Allan Quatermain is one of author H. Rider Haggard's most famous characters. He was not only the valorous subject of 18 novels and stories by Haggard in his Lost World genre, but also served as the inspiration for Indiana Jones. In Allan Quatermain, the book that concludes the hero's adventures, acclaimed actor Bill Homewood takes us deep into an African landscape unknown to European civilization. His performance is truly transporting, embedding listeners in the novel's action as well as in its emotional heart. (Quatermain goes on this particular adventure to assuage his grief upon losing his young son.) Homewood has won numerous industry awards for his audiobook narration, including a 2012 Earphones Award.
We have met the intrepid hunter-tracker Allan Quatermain before, in H. Rider Haggard’s marvelous King Solomon’s Mines. This time, grieving from the tragic loss of his son, Quatermain longs to return to his beloved Africa. He sets out in search of a lost white tribe, the Zu-Vendis, ruled by two beautiful sister Queens. Once again, Quatermain’s companions are the indefatigable Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and the magnificent Zulu warrior Umslopogaas. The journey is incredibly dangerous, and thrillingly told.
After a fantastic underground journey by canoe, our heroes are embroiled in a bloody civil war when both queens fall in love with the irresistibly handsome Curtis.
Public Domain (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks
It made feel as if I might be proud to be part of the British Empire
Quartermain of course because he held to the repressed ideals of the time.
Rescuing the Missionaries daughter from the Masai
A man of the Empire
I could not help visualising a scene in the office of Haggard's publisher where the publisher is saying
"Can't you do King Solomon's Mines 2 - The Return or something like that. That I can sell."
"All the same old stereotypes?" asks Haggard
"Of course. Oh - do you think you can fit a cowardly and stupid Frenchman in there as well. Everybody likes a cowardly Frenchman. Oooh Ooooh - I know - make him a chef"
"Not a problem" says Haggard as he gets up to leave.
And that's what he did. Same old stiff upper lip nationalism. Same set piece action scenes. Same over elaborate pointless descriptions with bizzare irrelevant details which go on and on and on.
Narration carefully chosen to be as pompous as the writing. And I usually like this stuff!!!!
"Still a cracking listen and read!"
I first read this about 50 years ago and I found it ticked all the boxes for adventure and excitement, now some of Haggard's views might make readers cringe with its non-PC, but what a great old fashioned adventure.
King Soloman's Mines or any books by Raphael Sabatini. Slightly old fashioned but such adventure. The reader gives many of the characters forboding menace and belief. Certainly not a character to cross!
The battle scene when the Masai kidnapped the missionary's daughter. The reader gives Umslopogas the zulu such menace and confidence in victory. I loved the comment when on consideration he told Quatermein "I kill but do not murder. I kill in a fair fight, face to face!"
I found Allan Quatermain very compelling and excellent company in the car and on some long rambling dog walks.
Look for many of the unintended humourous comments in the narration.
"Bit of a blood bath"
Not for the faint hearted or very young, as there are some quite graphic descriptions of animals being hunted or dying, and plenty of war. A good old fashioned romping adventure however, but you must remember it was written in a time when the Zulu etc were 'savages' to the English.
Narrator is very good, even managed to add the clicking noises to the Zulu words. I would like to see how they were written. And his voices for different characters and accents were different and believable. If you know and love this book already, this is a good version, if you've never read the story, check it will be your sort of read before buying!
I liked it very much, but there were some passages which seemed to drag, such as lengthy descriptions of the country, its peoples, the mode of government, dress etc. would have found this more relevant if describing a place that actually exists rather than made up!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.