Allan Quatermain

AllanQuatermainSuggested by Brad Nelson • A great addition to the first book, “King Solomon’s Mines.” This is the story of Allan Quatermain’s last adventure. He, Sir Henry Curtis, and Commander John Good go in search of a lost city in Africa. Also read Maiwa’s Revenge for another fine Quatermain adventure.
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8 Responses to Allan Quatermain

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Finished this book last night. While a very good read, it is not as good as “King Solomon’s Mines”. The tale is less plausible and Haggard spends too much time on description which can slow down the pace of the story.

    Nevertheless, the characters are still interesting and likable, especially the old Zulu warrior chief, Umslopogaas. For a novel written in 1885, the writing style is surprisingly modern.

    I personally found the “Introduction” written by “Quartermain” regarding the death of his son and the first few pages thereafter, which dealt with the human condition, to be the most touching. The description of the pain and despair he felt due to his son’s death are so moving that I believe the real author must have lost someone very close to his heart. The writing was absolutely believable, which is a sign of great talent or feeling, perhaps both.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read in which to lose one’s self for a few hours.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I finished Heu-heu last night. Another light and engaging tale of Allan Quatermain and his little yellow assistant, Hans, probing the mysteries of Africa.

    There are only two more in the Quatermain series to go, The Treasure of the Lake (1924) and Allan and the Ice-gods. I provide the links because I found a difficult time finding these last two online.

    Any criticism about the Quatermain stories being pretty much the same story repeated over and over are valid. And yet that’s half the fun. The repartee between Allan and Hans is ongoing and much the same argument but quite funny at times. Once in a while, like Baldrick of Blackadder fame, Hans has a cunning plan. Sometimes Allan goes with his plans when he has no better idea.

    Hans is more loyal than a man’s dog, and that is often how Allan affectionately thinks of him. Hans, of his own free will (there certainly is little money to be made in their ventures), sticks to the side of Quatermain, often giving the excuse that he is keeping a promise to Allan’s reverend father, the Predikant (a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa), who was a Christian missionary in Africa.

    In this story they are sent by the wizard, Zikali, to retrieve a branch from a rare tree that aids in his magic. The chivalrous side of Quatermain is engaged because a man from a strange lands comes seeking aid to save his woman from being sacrificed to the god, Heu-heu. There is a prophesy foretold in his land of a great white hunter who will free them from this monster god.

    Or something like that. The plot isn’t that different from several of the other stories. But it still works as a light read.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Your point about the difficulty of finding the later books reminds me: Do you know where one can find Baroness Orczy’s later Scarlet Pimpernel books? I can only find the first in bookstores. (I suspect that, as with Allan Quatermain, one would find the stories similar — but still fun for all that.)

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I have read almost all the Quartermain books as well.

      Since I like Haggard, I have also started reading his other books. Just finished “The Ghost Kings”. A good book, but less action than some of the Quartermain books. I find Haggard was an excellent wordsmith and could describe spiritual experiences like few writers. He certainly had a good imagination which could connect with his readers.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Here’s a list of books by H. Rider Haggard available for free download at Gutenberg.org.

        I’ll have to go back through my emails, but I believe you said you read a couple H. Rider Haggard non-Quatermain novels that you thought were good. I know that one featured a hunter who was traveling to a remote city full of tall towers situated on a large populated island. The chief of this island-city was famous for branding people (or for his brands…I forget) and owned several of the towers. His subjects were unhappy with the men of the royal court and wanted them replaced, even though the chief himself was a tyrant. But there was a blond beast from without threatening this kingdom which complicated things.

        Or something like that. My memory is a little vague.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          In addition to the Quartermain stories I have read the following.

          1. Dr. Therne. About the anti-vaccination movement in nineteenth-century England. The novel is something of a polemic for vaccinations at a time many were against them. It is not a necessary read.

          2. Red Eve. Takes place in 14th century Europe. About Red Eve her love and one who tries to force her to marry him. The novel takes place across Europe. This was worth reading.

          3. The Virgin of the Sun. Starts in 14th century England and ends up in the Andes of the Incas. I believe this is the book you referred to. It is worth reading.

          4. Black Heart and White Heart. Another South African tale, but without Quartermain. Worth reading.

          And will continue later.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I’m torn between starting some non-Quatermain Haggard and reading some Pimpernel. But I may indeed start “The Virgin of he Sun” after I finish “The Treasure of the Lake.”

            I still have to finish Huntingtower by John Buchan, a book that you recommended. I’m 50.2% into it. It took me a long time to read “Heu-Heu” even though I was generally enjoying it. That’s just the way things go.

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