Recently found amongst some obscure papers of (surprisingly) H.P. Lovecraft, this new manuscript chronicles a complex and mysterious quest deep into the deserts of Ethiopia in 1872 accompanied by his man-servant Hans and a host of the nineteenth century's most prodigious luminaries-among them explorer and linguist Sir Richard Burton, astronomer Maria Mitchell, and volcanologist Axel Lindenbrock. In the midst of all the danger faced, close calls, magnificent landscapes, wry humor, stern and practical questioning, and even a lost city, Quatermain documents several thrilling incidents, including his finding, no less than the very essence of the meaning of life, which he then-as he frequently did-discounts as a wizard's trick! And, and of course, along the way, Quatermain crosses paths with-not one but two of the greatest detectives of his era!
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After a lengthy introduction that explains how the manuscript of the present tale came to light, the main narrative of Miller's curious pastiche details an expedition that H. Rider Haggard's great white hunter, Allan Quatermain, makes to Ethiopia in the 1870s. Accompanying him for a variety of political, anthropological and religious reasons are naturalist Thomas Huxley, explorer Richard Burton, Wilkie Collins's Sergeant Cuff and a young Sherlock Holmes (who's traveling under an alias). Holmes, alas, has little chance to show off his deductive skills, while the parallels with the last Indiana Jones film may be too close for some readers. Still, Miller can write well and may yet come up with a strong plot for a novel that blends classic fictional characters with true-life heroes. (Nov.)
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