For those of you, like me, who are eagerly anticipating the return of Indiana Jones to the theatre, King Solomon's Mines is your book! Hero Allan Quartermain is the original Indy, minus the snake phobia and whip. Not so much that Quartermaine is equally as cool as Indiana Jones (after all, that's not possible), but you can see where the idea came from. Much like you can see the seed of the idea for Captain Jack Sparrow in Long John Silver from Treasure Island.
The story begins when renowned safari hunter Allan Quartermain agrees to help Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good search for King Solomon’s legendary cache of diamonds. Eager to find out what is true, what is myth, and what is really buried in the darkness of the mines, the tireless adventurers delve into the Sahara’s treacherous Veil of Sand, where they stumble upon a mysterious lost tribe of African warriors. Finding themselves in deadly peril from that country’s cruel king and the evil sorceress who conspires behind his throne, the explorers escape, but what they seek could be the most savage trap of all—the forbidden, impenetrable, and spectacular King Solomon’s Mines.
I had a blast with this book! It was pure escapism and outrageous fun. Allan Quartermain is the main event, but I became quite fond of his companions in this adventure. And the scenes of the lost tribe standing in awe and worship of Captain Good's white legs when they come across him nearly undressed and half shaved are more than worth the price of admission.
If you haven't had enough when you're done with this one, there is a whole series of books about Allan Quartermain, most of which can be read for free at Project Gutenberg. Here is the list:
King Solomon's Mines (1885)
Allan Quatermain (1887)
Allan's Wife (1887)
Maiwa's Revenge: or, The War of the Little Hand (1888)
Child of Storm (1913)
The Holy Flower (1915)
The Ivory Child (1916)
The Ancient Allan (1920)
She and Allan (1920)
Heu-heu: or The Monster (1924)
The Treasure of the Lake (1926)
Allan and the Ice-gods (1927)
Hunter Quatermain's Story: The Uncollected Adventures of Allan Quatermain
Happy Reading, Everyone!
Heather at "Age 30 - A Year of Books"