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Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  216 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz reaches back millennia to his homeland’s majestic past in this enchanting collection of early tales that brings the world of ancient Egypt face to face with our own times.

From the Predynastic Period, where a cabal of entrenched rulers banish virtue in jealous defense of their status, to the Fifth Dynasty, where a Pharaoh returns from an extend
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 10th 2004 by Anchor (first published October 1st 2002)
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I wanted to start reading this important writer with an early collection.

I wondered how good he was as young writer, what he did with ancient Egyptian history. Of the 5 short stories only the conventional supernatural story "The Mummy Awakens" was somewhat weak. The other stories like "Evil Adored" was very smart, social critique and strong retelling of how life was then.
Robert Knowles
Apr 28, 2011 Robert Knowles rated it liked it
These short stories offer brief glimpses of their author's emerging talent, but, when these were written, Mahfouz was not yet at his best. While the tales are not without moral value--they function well as modern fables--there are moments when they feel flat. This is not the first book I would recommend to readers interested in Mahfouz. The edition is not well edited: there are a few grammatical errors and typos.
Amir Seyab
A wonderful story by Naguib Mahfouz
Oct 15, 2014 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure why I decided to read this book. I’ve never been particularly interested in Egyptian history or its culture. But the book was thin and Naguib Mahfouz had won the Nobel Prize so I thought this might give me a taste of his writing without committing myself to a long novel. So I expected to be disappointed and that was pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy because I was. What didn’t help is the folkloric nature of the stories. I’ve never been a fan of fables and recently stopped readi ...more
Ahmed Rashwan
Oct 25, 2016 Ahmed Rashwan rated it really liked it
It would've taken a lot of effort from Naguib Mahfouz's side to stop me from giving a short story collection set in Ancient Egypt a 4/5 rating! These stories were so deliciously good I can hardly believe it! It is not hard to understand why Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arab to be awarded the Nobel prize in literature. He so eloquently blends his brilliantly imaginative fiction with our magnificent historic times!

Naguib Mahfouz is a literary master, sowing our modern day plights into the cloth of
Mark Patton
May 14, 2014 Mark Patton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable collection of five short stories by the Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author. One of the stories, "The Return of Sinuhe," is an adaptation of a genuinely ancient text, but three of the others could easily be taken for ancient tales, incorporating historical characters and written in a form that comes close to a fable (or, in the case of "Evil Adored," a parable. The exception is "The Mummy Awakens," which appropriates the Hollywood trope of a reanimated mummy and sets up a confrontat ...more
Vikki Marshall
Aug 16, 2013 Vikki Marshall rated it really liked it
Naguib Mahfouz takes us into ancient Egypt in this book of five stories. Although we are transported into an entirely unfamiliar world Mahfouz has a way of bringing differing worlds together. We meet a mysterious stranger who enters a village to teach virtue and justice, a powerful King with a lesson on forgiveness, a mummy who re-enters the modern world after his tomb is disturbed by a wealthy man, and the tale of two brothers who share a common interest but are separated by decades and false a ...more
Zuchra Pipin
May 09, 2016 Zuchra Pipin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
apa yang sekiranya akan terjadi andaikan kita bisa bertemu dengan orang yang telah menjadi simbol kejayaan masa lalu di masa sekarang? kalau di buku ini firaun-lah orangnya, bagaimana dengan masa kita, apakah ia sukarno, gajah mada, khalifah umar ibn abd al-aziz, charlemagne, beatles, apa yang akan dilakukan: barangkali kitalah yang akan mengajukan banyak pertanyaan. buku ini tidak memberi kesempatan itu; justru sejarahlah yang menanyai kita sekalinya ia dikenali oleh penggalinya.
Susan Jo Grassi
Jan 05, 2014 Susan Jo Grassi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I picked this book up but I certainly am glad I did. It contains 5 short stories dealing with Ancient Egypt. The stories are written like fables but are all extremely intriguing, especially the final one about death. I would definitely recommend this small book to anyone who wanted something light and very well written.
Mar 02, 2013 Hamza rated it liked it
Shelves: egypt, fiction
This book is disappointingly short, and contains only four short stories from the renowned Egyptian author. Because it doesn't delve too deeply into Ancient Egyptian society and has little to no material on modern Egypt, I didn't like it as much as I'd thought I would. Still, the stories are of course well-written and quite enjoyable for what they are.
Jan 09, 2016 Ariberna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De los cinco cuentos que hay, "El mal adorado", "el perdón del rey Userkaf" son buenos; "El regreso de Sinué" está aceptable.
"La momia se despierta", es el peor para mí, parece un relleno en el libro.
El último "una voz de otro mundo" que da título al libro, es una narración increíble y preocupante. Narración muy buena y descriptiva; y preocupante porque de ser verdad, es angustiosa.
Ian Galloway
Mar 26, 2008 Ian Galloway rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mmmm... A colection of short stories from Egypt, ancient and modern. Some with a moral message that is still valid today and then a wee bit of classic Mummy horror in one. Entertaining stuff from on of Egypts most prolific 20th century authors - I'll be looking for more
Jan 01, 2010 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gets extra points for being brief. It is a series of short tales each with a moral or lesson and an ancient Egyptian setting. This book reminded me of "The Alchemist," except the lessons are more interesting, not a cliche.
Nov 12, 2008 Sabra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all of yas
Recommended to Sabra by: a friend gave it to me years ago but i took me a while to open i
I loved this book. Its thought provoking and poetic with spiritual undertones. He won a Nobel prize in literature and i recommend it to anyone who likes beautiful stories of faith. It gave me a lot of creative inspiration.
Josip Serdarevic
Nov 01, 2015 Josip Serdarevic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even early in his career Mahfouz wrote beautifully. These gorgeous renderings of Egyptian life under the Pharaos are as mythical as the tales of their gods. Very different from his later works depicting the modern Egyptian world, but just as engrossing.
Oct 02, 2016 Ananya rated it it was ok
i only liked 'The Mummy Awakens' .
John Fredrickson
Jul 22, 2013 John Fredrickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Very easy to read book. This was a pleasure - the stories were innovative and fresh, and the style felt very clean.
Oct 16, 2008 Heather marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
b/c i'm a nerd for ancient egyptian symbolism. and in remberance of aunt s.
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Mar 09, 2017
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Naguib Mahfouz (Arabic author profile: نجيب محفوظ) was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He published over 50 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays over a 70-year career. Many of his works have been made into Egyptian and foreign films.
More about Naguib Mahfouz...

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