King Solomon's Mines, by H Rider Haggard

Rip-roaring "Raiders of the Lost Ark" type lost-world adventure story. Well, at least that's what I expected and it sort of delivered.

I'd expected that the book would be completely taken up with a series of adventures as the gang of treasure hunters crossed deserts, jungles, mountains and caves to find the eponymous mines. There was some of that, but about a third of the way through, after just about managing to survive a journey across a desert, and nearly dying of cold as they climbed a mountain, they encountered a remote tribe, the Kukuana, and got involved with what turned into a civil war.

They stayed with the tribe for most of the rest of the book, and after the eventual battle, were taken by the new King to the site of Solomon's mines. Where some dastardly double-crossing went on, which was a bit suspenseful.

It was quite good although maybe a bit dated - perhaps when it came out this was a revolutionary storyline but it's been done a lot since and so perhaps it wasn't exciting enough for someone in the 21st century.

One thing that did strike me was how many animals got killed: the main protagonist and narrator is an elephant hunter by trade, and thinks nothing of knocking off a couple of giraffes for lunch. The slaughter all seemed very casual.

Completed : 26-November-2016 (audiobook)

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