In Search of King Solomon's Mines

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9781559707244: In Search of King Solomon's Mines

For more than a century Henry Rider Haggard's novel King Solomon's Mines has inspired generations of young men to set forth in search of adventure. But long before Rider Haggard's classic, explorers, theologians and scientists scoured the known world for the source of King Solomon's astonishing wealth. Taking his leads from a mixture of texts including The Septuagint, the earliest known form of the Bible, as well as using geological, geographical and folkloric sources, Tahir Shah sets out in search for Solomon's gold mines. For him the obvious place to look is Ethiopia, in the horn of Africa. On the ensuing journey Shah discovers a massive illegal gold mine, itself like something out of the Old Testament, with thousands of men, women and children digging with their hands. But the hardest leg of the journey is to the 'cursed mountain' of Tullu Wallel where legend says there lies an ancient shaft, once the entrance to Solomon's mines.

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About the Author:

Tahir Shah was born into a respected Afghan family and educated in England. He has lived in Japan, India and the United States and East Africa, and his books include 'Sorcerer's Apprentice', 'Trail of Feathers' and 'Beyond the Devil's Teeth'. He lives in London with his wife and young daughter.

From Publishers Weekly:

Travel writer Shah (Sorcerer's Apprentice; Trail of Feathers) paid 600 shekels in a Jerusalem souk for a dubious map of the route to King Solomon's mines; he admits, "I have an insatiable appetite for questionable souvenirs." The London-based writer is also fond of danger: "As soon as there's a bomb, an earthquake, a tidal wave or a riot, I call the travel agent and book cut-price seats." But the ultimate thrill is a challenging mission, and this time, it's finding the biblical land of Ophir, legendary source of the gold for King Solomon's Temple and perhaps of the Queen of Sheba's riches as well. History and geography point to Ethiopia. In Addis Ababa, Shah hires a vocally Christian taxi driver who becomes his guide, and the two set out on the quest. They wander rural Ethiopia, sleeping in brothels, slipping into illegal mines, walking through deserts in camel-led caravans and finally, riding mules to the alleged source of Solomon's gold. Along the way, Shah learns loads of useful things: prostitutes require customers to wash themselves with Coca Cola to avoid AIDS; the hyena-man of Harar feeds the hyenas nightly to keep them from carrying off the village children; gold miners fear disembowelment by thieves trying to extract the nuggets they've swallowed on the job. Does Shah get the gold in the end? Well... he's more Don Quixote than Indiana Jones. Shah is so entertaining, most readers won't realize that while walking on the wild side, they've also just done a quick course in Ethiopian history. 16 pages of b&w photos, one map.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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