Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Allan Quatermain

Have any of you ever seen the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? You haven't? Go see it, it's fun. Anyway...the main characters are all famous literary characters. Namely: Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, Rodney Skinner (The Invisible Man), Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and M (Moriarty). When I first saw it I was pretty proud of myself that I'd at least heard of and/or read most of the characters...except for Allan Quatermain. Never heard of him. Well the movie came out 9 years ago and I just finally got around to reading Allan Quatermain. I finished last night.

I was disappointed, mostly because Quatermain is a pretty boring character. There's a much more interesting Zulu warrior which I think would be more fitting the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Besides Quatermain (SPOILER ALERT) dies at the end! What's with that. He goes along telling his tale of adventures, which I did actually enjoy, Allan just wasn't that impressive during, and then he dies. Of course when I told Tyson all this he simply said something like this "of course he dies it's the last book". WHAT? It is? Huh? No one told me that. Why in the world would you name the very last book in the series after the title character. Isn't it more expected that the first book would be call that? Maybe it's just me. So I looked it up. Sure enough there are 15 Allan Quatermain stories! That doesn't include all the spin off books and comic books. Did everyone know this but me? And do you know what the first book, chronologically, is called? Marie. Yeah, I'll be reading that one next. Maybe it's in all the other books that Quatermain gets his "cool literary character" reputation. We'll see. Anyway, even though Quatermain wasn't that impressive action/adventure wise, I did enjoy the book. Ironically enough, though I enjoyed the adventure parts, my favorite part is actually a quote. Before Quatermain leaves to travel into the unknown parts of Africa he gives this advice to a young girl:

"Always try to be good, my dear, and to do what is right, rather than what happens to be pleasant, for in the end, whatever sneering people may say, what is good and what is happy are the same."

Good advice don't you think?

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