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King Solomon's Mines
 
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H. Rider Haggard
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King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  23,059 ratings  ·  881 reviews
Touted by its 1885 publisher as “the most amazing story ever written,” King Solomon’s Mines was one of the bestselling novels of the nineteenth century. H. Rider Haggard’s thrilling saga of elephant hunter Allan Quatermain and his search for fabled treasure is more than just an adventure story: as Alexandra Fuller explains in her Introduction, in its vivid portrayal of the...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1885)
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Alex
Well, this book is a ton of fun.

Haggard was enormously popular in his time; he and Robert Louis Stevenson were the two dominant adventure writers. (Trivia: this book is the response to a five-shilling dare from Haggard's brother that he couldn't write a book half as good as Treasure Island.)

It's enormously imaginative. Alan Quatermain is a brilliant character, a wiry and wily old Ulysses who describes himself as a coward. There's a scene near the end involving artificial stalagmites that's exhil...more
Henry Avila
Allan Quatermain, is hired by Sir Henry Curtis, to find his younger brother, George. Quatermain, a hunter among other things, could use the money and agrees to guide the dangerous expedition. Along with Sir Henry, is Captain John Good, former British navy officer and a close friend of Curtis. Both believe George, has traveled to the interior of Africa,(set in late 1800's) seeking his fortune. Having quarreled with Sir Henry , the penniless and proud man left England, not wanting to depend on his...more
Perelandra
Adventure. That is what I wanted and that is what I got. I have been doing more serious reading lately and I decided it was time for something lighter. I had this book sitting on my shelf for a while untouched. As it turns out, I was pulled into the story right away and had a great time reading this book. It was just pure fun. King Solomon's Mines is an easy read but not shallow. The characters are interesting, and the adventure is full of non stop action and suspense with a few literary allusio...more
Corey
Typically, I’m a fan of Victorian adventure and mystery novels. In fact, I’ve been saving H. Rider Haggard’s masterpiece, “King Solomon’s Mines,” for almost two years because I thought I would enjoy it so much. Sadly, I was much deceived in the character of Haggard’s “great” adventure novel. The story goes that Haggard read “Treasure Island” (which I incidentally very much enjoyed), decided that he could easily write something better and made a bet to that effect. And with the idea of besting Ro...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, good adventure story that has been around for a long time. it's been made into several movies (none of which actually resemble the book all that much. For one thing, there's no heroine...at all. There's only two semi-main female characters in the entire book).

First, there are things in this book that will offend some readers. They are "unintentional" the book is a product of it's time, the late 1800s. The racial attitudes here are from that era and anyone picking up the book should be awar...more
gia
One of the works that helped inspire Indiana Jones, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and lord knows what all else, King Solomon's Mines may not be a staggering work of fiction, but it nonetheless shaped a lot of literature (and films!) in the decades to come.

With that in mind I embarked on Allan Quatermain's journey to the titular mines, although they feature primarily at the end of the journey.

In fact, all together I'd have to say the experience was a bit episodic: first there's the almos...more
Sam Quixote
Every so often I get the feeling that a good old timey adventure book would be a good thing to read. This is (hopefully) the last time I think this as the results are always dire. Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" was one hell of a struggle. Chesterton's "The Man Who Was Thursday" was dreadful. However, Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines" takes the prize for most unreadable load of old toss ever.

3 Englishmen ponce into Africa on a treasure hunt. They cross romantic terrain, shoot majestic anima...more
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
Perhaps my earliest enjoyable memory of reading (at first in translation). The exotic, other-worldly descriptions here- of places and people both, were utterly entrancing, and the presence of the map and the key it presented for the plot's progression kept my young self fascinated (and not because there were mountains on it called Sheba's Breasts... at least I hope not- there's some Freudian imagery now that I think about it). It's my feeling sometimes that I've come to overuse the term 'mythic'...more
Chloe
I was really torn about how to rate this book. On the one hand, it was a fun and thrilling adventure tale, the likes of which have been setting fire to the minds of young children with visions of exotic and far-flung locales for centuries. I can well imagine the delight with which this ripping yarn was received by the readers of the 1880s. On the other hand, there is just so much omnipresent racism throughout the entire story that I found it endlessly distracting and offputting.

King Solomon's Mi...more
aljouharah altheeyb
وانتهيت من هذه الرواية الرائعة، المُغرقة في التفاصيل، المحبوكة بدقة حتى لتشك بأنها من وحي الخيال !
القصه تدور حول الأصدقاء الثلاثة الذين اتفقو للسفر إلى أفريقيا للبحث عن أخ السيد هنري الذي رحل منذ سنتين للتنقيب عن كنوز سليمان عليه السلام المخبئة خلف صحراء الموت ..
هذه المغامرة التي يبدأونها تُقدم لهم كمية كبيرة وغير متوقعة من المُفاجئات والأحداث الغريبة !
قصة جميلة جداً وتستحق أن تُقرأ ككل آداب الرحلات
John Yelverton
My interest in the book waxed and waned until the very end. A good book, but not a great book.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is an old fashioned adventure yarn and its hero, Alan Quatermain, is a direct ancestor of Indiana Jones. I'm not going to claim that Haggard even at his best is the same order of classic as the best by Charles Dickens, the Brontes, George Eliot or Thomas Hardy. But like fellow Victorians Arthur Conan Doyle or Robert Louis Stevenson or Rudyard Kipling, Haggard really could spin a good yarn. Ten of his books are on my bookshelves. I gobbled those up in my teens and most I remember very, very...more
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Opening lines:
It is a curious thing that at my age— fifty-five last birthday— I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history.


Quotations:

I asked a page or two back, what is a gentleman? I'll answer the question now: A Royal Naval officer is, in a general sort of way, though of course there may be a black sheep among them here and there.

For to my mind, however beautiful a view may be, it requires the presence of man to make it complete,...more
Ilze
I've read this book before: many years ago, my brother was given the picture version as a gift. The two of us paged through it for hours. But it echoes other memories; of Herman Charles Bosman's fictious character, Oom Schalk Lourens (because of the language use) and Mr Bones - even if it's only because Kuvukiland sounds just like "Kukuanaland", the place where King Solomon's Mines are. A lot of Schuster's movie is based on the idea of Kukuanaland and the way it's run.

That said, this tale is eve...more
Liz
This classic turn-of-the-century adventure novel chronicles the escapades of three Englishmen and their Zulu servent (who later turns out to be more of a friend) as they search for the legendary lost diamond mines of King Solomon. Allan Quaitermain is a roving hunter, who long ago recieved a map to the mines from a dying Portugese explorer. Sir Henry is an English noble, whose estranged brother left two years before to search for the mines, and never returned. Now, desiring to make up to his bro...more
Sarah Sammis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Newengland
H. Rider Haggard wrote this book in an attempt to surpass Robert Louis Stevenson's TREASURE ISLAND and there's no mistaking the hallmarks of a good old-fashioned adventure. One of the best-selling books from the 19th century, KING SOLOMON'S MINES tells the tale of three white men and their search for a lost brother and a mythic diamond mine. Allan Quatermain, the narrator, tells his tale true and straight, and the battle scenes when they reach the heart of Africa (followed by the harrowing scene...more
The other John
This is the first of the Alan Quartermain novels, that adventure series from the late 1800s. As a ground breaking adventure novel, I suppose I should have liked it better. The problem is, I've read so many "lost world" tales in my day that King Solomon's Mines seemed a bit cliched. I do have to admit, though, that despite the racism and other 19th Century attitudes, the story has weathered pretty well. The novel is nowhere near as thick as some of its contemporaries that I've read.
Randy
One of the great adventure novels, written by the man who invented the lost world tale. Over a hundred and twenty-five years old, it's still a good read.

Allan Quartermain and two friends search for king Solomon's mines and a fortune in diamonds, gold, and ivory. The story chronicles their trail across Africa, the Sahara, engaging in battles with and for native populace. They also hunt one, Sir Henry Curtis's younger brother, who went before them.

Edward Waters
When the film RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was released in 1981, more than one commentator observed that its hero owed much to another fictional adventurer introduced almost a century before: Allan Quartermain, the creation of Victorian novelist H. Rider Haggard. (And that the actor who later played Indiana Jones's father would go on to interpret his other 'father' as well creates a sort of symmetry.) It is worth noting, however, that in KING SOLOMON'S MINES, the first of 16 novels and numerous short...more
Ryan Patrick
My take on this is that it is pretty standard fare - the classic 19th century "lost civilization/world" novel. But this is not exactly fair, since this is the book that started the Victorian craze for such things - this particular version (the B&N Classic) even had a short appendix on the genre.

The things that made this less enjoyable for me, were probably the things that Victorian readers really loved: the sort of travelogue details about both the "real" setting and the "fantastic" setting...more
Anirudh Parthasarathy
King Solomon's Mines is a novel written by Sir Henry Rider Haggard, more than a century ago. Despite this time gap, this novel is still very popular. So, out of curiosity, I decided to read this work of fiction so that I could figure out why it is still so popular. So, I borrowed the book from a library in 2009, but being a slow reader, I couldn't even complete half the book within the given time. However, it did enough to grab my attention and eventually, after searching in book-stores for near...more
Chris
They don't write books like this any more, and that is both a good and a bad thing.

You have to keep telling yourself that this book was written a LONG time ago, since it is a pretty safe bet that something in this book will offend virtually any modern reader. I found myself shaking my head in disbelief and laughing sort of the same way I used to laugh while watching Archie Bunker--except that Archie was an anachronism even during his first run on TV, and Alan Quartermain is quite enlightened for...more
Sara
Ah, what to say about this book?

To start, I've been interested in Allan Quatermain since the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and this book has been on my to-read list since I was a kid and my sister had the abridged version of this included in her Reader's Digest abridged classics set. Sounded like a good title but I just was not ambitious enough to read it.

It's a lot like what I expected. It was written in 1886 and it's about British white guys in Africa during that time period. There's that...more
Kathryn
King Solomon’s Mines is an adventure story starring a fellow named Allan Quatermain. He’s typical of the genre – an unassuming, purportedly ordinary man who has had many fantastic adventures over his years traveling in Africa and elsewhere. (I mean “fantastic” in its most literal sense, not as a general intensifier.) During the course of the book, Quatermain teams up with a few other men to follow an ancient treasure map to the location of King Solomon’s supposed mines in North Africa. The party...more
ElSeven
There are many valid criticisms that could be made about this book. It's racist, sexist, classiest, glorifies colonialism, and the wholesale slaughter of animals. It's a late Victorian adventure story, and so is bound to have something in it to offend the sensibilities of just about anyone nowadays.

But that doesn't keep it from being a ripping good yarn. Quatermain's deadpan narration does leave the story feeling flat, from time to time (I noticed this mostly in the journey across the desert), b...more
John
A meat-and-potatoes adventure novel that reads a bit like INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Thankfully, it's a whole lot more fun and better paced than Haggard's other best-known work, SHE. I don't know why the film versions of Allan Quatermain's adventures all ended up being so terrible, because KING SOLOMON'S MINES shows great promise as the basis for a film adaptation. As a side note, the original conceptualization of Quartermain as seen here was nothing like the Indiana Jones-clone the m...more
Joe
The forward to this claims that H. Rider Haggard was reading a lot of late colonial adventure yarns and remarked to a friend that he could write this stuff, and the friend suggested he do it, so he did.

This, I feel, is indicative of this book. It has all the strengths and weaknesses of the genre. The strengths: a true sense of adventure and exploration that marked British sentiment at this time, the sort found in Jules Verne and Rudyard Kipling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World and the lik...more
Boris
I had previously read this book 23 years ago and I wanted to refresh my memory on the details of the story. I found it as delightful the second time as the first.

The Haggard novels are fantasy/adventures, many of which are based in Africa.

The Haggard novels also became the models and inspiration for the Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, though I regard the Haggard as far superior.

The hero of this novel, Alan Quatermain, became the model, for among others, Indiana Jones.
Cherie
I think everyone should read this book! I loved the story, even the big speaches from some of the characters! It is such a history all rolled into one adventure story. There are pieces from the bible, references to other books and stories, there is love and pride and humility and awful bloodshed and atrocities and one really, really creepy character.
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Sir Henry Rider Haggard was an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and the creator of the Lost World literary genre. His stories, situated at the lighter end of the scale of Victorian literature, continue to be popular and influential. He was also involved in agricultural reform and improvement in the British Empire.

His breakout novel was King Solomon...more
More about H. Rider Haggard...
She (She, #1) Allan Quatermain The People of the Mist Ayesha: The Return of She Montezuma's Daughter

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“It is far. But there is no journey upon this earth that a man may not make if he sets his heart to it. There is nothing, Umbopa, that he cannot do, there are no mountains he may not climb, there are no deserts he cannot cross; save a mountain and a a desert of which you are spared the knowledge, if love leads him and he holds his life in his hand counting it as nothing, ready to keep it or to lose it as Providence may order.” 21 likes
“It is a hard thing when one has shot sixty-five lions or more, as I have in the course of my life, that the sixty-sixth should chew your leg like a quid of tobacco. It breaks the routine of the thing, and putting other considerations aside, I am an orderly man and don't like that. This is by the way.” 13 likes
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