Wednesday, May 26, 2010

King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard - Book Review #24

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
King Solomon's Mines
by Henry Rider Haggard

Adventure, discovery, immortality and terror--these are the themes of King Solomon's Mines. Three men set out on a journey into the heart of Africa to search for a lost friend. They stumble upon an unknown country, cut off from civilization, and learn of a diamond mine, from which no one has returned...

King Solomon's Mines is a wonderful Victorian adventure. I don’t know why I didn’t read this book when I was a child. I remember checking it out from the library. I even remember that worn off paperback with yellowish cover. I missed a lot by not reading it then, because it is a story that, in my opinion, every child would enjoy. However, it is only now I finally read it and I loved it.

This story had everything the classic adventure should have – friendship and helping hand, constant possibility of brutal death, long and dangerous journey, couple of situations that seemed at first like don’t have a way out, courageous characters with brave and open hearts, unknown and interesting culture with lots of traditions and superstitions, evil witch and of cause, unbelievable, never seen (not even in dreams), never heard of treasures.

The only part that I didn’t like as much as I love the whole book was the war (or revolution) part. It seemed dreary to me. It was described too detailedly and it felt like story was barely moving.

I will not comment on opinions about this book being racist and imperialist, because it seems pointless to me – I think that this book is just a child of its time. I respect other people’s opinions, but it doesn’t mean that I have to support them.

I would recommend this book to any child and to all adults who love Tarzan books or Indiana Jones movies. You are off to an amazing adventure of your life throughout mountains and snow, deserts and baking sun of unforgettable Africa for a mind-blowing prize.


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