When the World Shook

Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot

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Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 119,995 / 326 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.3
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 2,247
mnybks.net#: 3139
Origin: gutenberg.org

A fantastic tale of spirit travel, reincarnation, mystical powers, teleportation, subterranean city... and the elixir of life!

Show Excerpt

published in answer to some criticisms, wherein I spoke my mind with an insane freedom and biting sarcasm. Indeed I was even mad enough to quote names and to give the example of the very powerful journal which at first carped at my work and then gushed over it when it became the fashion. All of this made me many bitter enemies, as I found out when my next book appeared.

It was torn to shreds, it was reviled as subversive of morality and religion, good arrows in those days. It was called puerile, half-educated stuff--I half-educated! More, an utterly false charge of plagiarism was cooked up against me and so well and venomously run that vast numbers of people concluded that I was a thief of the lowest order. Lastly, my father, from whom the secret could no longer be kept, sternly disapproved of both these books which I admit were written from a very radical and somewhat anti-church point of view. The result was our first quarrel and before it was made up, he died suddenly.

Now again fastidiousnes


Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

Plot bullets

  • A man hears the words from his dying wife, that they will meet again, and he should go where he is felt called.

  • To relieve his mind, he and two friends travel the Pacific.

  • They are wrecked on an island.

  • But, it is not the natives that they learn to fear most. After all mere savages could not shake the world.

  • Neither is the shaking done by a volcano that erupts.

  • But there is a sleeping danger and perhaps a lost love.

An adventure story along the lines of several that part two loves, only
to be reunited in a future life, or perhaps in yet another of a series of lives. Haggard himself pursued this theme in 'She', although with a twist of personalities.'


I first read this book 35 years ago and enjoyed it as a teenager. This book starts off rather slow as the main characters are being introduced and the basis of the plot is developed. However, as the journey begins so does the adventure.

The book offers excitement and humor throughout the book. It does, in my opinion, stall for two or three chapters as the characters ponder over the nature of man, life after death, reincarnation, and other things of a spiritual nature. At times I was thinking the author was struggling with his own spirituality as he was forcing this dialog onto the characters.

I gave the book a lower rating because the title has very little to do with what I felt the book was really about. Looking for page turning adventure, you get philosophy and questions about life.

For those who like this sort of thing, you will find the book well written and one that will hold your attention.

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