Mar 23, 12
Read in August, 2007
Epic! This book is witty, hilarious and fascinating all at once. Takes a while to build up steam, but the reward is well worth it.
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 theme of the book is misunderstanding, and there's a lot of misunderstanding going on here. Some are minor misunderstandings, and others are huge misunderstandings that change perceptions, inspire malicious actions or lead to hilarious situations.
As a bonus, we get to tag along on an archaeological dig circa 1920, we get to witness a stylized version of Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of Tutankhamen tomb, and we get Atum-hadu's 'Desire and Deceit In Ancient Egypt.' It's all rendered in shimmering prose. This book is fantastic.