Just as Howard Carter unveils the tomb of Tutankhamun, making the most dazzling find in the history of archaeology, Oxford-educat ...more
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The old “unreliable narrator” gambit. Taking the book as a whole, it’s easy to dismiss this book as a failed attempt at pulling off the conceit. As I was reading, it held together until about the final quarter of the book.
This is a funny, engaging book whose parts are better than the finished product and ultimately a engaging commentary on immortality and madness.
This is one of those books that gets me wondering how on earth ...more
An interesting scenario told in a brilliant format, with a disappointing ending. The dust jacket (as shown here on Goodreads), boasts of an unpredictable ending, but I (not the brightest or readers) saw it coming for at least half the book.
This is a story of two men. The first is an Australian detective hired to find the lost, bastard, child of an English philanderer. The second is the Egyptologist, Ralph M. Trilipush, who is leaving his professorship at Harvard to find t ...more
"The Egyptologist" is nothing like Phillips's bestselling debut, "Prague" (2002), and yet it's full of all the dazzling talent he showed there. Presented as a collect ...more
Ralph Trilipush, the title character of Arthur Phillips' novel ''The Egyptologist,'' is a bit like that. He doesn't get bonked with any anvils, but he has the Coyote's single-minded self-destructiveness, working himself deeper into a mess when the wiser course would be to cut and run.
The story is mostly in the form of Ralph's journal, which he is specifically writing to document his findings to be published as a book. He also adds in loving messages to his fianc ...more
And what a slog it was. Told exclusively through letters w ...more
First off -- it's about Egypt (I know, shocking, right?). If you couldn't care less about Egypt, give this one a pass.
The book itself is extremely well-crafted. Meticulously so. This is a positive and a negative; on the positive side, it's engaging and easily appreciated. On the negative, it's a little too well-crafted for a book that is, in essence, simply letters ...more
First, structure. The narrative is divided between two main characters with occasional additions from others. This alone shows literary skill; the book is told in several different and distinct voices.
Second, the chronology has been gone at with an egg whisk. Back and forth we go until things finally start to line up. Sort of.
'Sort of' because absolutely each and every narrator and character is unreliable. Some of what they say is true and some of w ...more
If I hadn't known better, I'd absolutely believe that an aged Australian with a working-class chip on his shoulder, a troubled young American woman and others actually did exist, and that I actually read their letters. This ability to contort his voice so well by mixing up the vocabulary & the rhythms of his characters' speech so smoothly is part of this man's genius.
Another part of this genius ...more
I suspect some of the negative reviews are the result of readers who didn't stick with it, readers who didn't quite realize what was going on, or readers who thought Phillips was trying too hard to be clever.
The book has multiple unreliable narrators who are constantly contradicting each other and sending letters across continents. In an interview, the author said one ...more
Don't trust any of the half-dozen voices in Phillip's second novel, a lighter but somehow deeper, more macabre work than his previous look at the Zeitgeist in 1990s Budapest. Phillips mixes fact and fiction to recreate a faux 1920s Egypt full of devious scenes, smart banter, and narrative tricks, particularly when examining hieroglyphics. Different voices and convoluted plots create a surprisingly deep novel about class, illusion, and immortality. Only the narration and ending raise questions; T...more
Stephen King said it all. Definitely worth the read. Hard to figure out what's the truth, which makes reading this kind of irritating and fun at the same time. Could have done without so much detail in the middle - could have cut o ...more
The [ahem] rampant sexuality may be too much for some, but the innuendo is witty. How do I put this? A sense of the ridiculous will be indispensable.
The book is not just about Egyptology or Egyptologists, but also about the allure of ancient Egypt for all d ...more
I don't even know how to begin with my thoughts on this book. So I'll start with the basics. Would I recommend this book? Yes. Th ...more
The author of the Admonitions may have been a king, he may have been posing as a king, he may merely have been imagining a king. Hero, fraud, or artist? I have found one'...more
Iz naslova i opisa sadržaja očekivala sam nešto a la Indiana Jones, nekakvu pustolovnu potragu za blagom smještenu u Egipat i prepunu piramida, grobnica i mumija. Ova se ...more
I was torn between giving this 2 or 3 stars but when undecided I err on the positive ...more
For once, it was fun to read a mystery in which the author is actual ...more