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King Solomon's Mines

(Allan Quatermain #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  42,993 ratings  ·  1,990 reviews
H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines has entertained generations of readers since its first publication in 1885. Following a mysterious map of dubious reliability, a small group of men trek into southern Africa in search of a lost friend-and a lost treasure, the fabled mines of King Solomon. Led by the English adventurer and fortune hunter Allan Quartermain, they discov ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 10th 2002 by Modern Library (first published 1885)
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Warren
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Barry Haworth The short answer is that he died. Given that Sir Henry is aged in this thirties and that his father's death had occurred five years before the father …moreThe short answer is that he died. Given that Sir Henry is aged in this thirties and that his father's death had occurred five years before the father could well have been in his sixties and so died from any number of perfectly natural causes.(less)

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Sean Barrs
This book was written for men like Haggard, stupid Victorian men with small minds and no heart. They are the brutes. They are the uncivilised savage. And this is what children were given to read at the time? This is what they saw as an “adventure?” How could Achebe attack Conrad when drivel like this is the cannon? This is a disgusting product of history, one the world is better off forgetting.

Sure, you may argue that Haggard displays the Africans as civilised. And to an extent he does. They hav
...more
Evgeny
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
“Listen! What is life? It is a feather, it is the seed of the grass, blown hither and thither, sometimes multiplying itself and dying in the act, sometimes carried away into the heavens. But if that seed be good and heavy it may perchance travel a little way on the road it wills. It is well to try and journey one's road and to fight with the air. Man must die. At the worst he can but die a little sooner.”

According to the blurb this is the first novel written in English taking place in Africa. An
...more
Henry Avila
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sir H. (Henry) Rider Haggard the British inventor of the lost civilization adventures stories has here one of his most famous and best, King Solomon's Mines a wonderful if improbable trek through the thick jungles, high mountains, scorching deserts of this fascinating land. For any person interested in this fun type of genre and those discovering it ,
a new captivating city quite old in reality, hidden from our knowledge for thousands of years is found, obviously I shouldn't need to say for the
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I always fascinated treasure hunt books and this book did really surpassed my expectations. A real adventure it was! Its a story of: survival, revenge, making of a king, greatest treasure hunt, and friendship.

I was hooked from the start and the story just got more riveting with every page. This book reminded me of many adventure movies, both from Hollywood and Bollywood (it is the nickname for the Hindi language film industry, based in Mumbai, India). And now I can guess from where those movie
...more
Alex
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. Haggard was enormously popular in his time; he and Robert Louis Stevenson were the two dominant adventure writers

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 exhilaratingly evocative and creative (and creep
...more
Wanda
***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

King Solomon’s Mines is very much a product of its Victorian, colonial times. Don’t go into this book expecting anything else. Allan Quartermain is an unlikely protagonist, an elephant hunter, something that would get him publically shamed on the internet nowadays. This is very much an adventure tale, set in deepest, darkest Africa. White men have no doubt that they are at the very tippy-top of the social hierarchy and have no compunctions about expressin
...more
Jan-Maat
I got my copy of this book on holiday in Devon as a child, probably on a Wednesday afternoon. The bookshop was shut, but there was a shelf of books outside with sign asking you to put the money under the door if you wanted something and for twenty pence I had myself a copy.

It is a Vikings meet Zulus story, noble savages and fearless adventurers (view spoiler) crossed with the mythical wealth of King Solomon from the old testament with a hidden heir and a treasur
...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
W
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, adventure
Alan Quartermain is an African explorer and hunter.He is asked to accompany Sir Henry Curtis,a Dane whose brother,George Neville,has gone missing while looking for King Solomon's diamond mines Also with them is Captain Good.

The journey is not an easy one.They follow an ancient map and nearly die of thirst,as they go deep into the desert.

Surviving that ordeal,they arrive in the land of the cruel king Tawala and his advisor,Gagool.After a civil war and a series of adventures,Gagool leads them to K
...more
LeAnne: GeezerMom
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When reading and then reviewing a novel written in the 1880s, one has to sort of teleport back a century or so to be fair. Reading an artifact vs a contemporary work of historical fiction requires an entirely different barometer.

In many instances, the reader has to put aside the shock of sexism and xenophobia in order to jump into the tale. Occasionally, the old styled language and pace is painful. I remember once being iced in at the tiny Tupelo, Mississippi airport for seven hours. There was
...more
Bryan Alkire
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Ok novel. It was published in 1885 so the attitudes of the time have to be considered if you read this book. The idea is interesting, and plausible at the time as Europeans were just beginning to explore the interior of Africa. It’s hard to imagine now in a time of map software and satellites and the like. The world building is superb and the descriptions of the journey and the scenic and people are great. The rest of the novel is less so. The dialogue is painful to read, even allowing for the t ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Corey
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
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
Markus
King Solomon’s Mines
By H. Rider Haggard (1856 – 1925)

Rider Haggard was an English writer gaining fame with this adventure novel published in 1885.

It is one of the classic adventure novels of the nineteenth century which many readers know
Like ‘Robinson Crusoe’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Lord Jim’, ‘Moby Dick’ and others.

King Solomon’s Mines is a novel based on writings about the legendary wealthy and wise King Solomon in the Old Testament of the Bible.

It’s originality of the four adventurers travellin
...more
Issicratea
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1800-1900, reviewed
I was inspired to reread Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines by noticing that it existed in an Oxford World’s Classics edition, edited by Roger Luckhurst, whose excellent edition of The Portrait of a Lady for the same series I had just finished. The temptation to see what contemporary literary criticism would make of this magnificent piece of hokum, which I last read when I was about eleven, was just too great.

Literally all that King Solomon’s Mines has in common with The Portrait of a Lady is
...more
Juho Pohjalainen
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
More than a full century older than I am, this classic adventure tale still mostly holds up. The search for the mines takes a band of well-fleshed-out protagonists through vividly-imagined wilderlands, facing wild beasts and terrible thirst, finding lost kingdoms, waging wars, all the good stuff. It's usually thrilling, often funny, and occasionally sad or scary. Its villains are some real bastards that you'll cheer when they finally go down. Its heroes all experience character growth and are th ...more
Checkman
The novel that started the "Lost World" genre. It's from this book that (eventually) Indiana Jones evolved not to mention all the other numerous fictional adventurers. The genre is mostly moribund in 2016 - a victim of the 21st century. But the books and movies are still out there and "King Solomon's Mines" was the one that started it.

Well what can one say about a novel from the late Victorian era? The writing, characterizations, plot devices and ideas are very different from what we expect fro
...more
Tim
This is one of those books that is rather difficult to recommend to modern readers. Our lead hero is an elephant hunter (frowned upon nowadays) and the book is more than a touch racist by modern standards. It could be legitimately argued that it was fair for its time (at least two of the natives are presented as considerably better people than our European protagonists and Quatermain also explains at one point that he doesn't use the N-word because he's met more gentlemen in Africa than England) ...more
gia
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
David Sarkies
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like adventure
Recommended to David by: Richard Chamberlain
Shelves: adventure
The original Indiana Jones
3 September 2013

I remember watching a movie based on this book starring Richard Chamberlain. I actually quite enjoyed the film, though one of the major differences that I discovered between the film and the book is the inclusion of a beautiful white female. I guess that is what one really has to expect from Hollywood, particularly since there have been a lot of Hollywood movies that have been based on books of old and they have thrown in a girl because, well, a Hollywo
...more
Yasiru
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Adrian
Somehow the review I just wrote has disappeared , serves me right for trying to do it on my phone, so take 2
I was surprised I had never read this book, as I'm sure it was on my parents book shelves as I was growing up, but having just finished it, it was all new to me.
Parts of the book held me enthralled as I lived through every twist and turn, whilst other parts were almost glossed over and the action was over before it had begun. That said the book was overall very enjoyable, and I shall cer
...more
Clif
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
The 19th century was full of excitement. Science was providing answers to ancient mysteries while European explorers were busy opening up the most remote areas of the planet to Western knowledge. There remained much to discover. Ruins such as those of the Maya had only been investigated by Europeans for a few decades prior to the publication of King Solomon's Mines in 1880, while David Livingstone had crossed Africa on foot only 24 years earlier. Encounters with native populations were particula ...more
Steve
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the late nineteenth century, Alan Quatermain is a big game hunter in Africa. He is approached by two men, Good, a sailor without a job, and Henry Curtis. Curtis is seeking his brother, who went searching for a treasure which Quatermain has a crude map to, and the three of them set out seeking the brother and the treasure. This entails crossing an expanse of desert considered impossible to cross, and then mountains, also impossible. They set out with three African servants, determined to find ...more
George (BuriedInBooks)
Wow this book was awesome!

King Solomon’s mines is a classic which has been on my to read list for a while and I finally got round to it. I have a physical copy as well as a copy on my kindle which made it easier for me.

Kings Solomon’s Mines was written by H. Rider Haggard and was first published in 1885.

The main protagonist of the book is Allan Quatermain. Allan is a hunter and adventurer who is employed by Sir Henry Curtis with John Good as Royal Navy Captain. They set out to find Henry’s
...more
S.Ach
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
If your favourite genre is "Action and Adventure", your all-time favourite book is Stevenson's "Treasure Island", you swear by "Indiana Jones" and "Temple Run" finds its icon in your mobile screen, this is THE book for you.
You will find everything that a good adventure story should have - a valiant group of people with strong moral and determination to indulge in all kinds of hunts - treasure, wild animals, witch (?), etc, ancient marauding tribal folks, tribal sacrifices, tribal attack, tribal
...more
Vicky Hunt
I am more accustomed to handle a pen than a rifle, so I 'shan't' resist polishing the sharp spear in this tale.
This 1885 Lost World tale of a treasure hunter on the 'Dark Continent' was the first in the genre, and a forerunner of such the likes of Indiana Jones, Laura Croft, and even Tarzan of the silent film era. It is well-loved and for many good reasons highly to be recommended.

"I am more accustomed to handle a rifle than a pen."

"A sharp spear," runs the Kukuana saying, "needs no polish";


I
...more
Richard
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a 3.5 star for me, the middle portion really dragged on quite a bit but besides that I really enjoyed this novel.
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Goodreads Librari...: wrong language introduction 2 10 Apr 22, 2020 05:50PM  
Solomon Mines - H. Rider Haggard 1 7 Jun 19, 2019 10:59PM  
Reading 1001: King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard 2 15 Sep 12, 2018 02:10AM  
IRP #4 Matt Lemanski 1 7 Jan 06, 2018 12:50AM  
AoM Essential Man...: King Solomon's Mines 2 17 Jul 22, 2017 06:41AM  
African Historica...: Literature and African History 15 11 Oct 29, 2016 03:08AM  
Colonialism and Racism in the Novel 4 97 May 18, 2015 02:06AM  

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Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE 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 So
...more

Other books in the series

Allan Quatermain (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Allan Quatermain (Allan Quatermain #2)
  • Maiwa's Revenge Or The War Of The Little Hand (Allan Quatermain #3)
  • Allan's Wife (Allan Quatermain #4)
  • Marie (Allan Quatermain #5)
  • Child of Storm (Allan Quatermain #6)
  • Allan and the Holy Flower (Allan Quatermain #7)
  • The Ivory Child (Allan Quatermain #8)
  • Finished (Allan Quatermain #9)
  • The Ancient Allan (Allan Quatermain #10)
  • She and Allan (Allan Quatermain #11)

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