Lara's Reviews > The Egyptologist

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
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's review
Dec 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: archaeology, read-in-2011, mystery, egypt, historical-fiction
Read from December 05 to 10, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I thought this was fantastic, though I can see why not everybody loves it--it definitely requires some patience and some reading between the lines. It's also entirely told through letters and cables and journal entires, so if that's not a style you enjoy, you'll probably have a difficult time with it. For me though, the journey through this story to the final conclusion was kind of riveting.

Part of what I loved about it may just be the setting--Egypt in the early 1920s, right as Howard Carter finally uncovers the tomb of Tutankhamen after years of searching. The main characters are Ralph M. Trilipush, English archaeologist, in search of the tomb of Atum-hadu, and an Australian private investigator, Harold Ferrell, in search of Paul Caldwell, possible bastard child of Ferrell's dying English client. Trilipush's narrative takes place in 1922 and Ferrell's in 1954, looking back on his investigation from a nursing home. There are so many parallels in the stories these men tell, and in the story Trilipush tells of Atum-hadu, and you can't really take any of these stories at face value.

In the end, it wasn't really about any of the things I thought it would be about when I first started reading, but, instead, more about self deception and the quest for immortality, and the different roads people take to find it.

I look forward to reading more of Arthur Phillips' work. Bravo, sir!

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12/05/2011 page 26
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