Customer Reviews


33 Reviews
5 star:
 (24)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking Debra Kerr you will be shocked.
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. He may be a little verbose but every word has a use. And as with...
Published on 3 Jun 2006 by bernie

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For people who hate literature
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...
Published on 24 Feb 2010 by Noel


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking Debra Kerr you will be shocked., 3 Jun 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. He may be a little verbose but every word has a use. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.

The story is told first person by Allan Quartermain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a 300 year old map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.

If you get a chance to also hear the recording, an added plus is narration by John Richmond; He brings the characters to life and adds to the mystique that this story has been passed down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good old fashioned adventure story, 19 Aug 2005
This is a good old fashioned adventure story that takes place in Africa. Yes the story is far fetched but once you get into it you just can't put it down. The descriptions of the exotic landscapes would have excited readers in the nineteenth century but I still feel that they make a modern reader, who will have either visited Africa or at least seen it on TV, feel in awe at the wild nature of the country.

If you are at all politically correct then you will not enjoy this book because of the descriptions of the African tribes and the fact that some of the characters hunt wild elephants. But if that doesn't bother you then you will find that the characters are wonderfully fun and lively, with "Alan Q" having several more books created about his adventures.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting book, must read , weird writing, 15 Jun 1999
By A Customer
I am eleven and I found this book an enjoyable read. It was written a long time ago and it was first published in 1885 or so I read. Therefore some of the language is hard for some people who might read it. It has many things that are now illegal. For example there are elephant hunts and killing of giraffes.The ending is a bit dramatic and a bit far fetched but still a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For people who hate literature, 24 Feb 2010
By 
Noel - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: King Solomon's Mines (Paperback)
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 animals, patronise and insult black people, before leaving with a few pocketfuls of giant diamonds back to Blighty. What ho!

Sounds a bit of a lark, what? It's not. First off, Haggard has his hero Quatermain say in the first chapter that they went to Africa, did this, did that, and made it back home with the treasure. Oh great, now I'm really on the edge of my seat. Now when Quatermain and chums are in danger and the chapter ends on a "cliffhanger" (by Victorian standards) I'll know that they make it out because this was explained in the first chapter!

Also, Haggard has the annoying habit of describing every single meaningless detail in a scene. So when they cross the desert, you have endless descriptions of wind, and how thirsty everyone is, and how if they don't make it they'll die and the characters start whinging and don't stop and will they make it..? Look an oasis, we're saved! No tension whatsoever anyway, we all know they make it BECAUSE THEY SAY SO AT THE START! All this needless exposition and attempts at drama are useless if we know the characters make it.

The most offending attempt at literature in this amazingly labelled "classic" is the way Haggard deals with Africans. They're all "noble savages" who for some reason speak like medieval dukes. "Thou hast", "ye", "sayest not", "hark", etc all make regular appearances in their speech but does he honestly think Africans speak like that?! The Englishmen patronise the Africans like pets and Haggard has the Africans run about like gormless children, either behaving "nobly" ie. standing around bored saying nothing, or like coked up teens with a hormone imbalance, ie. screaming, tearing hair, killing people randomly. No attempt at characterisation is made and none of the characters seem at all real. In fact they all sound remarkably the same, like a middle class educated Englishman.

This is the most tedious novel I've ever read, it actually made me angry while I was reading. Haggard can't seem to accept the reader has the capacity to fill in the gaps. For example, rather than say "they went to the ridge and sat down", he has to say "they gathered up their things (items are listed and digressed), and after several parting words (list numerous mundane words), hastened up the path (description of path and weather), while we wondered about (list everything thats happened thus far) and upon reaching the ridge (list various mundane observations the characters have made while walking) we sat down and gazed at the view (list needless description of mountain range)." It's EXHAUSTING. I hurled the book away from me every time I sat it down (about every 3 chapters) and am amazed at my tolerance for poor writing.

How is this a classic? It's not at all on the level of "Great Expectations" or "The Picture of Dorian Gray" or numerous other examples. There's no profundity, no great story, no great writing. Haggard is a very minor writer and his contribution to literature is very small, if at all recognisable. I am amazed this is listed as a classic when it is the 1880s version of a Lee Child novel. Give this a wide book berth, it's appalling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who needs movies when there are books like this?!, 5 May 2012
By 
In a nutshell, this is a proper old-fashioned adventure yarn. It is narrated by the now-iconic Allan Quatermain, an English hunter making his living shooting game in South Africa. He is on a boat returning to his home in Durban when he meets Sir Henry Curtis and his friend, naval officer Captain John Good. Sir Henry is attempting to find his brother, last seen heading out on a suicidal mission across the desert in search of King Solomon's legendary diamond mines. He enlists Quatermain's (rather reluctant) help and the three set out for the mountains, aided by a crudely-drawn map left to Quatermain by the last fool to attempt the journey.

What follows is a real Indiana Jones story that had me completely absorbed from start to finish. First the desert must be navigated, then there are mountains to cross, only for the exhausted trio to find themselves embroiled in a bitter tribal war on the other side. It could have been so dull, but Quatermain's plentiful dry humour and beautiful flights of description proved irresistable. The excitement and suspense is genuinely riveting - there are a couple of deliciously gruesome moments that sent me mentally diving behind my sofa cushion - and when I reached the last page I felt utterly bereft. Having been so completely immersed in the trio's African exploits, I wasn't quite sure what I could read next that could POSSIBLY compare (always the sign of a great book!).

The characters are exquisite creations, each and every one of them. Sir Henry, the great fair Viking with his deep integrity and ferocious strength as a warrior. Captain Good, with his eye glass, impressive swearing abilities (never rendered here, by the way!) and determination to dress like a gentleman despite the harsh conditions. Even foul old Gagool, the ancient and evil Kukuana witch doctress, was so brilliantly drawn that I felt a wave of revulsion every time she graced the page with her presence. The biggest thing I'll take away from the book, the element that will stick with me the most, is the incredible set-piece imagery, some of which wouldn't seem out of place in a Lord of the Rings film. I think certain 'snapshots' from the book are forever imprinted on my memory, they're so unforgettable. The great twin mountain peaks at sunrise. A wounded bull elephant charging through the trees. Key moments from the tribal war. The moment when the trio first enter the Kukuana Place of Death (that was perhaps the most memorable scene of all for me). I mean... wow. I'm actually glad that no decent film adaptation of the book has ever been made, because now I'm not tempted to watch it. It'd take a damn fine movie to match up to the pictures in my mind! Perhaps I should write to Peter Jackson...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I speak of Africa and golden joys...", 6 Aug 2013
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
When Sir Henry Curtis' brother George goes missing in Africa, Sir Henry and his friend, Captain Good, set out to find him. While they are en route to Natal, they meet up with Allan Quatermain, a local elephant hunter and adventurer, who is able to tell them that George had started out on a quest to find the fabled diamond mines of King Solomon. When Sir Henry asks if Quatermain believes in the existence of the mines, Quatermain replies that he had never paid too much heed to the legend until, some time earlier, he came into possession of a rough map showing the way there, written in blood by a man now long dead. Sir Henry begs Quatermain to go with them to seek for the mines, in the hopes of finding his brother there; and, in return for a promise of a share in any treasure they find, Quatermain agrees. While Quatermain gets together supplies and a team of bearers for the journey, he is approached by Umbopa, a native who doesn't look or act like the usual bearer but is very keen to join the expedition. And so they set off to cross the burning desert to seek their fortune in the mountains beyond...

This is a great adventure story - the greatest I've ever read and truly deserving of the term 'classic'. The story is told by Allan Quatermain in the first person. He sees Sir Henry as the hero of the story, but the reader knows that Quatermain himself is the true hero. The grizzled old hunter, with his knowledge of the ways of the natives, with his hunting skills and, above all, with the bravery which he hides beneath a cloak of modesty, is the heart of the book. But Sir Henry is a fine character too, tall, strong, handsome, intelligent - everything an Englishman of the Empire should be. Captain Good is a brave and loyal friend, but with eccentricities aplenty, allowing Rider Haggard to introduce some humour (and the tiniest touch of romance) into the story. And the mysterious Umbopa - aah! He represents all of that part of Africa we don't understand - again courageous and with a strength that becomes vital as the adventurers struggle to survive, but a man who can be frightening and whose loyalty must be earned, not bought - a man with a secret that is only slowly revealed.

The tortured journey across the desert where the only hope for survival rests on finding the waterhole marked on the ancient map; the journey over the mountains where cold and hunger take the travellers to the edge of endurance; the Kingdom of the Kukuanas, ruled over by the cruel King Twala and about to be plunged into a civil war where all must take a side - the pace never lets up as our heroes face danger after thrilling danger from both nature and man. And from woman too - I defy anyone who has read this book to forget the ancient, evil, cackling `wise woman', Gagool of the Kukuanas - the stuff of nightmares and midnight terrors. Or to forget the horrors of the caves...

Written in 1885, King Solomon's Mines was the first English adventure story to be set in Africa, at a time when much of the continent was still `undiscovered'. A small word of warning that obviously some attitudes to race in the book are reflective of the time - however, on the whole, Rider Haggard is respectful and even admiring of the 'natives' and their cultures. I first read this (many times) as a child and teenager and, on re-reading recently, enjoyed it just as much as an adult. If you've never read it, what a treat you have in store...I envy you!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking Debra Kerr you will be shocked, 1 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. He may be a little verbose but every word has a use. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.

The story is told first person by Allan Quartermain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a 300 year old map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.

If you get a chance also hear the recording, an added plus is narration by John Richmond; He brings the characters to life and adds to the mystique that this story has been passed down.

If you cannot find a copy of the John Richmond, recording you can use the Kindle 2 text-to speak. It is not as smooth but it is functional.

King Solomon's Mines Starring: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an adventure, 18 Dec 2012
By 
jonnyinter (dudley west midlands uk) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read this book when I was at school, I have just re-read it, and enjoyed it just as much now as I did then. a very good read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking Debra Kerr you will be shocked., 27 April 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.

The story is told first person by Allan Quartermain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.

King Solomon's Mines Starring: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking Debra Kerr you will be shocked., 17 Jan 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: King Solomon's Mines (Hardcover)
I grew up on the movie so it was quit a shocker to read the book. As stated in the beginning there are no petticoated women in this book. It is a men's adventure written by a man for men. You can not miss the hand of H. Rider Haggard as he has a unique sense of humor that pops up at the strangest times. He may be a little verbose but every word has a use. And as with written stories this one is much more intricate than the movie adaptations. You will find many assumptions of the time such as any complex construction must have been built by white people and natives on their own may turn savage.

The story is told first person by Allan Quartermain. Nevil is off to make his fortune by finding King Solomon's lost diamond mines. Allan sends him a 300 year old map to help. This is the last anyone heard from Nevil. Turns out that Nevil is really the estranged brother of Henry Curtis. Sir Henry Curtis now wants to make amends and he with his friend Captain John Good, bribe Allan Quartermain to take them across an endless desert and trough impassible mountains to an adventure that will hold you to the very end. Along with them is their self imposed helper Umbopa who carries a secret of his own.

If you get a chance to also hear the recording, an added plus is narration by John Richmond; He brings the characters to life and adds to the mystique that this story has been passed down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa5044ae0)

This product

King Solomon's Mines
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (Paperback - 26 July 2007)
Used & New from: 1.09
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews