his father traveled the world to write of exotic adventures. In Search of King Solomon's Mines begins as Tahir Shah is caught by a crudely drawn map of Ethiopia found in Ali Baba's Tourist Emporium. Six hundred shekels, cheap at the price, Ali Baba tells him. Shah knows the map is a fake. He knows he's been sold the same map as hundreds or thous ...more
John
King Solomon used a great deal of gold in building the Temple, according to the Bible. It had to come from somewhere, and Tahir Shah concludes -- as many others concluded before him -- that the likely source was somewhere in present-day Ethiopia.
It's never clear why he wants to find the mines. He's not looking for gold for himself. It just seems to be something he's curious about and thinks would be a good topic for a book.
It is that.
"In Search of King Solomon's Mines" turns out to an excuse to
...more
Michelle
I liked the author's style. Clean, simple. I enjoyed his descriptions of the people he met along his journeys. The two women in my book club that have been to Ethiopia (a bit random, I know) tell me that this book is certainly not a complete picture of the country, but what I did learn about the country and people were interesting. And it might sound corny, but it really makes you think about people and what they have to go through. Like I live my life thinking that it's hard or something is rea ...more
Emily
I want to get on an airplane right now, fly to Ethiopia, and risk my life searching for a three-thousand-year-old mine shaft. That's how much I loved this book. It didn't change my life like "Three Cups of Tea" but it definitely has a lot of the same suspense, Indiana Jones-style adventure, and rollicking (third-world) humor. I was flooded with memories of all those crazy hotels, towns, and villages in Northern Ethiopia - places that make you feel like you've been dropped off on a different plan ...more
Floramanda
I enjoy Tahir Shah's books, and learned so much about Ethiopia. Walking the gold trail of the ancients was interesting, but this was not my favorite work by Shah. At book club, one of the critiques was that Mr. Shah can sometimes seem a bit condescending towards the people he writes about, and I felt that in this book. Perhaps it was his yearning to follow in the footsteps of those Europeans who organized similar expeditions before him, but it came across as somewhat imperialistic to me. But you ...more
David R.
Adventurers have sought the gold mines of King Solomon for generations, and in this book, Tahir Shah documents his own quest within Ethiopia, one of the best candidates for Ophir and the realm of the queen of Sheba. The book ends up being a good deal more about the effort needed to get around some of the worst places in the country and this reader might go away with an especially negative impression of the people of this ravaged nation. And, the closing is anticlimactic and unsatisfying. There i ...more
Kristen
This was a great read, I guzzled a pot of coffee so I could finish reading it the same night that I'd started it.
I laughed repeatedly, particularly at Tahir's descriptions of Samson, yet I also felt touched and saddened by the country's poverty & people's struggles.
Tahir was a strong and likeable character who told about the poverty as it was, but didn't try to shock or make the reader feel bad about this.
John
Wonderful adventure through Ethiopia filled with hillarious narrative, beautiful depictions of the country and culture, as well as poignant descriptions of the challenges facing Ethiopians. Some of the events are so unbelievable I wouldn't have believed them to actually taken place had it not been for the pictures. This was my first read of shah and he immediately became one of my favorite contemporary author.
Kathleen McRae
some funny lines but slightly frenetic and unbelievable in spots. I really thought the author was doing what? He seemed to have no real plan and didn't always seem to do any evaluation on what was dangerous for himself or the people he was dragging along with him. I sensed a bit of distain at times in his regard for the people and his quest of such a silly goal
Michelle
This sounded interesting--the author goes on a quest in Ethiopia to try to locate the famous gold mines of King Solomon--but I couldn't muster enough interest to finish it. He wasn't any kind of anthropology expert, and it reads more like a travel book. The history of the area is sprinkled throughout, but not in a coherent way. It just didn't hold me.
Mellisa
So far, I think I love anything this man has written or will ever write. He has a similiar lust for adventure and cultural sensitivity you find on Michael Palin or the GlobeTrekker shows. Darkly humorous and educational at once -- just like real travel oh so often is.
Fellini
Умеренной интересности приключенческий роман. Через месяц после прочтения могу вспомнить только жутковатые описания будней африканских золотоискателей и то, как автору снова и снова приходилось платить своим помощникам =)
Daniel
Great narrative of the author's journey through Ethiopia, and the people he met, visiting modern and historical gold mining sites, inspired by biblical and other old stories of gold. Unsatisfying ending, though.
Katherine Howell
Interesting for the story of someone's travels around Ethiopia... his quest to find the gold of King Solomon was a little weird and he didn't seem to get anywhere with it... although I guess that was half the point...
M.kenosian
Shah is looking for lost gold mines as other men of his family have. The book is a great travelogue with an eagle eye for the local culture and personalities, including its welcome and danger for strangers.
Lindsay Eaton
Loved this. The author's search for the source of King Solomon's gold in Ethiopia. A real eye-opener about conditions in that country apart from anything else. A great adventure story.
Janette
Wasn't shure if I would like this one--but once into it, I quite liked it. I learned a ton about Ethopia, past and present.
Heidi
got about half-way through, got distracted, had to return it to the library. Will try again in the future...sigh.
Suri
Humorous, captivating- the characters--they make the book alive. I wish them the best
Dawn Rogers Kroll
Well written ... felt like I shared the journey through Ethiopia with Tahir Shah.
Anne
It seems like his adventures always have a lot going wrong, false leads, etc.
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Tahir Shah is the author of fifteen books, many of which chronicle a wide range of outlandish journeys through Africa, Asia and the Americas. For him, there’s nothing so important as deciphering the hidden underbelly of the lands through which he travels. Shunning well-trodden tourist paths, he avoids celebrated landmarks, preferring instead to position himself on a busy street corner or in a dust ...more
More about Tahir Shah...
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“A journey, I reflected, is of no merit unless it has tested you.” 22 likes
“Usually, there is nothing more pleasing that returning to a place where you have endured hardship.” 14 likes
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