1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Tale
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...
Published 23 months ago by Frances
3.0 out of 5 stars Sinuhe's story
Although this book is supposed to be one of the best books ever written by a Finn, I don't really go along with this. It's definately not a book for "all ages", more like for people ages 40->. Me, being 15, reading the book at 13, found it good but a little bit too long-winded. True, once you start you can't stop, but you won't get a good feeling after...
Published on Feb. 27 2000 by Jenni
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Tale,
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This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction at its best !!!,
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This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)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
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books that really matter,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Full-bodied recreation of the 14th century BC Egypt,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (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. Sinuhe must choose between the way of the heretic Pharoach and the old corrupt system that had blinded many and robbed the freedom of Egyptians.
Miki Waltari deftly uses a prose style evocative of ancient texts that is comparable to Naguib Mahfouz's work in modern Egyptian literature. Unlike Mahfouz, Waltari's book is the first major novel set in ancient Egypt during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom in 14th century BC The Egyptian, comibing history, research and imagination, is a timeless re-creation of such largely forgotten era over a prodigious interval of time. The book captures the nuances of war, intrigue, power struggle, wassail, romance, horror, and lavish scnenes of violence. From Sinuhe's intransigence to worshipping false gods springs forth a tale of death and love, man's corruption, cruelty, and lust for power and the warfare between two value systems and religions that amazingly reflect our world today.
2004 (19) © MY
5.0 out of 5 stars A Literary Masterpiece!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (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!
4.0 out of 5 stars The grand scope of humanity,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)As a Finn I feel slight guilt over not having read Waltari at all before 2003. Prejudiced towards his era's Finnish authors or just against his name which for some peculiar reason represented something for "old generation" and boring, unenthusiastic way of story telling (who can claim Kalle Päätalo doesn't sound like a boring author too..). I read couple of his earlier works which haven't been translated into other languages I think and after those I was convinced that prejudice had ecclipsed the masteful story telling abilities of Mika Waltari. The Egyptian is the third Waltari book I have read. Doctor in ancient Egypt?? Written by a Finn and gotten huge success all over the world? Somewhat uncommon framework for a book and I had no idea what to expect. I did some cautious non-spoiling background digging in order to establish some sort of an idea of the book. I learned that egyptologists consider the book amazingly accurate description of the culture in that era and that Waltari had done his Egypt + surrouding areas research very well but had never visited Egypt. It is said that he didn't make notes about the facts but just remembered and understood the essence and wrote the book.
I found the story telling captivating and humour embedded in especially Kaptah's long monoloques in a dialoque with Sinuhe were hilarious. Yet this story has a lot of philosophical pondering which always fits the storyline and doesn't seem separate from the story. Hence a combination of things that make one stop to think and digest every once in a while and the entertaining and uplifting humour and tragicomedy. Simplicity and complexity of characters, cunning manipulation and clever psychology all coats the story with even more interesting aspects not to mention the adventure Sinuhe and Kaptah go through. I found the book good from page 1 all the way to the final page. What more can one want from a book?
The Egyptian has many scenes which underline the cruelty, ruthlessness, power of love, loyality and the power of fear. All these are exhibited as extremes at some point in the book. Made in 1945 after second world war had it is rather easy to understand the certain pessimism throughout the book and distrust in people's ability to change and peacefully co-exist. Waltari shows how humanity often escapes in horror when war becomes intense. Book has a lot of descriptions of vileness, ultimate cruelty, torture and complete ignorance towards human life. Waltari also brings out the concept of loyality in very extreme forms. Some female characters in this book are almost exclusively somewhat detrimental for men's mental sanity. Nefernefernefer has not only a catchy name but is also a prime example of deceiving woman whose limitless power is in her beauty and manipulation omnipotence! While she draws all will-power away from Sinuhe and seals his fate in many ways at the beginning of the book, she gets a payback later from Sinuhe but gets still the last laugh in a way that one can only smile at in disbelief.
No need for details. Just give this book a chance and you may find yourself quite immersed in it.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfull novel for patient readers only ....,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)First published in 1949 and now reprinted this is actually a wonderfull book defining the times of ancient Egypt through the eyes of one of the 'common' folk.
The author allows us to see the wold through the eyes of a young man, Sinuhe, who, following in the footsteps of his physician father decides to dedicate his life to furthering his knowledge and become the best physician for both the rich and the poor....
Having a very limited 'social' exposure the the wealthy our hero meets a young nymph, so beautifull and alluring she may as well have been Nefertiti herself. The reader practically squeams in anguish as we see the young Sinhue sell anything and everything, including his own parents burial tomb in order to spend even one night alone with this girl. To say that things go badly would be an understatement and so we see our hero forced to flee his homeland in search for knowledge ....
The interesting thing about this book is that we get to see the times through the eyes of a commoner rather than thruogh the eyes of the more obvious royalty of Cleopatra, King Tut or Nefertiti ..... As a reader I did find the story frustrating in that one would almost want to scream out ... no no no no you idiot, can't you see that you are being used .... but I guess thats the whole point of reading a book that allows the reader to get involved ....
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)This was the second Mika Waltari book I have read-the first being the Wanderer. I found this book to be better than the Wanderer which I also loved.
The detail of this story is amazing. You actually beleive you are in Egypt!
A must read for anyone who loves a great, great book.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book!,
This review is from: The Egyptian: A Novel (Paperback)I'm generally not a lover of historical novels but I loved this book. I could not put it down. I literally lost sleep reading this book because I just HAD to know what happened in the next chapter. This book can be enjoyed as either a historical novel or just as a great story. The book is visually descript and puts you there in a time long ago. It's worth the read and can be read again and again.
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The Egyptian: A Novel by Mika Waltari (Paperback - April 1 2002)
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