Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wanna bet?

Normalcy returned to our home for a few hours last night and it was sweet. We sat before a roaring fire, held hands and watched an old movie on the classics station. Sometimes it hardly matters what's on the screen; the important thing is the hand you're holding.

King Solomon's Mines, the 1950 version that won two Oscars, was playing. Have you seen the film? Read the book?

I've read King Solomon's Mines a few times and although the movie is good it doesn't hold a candle to the written story. Maybe that's because this is one of my favorite books for more than just the story itself. I love it for the story behind the story, too.

H. Rider Haggard wrote King Solomon's Mines in early 1885, the result of a wager he made with his brother. He thought he could write a decent tale, one at least half as good as Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. His brother? He told him to pony up, put his money where his mouth was and put pen to paper. So H. Rider Haggard did just that. King Solomon's Mines was the result and although it wasn't published right away, it remains one of the most significant adventure novels of the time.

Don't you just love it? Sibling rivalry at its best, I think.

If you haven't read the book I urge you to sit down with it someday. Me? I love reading it on rainy afternoons or snow days, when an excursion into the African jungle is a welcome respite. Someday I'd love to go on safari, but until that time I'll quench my thirst for jungle adventure with this book. And, when it's playing on television, the film.

If you're interested, King Solomon's Mines is part of Project Guttenburg. You can download it for free here. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


Unknown said...

I haven't read this one in ages. Thanks for the reminder!

Hope your hubby is feeling better.

Dru said...


Hope hubby is doing better.

I haven't read King Solomon's Mines since high school. I've seen the movie as well.

Melissa McClone said...

I have not read it! I haven't seen the movie either. I'll add it to the list.

Glad you had a brief return to normalcy.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you're sitting holding hands again...that IS a good sign. I haven't read this book - yet! Maybe one day. Take it easy.
And safari...maybe in Oz?

Aussie Jude