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As Allan Quatermain's memoir of an east African quest unfolds, readers are swallowed by a maelstrom of ideas and adventures—relentlessly descending into a scholarly labyrinth of books within books, manuscripts within manuscripts, and tales with tales. Not since Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose has the spirit of Sherlock Holmes been pressed into such exotic service! From Ethiopia to Tibet, Sherlock Holmes encounters both the hideous and the divine and forever rips asunder the fragile veil that separates us from worlds unknown. With Holmes, Allan Quatermain leads a veritable host of the nineteenth century's luminaries—including Gunnery Sergeants Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnehan, explorer Sir Richard Burton, astronomer Maria Mitchell, and Police Detective Sergeant Cuff—into the bitter heart of Hell! Here you'll find danger, close calls, magnificent landscapes, wry humor, stern and practical questioning, two lost worlds, and Quatermain's stumbling upon no less than the very essence of the meaning of life—which he then discounts as a wizard's trick!
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