Antoineonline.com : Three novels of ancient egypt: khufu's wisdom rhadopis of nubia thebes at war (everyman's library) (9780307266248) : Naguib Mahfouz : Books
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Three Novels Of Ancient Egypt: Khufu's Wisdom Rhadopis Of Nubia Thebes At War (everyman's Library)

by Naguib Mahfouz
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Everyman's Library
  • Publishing date: 27/03/2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780307266248
  • ISBN: 0307266249

Synopsis

From Nobel laureate Mahfouz

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  • some lovely writing, but maybe not the author's best work
    From Amazon

    Apparently these are the first three of the author's novels. This is a beautiful edition and it is also cheaper than buying the three paperback novels separately. There is an introduction, a chronology of the author's life, and then the three novels.

    The introduction is a missed opportunity. I think that I might have appreciated these novels better with the help of some information about the culture in which they were written. However the introduction offers little more than plot summary. I recommend skipping it. The chronology is nice, but not tied in with the introduction.

    The first novel, Khufu's Wisdom, seems to be about fate and moral choices. It tells the story of a king whose efforts to defy his fate only help to make that fate happen. It is set during the construction of one of the pyramids, but there is not much in the way of historical detail (and I think there are also some historical inaccuracies). It reads more like a biblical fable than a historical novel. It is beautifully written, but the story is somewhat simple by modern American standards.

    The second novel, Rhadopis of Nubia, is much better than the first. It tells of a disastrous love affair between a king and a beautiful courtesan. It is also beautifully written, in a lavish, sometimes over the top style.

    The third novel, Thebes at War, did not grab my interest and I didn't finish it. Maybe I'll try again later.

    The three novels have three different translators, but all of the translations read well and have a similar flavor.

    If you have not read any of the author's work before, you might also consider starting with the Cairo trilogy.

  • Excellent
    From Amazon

    I am so happy to have read this book. Naguib Mahfouz is a master. The stories were unique, thought provoking and powerful. I could read his work everyday forever.

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