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The Egyptian: A Novel Paperback – Apr 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (April 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556524412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556524417
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 14.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"I, SINUHE, the son of Senmut and his wife Kipa, write this." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By moonfish on Sept. 15 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this years ago - about 46 or so (when I was 15 and should have been studying for my exams ...)

I still remember it today as one of my favorite books. Can still remember the opening paragraph and just recently re-bought it to read it again.

A great book for anyone interested in historical fiction and Ancient Egypt
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frances on Jan. 16 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy reading about Egypt during the 14th century, you should find this a fascinating read. For the most part I found it quite captivating and was totally immersed in the story, especially the bond developing between the main character Sinuhe and his slave Kaptah. Their story alone is well worth the read. I did find some parts repetitive and lengthy which was to some extent disappointing. But overall it was extremely well written with several strong characters throughout the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew M. Yau on April 18 2004
Format: Paperback
The Egyptian set in the Amarna period of Ancient Egypt during the reigns of the pharaohs Amunhotep III, Akhenaten and Horemheb, covering the concluding years of the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom (1386 - 1293 BC), an ear in Egyptian history that was marked by significant religious and political upheaval. The Egyptian is Sinuhe, a physician of unknown birth origin who was wrapped and cradled in a reed boat floating down the Nile. As he narrates his life story, which transcended years of warfare, plague, and fierce battle between gods. On the outside The Egyptian delineates the history of Egypt through its inveterate religious devotion to many gods. At the core of the novel finds one man's lifelong journey through many countries, like Babylon, Crete, and Mitannia, to knowledge. Sinehu possessed such lonely idealism that motivated him to devote his life searching for something so intangible yet greater than he beyond his understanding did. He was not ready to merely worshipping the gods - in fact, he insisted on questioning traditions and thus marked him as an outsider of his own culture.
The spine of the novel concerns the ferocious contention between Aton and the Ammon. Pharoach Akhenaten sought to disestablish the old gods with a relatively unknown deity called the Aton as the Ammon, the present godly sponsor, had accumulated so much wealth and power that the Ammon priests began to rival to that of the Pharoach. In order to achieve balance of power between Ammon and the throne, Akhenaten deposed the ancient gods and established Aton as a new state divinity. No sooner had Akhenaten adopted the new deity than Sinuhe ineluctably became entangled in conflict between tradition and innovation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10 2004
Format: Paperback
To say that the author made History come alive in this novel would be a huge understatement. This is a life changing book, with many life lessons. I have read many, many novels, however this book would be at the top of my list. Pure Genius!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "neppiw" on June 6 2004
Format: Paperback
I first read The Egyptian when I was 14 and just beginning to understand the beauty of more complex books. The first chapters didn't appear very interesting to me, but as I continued reading, I suddenly realized I had been swooped into an amazingly realistic ancient world full of excitement, sorrow, wisdom and more. The whole experience was memorable since it's been very few times when a story I've been reading has felt as incredibly real as Sinuhe's story did. The Egyptian jumped right on the top of my list of best books.
Mika Waltari truly is the most skillful writer I know - where he learned it, I have no idea. His books, especially The Egyptian, have something that appeal to all kinds of people from all over the world. Perhaps it's the art of describing the feelings that each human being experiences sooner or later, and the way he is able to make a story from ancient Egypt seem like it could happen even today. People don't change, only their surroundings do.
The Egyptian is a wonderful and sad story. Especially recommended to everyone who likes history, but I really think that it's a great book for everyone who's interested in mankind - and in particularly good stories.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 6 2004
Format: Paperback
After comparing this book with two non-english translations, it is obvious that this is an abridged version of the novel. The story is certainly still good, but I would like to see an unabridged english translation of this book. It is a shame that there is only one english edition available (the web site of a book store in mexico offers at least 4 different editions in spanish!)
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Format: Paperback
In this epic novel, Mika Waltari traces a portion of Egyptian history through the eyes of Sinuhe, the physician to the Pharaoh Akhnaton. His humble and mysterious origin colors his views as he bears witness to the winds of change in Egypt as the Pharaoh supplants the old gods for a new one, much to the dismay of his citizens. He also is witness to the rise of Horemheb, whom he calls a friend, as this military general defeats the encroaching Hittites and eventually becomes the next Pharaoh. Brilliantly illuminating life in ancient Egypt, Waltari entertains readers with a tale of love and loss, of war and tragedy, of friendship and betrayal. "The Egyptian" sometimes comes across as plodding or dry by modern standards, but the fascinating and flawed main character entrances readers to reach the final pages.
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