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The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
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The Egyptologist (2004)

by Arthur Phillips

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,506727,112 (3.31)121
  1. 00
    A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin (ehines)
    ehines: Another epistolary novel with an unreliable narrator. Phillips' novel is out-and-out parody, while Dibdin is only, I suspect, being very subtly parodic of a certain set of literary expectations.
  2. 00
    The Dig by John Preston (ehines)
    ehines: This farcical accout of a dig might put you in the mood for a much more realistic one fset just a decade or so later. based on a real english barrow dig.
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» See also 121 mentions

English (68)  Italian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Creative. Thematic with themes of immortality, legacy, history, truth, subjectivity, creation of self. ( )
  maryroberta | Sep 23, 2018 |
I have mixed feelings about this one.

The epistolary style just doesn't quite work for me - it seems initially clever, but just goes on a little too long. The Egyptology is correct enough - the author acknowledges the staffs of the British Museum and the Griffith Institute as sources - but the "look and feel" of Egypt never comes through. Perhaps the author can be excused for this because he's more interested in character development than narrative description. The pre-Tut Howard Carter is deliberately mischaracterized as being a lot more important than he actually was - although he had worked for Petrie, he had no formal academic training in Egyptology and primarily worked as an antiquities inspector, artist and tour guide before hooking up with Lord Caernarvon. He certainly would not have been considered an equal or superior by an Oxford-trained Harvard Egyptology professor like Ralph Trilipush, the novel's protagonist. However, this relationship is necessary for character development and therefore forgivable. The ending is sad and funny simultaneously, and restores some sympathy for previously unsympathetic characters. Although not really a mystery, you might find it classified in that section by bookstores who can't figure out where else to put it. There is a mystery of sorts, but typical readers should figure it out in the first few chapters (although there's a denouement that might offer a little surprise. I'll give it three stars - worth reading but not something I'd want to read twice. ( )
  setnahkt | Jan 2, 2018 |
Interesting, detailed, odd - voices were great and certainly could tell the difference between the people & their writings. I did get to the point where I figured out what happened, but still it was interesting to the end. But not a favorite book of mine. ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Jul 12, 2017 |
This is a fascinating book not for the easily disturbed or offended. While I will probably never read it again, it was definitely worth reading, though it left me with a sort of creepy feeling. Truly a book with layers of texture, mostly due to its multiple points of view. ( )
1 vote aurelas | Dec 23, 2016 |
THIS is one of my favorite books of all time. With a sense of humor akin to Douglas Adams, this novel hosts some bizarre characters who speak the most ludicrous dialogue. The digs at academia and the role of authored history itself are fascinating, honest at times, and always funny. The labyrinthine plot snakes across continents with a mix of ancient Egypt, gum-shoe detective work and layers and layers of elaborate lies that would make Baron Muchanhausen blush and cry. The finale involving the 'discovery' of the tomb is dementedly funny and pathetic at once. My copy is autographed, from a session where I went to see Phillips and it was attended by.....four people. Yes, a major author event at the Broward County Main Library and only 4 people showed up. It was sad in way, but Phillips was very articulate and funny. We enjoyed immensely. ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
The cast of Arthur Phillips's comic novel "The Egyptologist" could have come from one of those deliciously campy old Hollywood mummy movies.
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Phillipsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Doyle, GerardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Negroponte, GianfrancoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
FOR JAN, OF COURSE
First words
31 Dec. Sunset. Outside the tomb of Atum-hadu. On the Victrola 50: "I'm Sitting on the Back Porch Swing (Wont You Come Sit by Me, Dear?)."
Quotations
If, Margaret, you are reading this letter, sobbing, horrified at your double loss but girding yourself and your pen for the vital tasks ahead of you, then I do not hesitate to accuse from here, before the commission of the dreadful crime itself, the maniacal Howard Carter, whose name you may perhaps have heard in recent weeks, the half-mad, congenitally lucky bumbler who tripped over a stair and fell into the suspiciously well-preserved tomb of some minor XVIIIth-Dynasty boy-kinglet named Trite-and-Common and who, in crippling jealousy, has several times threatened my person in the past months, both whilst sober and whilst intoxicated on a variety of local narcotic inhalants.
"Boy, how can you think it wise to truck with this culture of death?" Even at ten I knew the correct answer to that cataclysmic catechism: "Right you are, Father. Much better to stick with the life-embracing imagery of a cult that worships a bleeding corpse nailed to bits of wood."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812972597, Paperback)

From the bestselling author of Prague comes a witty, inventive, brilliantly constructed novel about an Egyptologist obsessed with finding the tomb of an apocryphal king. This darkly comic labyrinth of a story opens on the desert plains of Egypt in 1922, then winds its way from the slums of Australia to the ballrooms of Boston by way of Oxford, the battlefields of the First World War, and a royal court in turmoil.
Just as Howard Carter unveils the tomb of Tutankhamun, making the most dazzling find in the history of archaeology, Oxford-educated Egyptologist Ralph Trilipush is digging himself into trouble, having staked his professional reputation and his fiancée’s fortune on a scrap of hieroglyphic pornography. Meanwhile, a relentless Australian detective sets off on the case of his career, spanning the globe in search of a murderer. And another murderer. And possibly another murderer. The confluence of these seemingly separate stories results in an explosive ending, at once inevitable and utterly unpredictable.

Arthur Phillips leads this expedition to its unforgettable climax with all the wit and narrative bravado that made Prague one of the most critically acclaimed novels of 2002. Exploring issues of class, greed, ambition, and the very human hunger for eternal life, this staggering second novel gives us a glimpse of Phillips’s range and maturity–and is sure to earn him further acclaim as one of the most exciting authors of his generation.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"From the author of Prague comes a novel about an Egyptologist obsessed with finding the tomb of an apocryphal king. This darkly comic labyrinth of a story opens on the desert plains of Egypt in 1922, then winds its way from the slums of Australia to the ballrooms of Boston by way of Oxford, the battlefields of the First World War, and a royal court in turmoil." "Just as Howard Carter unveils the tomb of Tutankhamun, making the most dazzling find in the history of archaeology, Oxford-educated Egyptologist Ralph Trilipush is digging himself into trouble, having staked his professional reputation and his fiancee's fortune on a scrap of hieroglyphic pornography. Meanwhile, a relentless Australian detective sets off on the case of his career, spanning the globe in search of a murderer. And another murderer. And possibly another murderer. The confluence of these seemingly separate stories results in an explosive ending, at once inevitable and utterly unpredictable."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Average: (3.31)
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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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