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Ancient Evenings Mass Market Paperback – Dec 22 1988

3.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Dec 22 1988
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (Dec 22 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446357693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446357692
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,096,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Praise for Ancient Evenings
“Astounding, beautifully written . . . a leap of imagination that crosses three millennia to Pharaonic Egypt.”USA Today
“Mailer makes a miraculous present out of age-deep memories, bringing to life the rhythms, the images, the sensuousness of a lost time.”The New York Times
“Mailer’s Egypt is a haunting and magical place. . . . The reader wallows in the scope, depth, the sheer magnitude and—yes—the fertility of his imagination.”The Washington Post Book World
“An enormous pyramid of a novel [reminiscent of] Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and Carlos Fuentes’s Terra Nostra.”Los Angeles Herald Examiner
Praise for Norman Mailer
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publishers Weekly was quoted regarding Mailer's THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SON: "...[it's] penetration into Jesus's human heart rivals Dostoyevsky for depth and insight. Its recreation of the world through which Jesus walked is as real as blood. Ultimately, Mailer convinces, more than any writer before him, that for Jesus the man it could have been just like this; and that is, in itself, some sort of literary miracle."I am barely through half of this eight hundred odd page masterwork. Yet I am already amazed by Mailer's ability to penetrate the human heart of the civilization of the spiritual, highly advanced, mysterious Ancient Egypt with ANCIENT EVENINGS.
Mailer seeminngly captures Egypt during a period that could be easily considered antithetically decadent to its many periods of great glory like the First Dynasty's uniting of the "The Two Lands," the Pyramid Age, the 12th Dynasty or the famous 18th, with Akhenaton, Nefertiti, and King Tut. Or, heartbreakingly enough for romantic Egyptophiles like myself, he could be capturing how everyday Egypt, underneath the pomp and circumstance of the persepective of an Egyptologist or the Kingly/Pharonic court ritual (much like Rome millenia later) actually was.
Mailer has always been accused of personalizing himself too much in his work, and the evidence of twentieth century left-of-center White American bohemian life and culture, as well as its self-projected/narcississtic perspective on ancient Egyptian culture, does at times bleed through. African people South of Egypt are referred to in the novel as Negroes or Blacks.
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By A Customer on March 13 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up used and had trouble to start with - the first 25 pages or so were the equivalent of wading through mud. After reading the reviews here I decided I'd plow through the rest of it or die trying. Fortunately, the writing evened out and became quite casual reading.
It's a weird book to say the least and not like anything I've read (mostly classics, sci-fi and scientific) however it was thoroughly fascinating at the same time. It didn't matter what was going on in the story: the writing was powerful, the thoughts and images of the story clearly conveyed in writing. Very few books can put a picture in your head like this one can.
While the sexual exploits were certainly entertaining (and quite humorous at times) they - like everything in the book - happened for a reason, illustrating the power struggles and state of the mind quite lucidly as the characters interacted with each other.
This book isn't for everyone, but those able to read it cover to cover will think about the book and characters long after finishing it - the mark of any good book as far as I'm concerned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story opens with the birth-or I should say-re-birth of the main character Menenhetet.
This description,fiery and mystical, sets the stage for the level of tales to follow. As one reads about the many exploits of Menenhetet, one begins to reflect on ones' own life experiences: the ups and downs, the power ploys, the sexual exploits(of which there are many and varied), and at last both the finality and continuity of life. The descriptions of place such as the palace of Thebes, the Gardens of the little queens (the harem), the battle at Kaddesh, the royal barge, the city of Tyre are all told with stunning clarity and immediacy. Another review described the homosexual scenes between men; there are also some such scenes between the little queens, but all these scenes, including the many heterosexual ones are described with a sensitivity and a focus on power in relationships rarely written about in most modern novels. At least that has been my experience. Finally, the way Mailer writes about the thoughts of the different characters and the way they drift in and out of each others minds made me believe in the ability of a person today to experience transcendent thought. I read the book over six years ago and I am still impressed with its' power over my consiousness.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mailer seems obsessed with sex. And not just sex, but what one would normally construe as perverted sex. Initially I dismissed it. Mailer seemed intent on placing the profane and sacred close beside one another. The beautiful and the ugly. This coming together of opposites tended to draw you into the mythological perspective of the book. The 'one-ness' of the sexes, the power and might associated with the act itself. Death and rebirth tossed together in a swirling and nondescript pool of incestuous desires. There was much similarity to passages in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. However, the continuing sexual onslaught of homosexual lust did grow tedious. In fact boring. Whenever two males were left alone, you only had to wait a paragraph or so before they would have homosexual relations. Seemed to me to go a bit beyond the need to establish a mythological basis for the book. Somewhat Freudian even.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Full of characters who eat the excrement, flesh or [body parts] of a variety of animals in order to gain the wisdom and strength that they offer, Ancient Evenings journeys a path into a world of Ancient Egypt that I have never known. Nor frankly, for that matter, care to. Yet, Mailer's portrait of Rameses II, Usermare as he is known is this work, is incredible. Divine and human, Horus and Set are woven so well into the fabric of of this pharoah's character that his struggle to maintain harmony between these two opposing forces alone is worth wading through the rest of the book. My faith in Ancient Egypt as a whole and its actual traditions is restored by Mailer, however, by the conclusion of this work but not before I have been thoroughly disgusted by a variety of acts descibed by the protagonist Menehetet.
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