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The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips

The Egyptologist (2004)

by Arthur Phillips

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,545747,708 (3.31)121
King Tut's tomb has been discovered, but Egyptologist Ralph Trilipush finds himself in a far less spectacular position when he stakes everything on a scrap of hieroglyphic pornography. Halfway around the world, an Australian detective sets off on a globetrotting quest to find a murderer. These events, seemingly unrelated, are about to collide in a spectacular fashion.… (more)
Recently added byknon, amandasue218, Sanganya, Jacksonian, briellenadyne, private library, KirstenLucie, missylc
  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 (70)  Italian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Oh, one of my favorite books, can't talk about it without giving away the story, but it should be read just for its narrative brilliance. ( )
  RekhainBC | Feb 15, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (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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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?)."
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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Average: (3.31)
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1 27
1.5 7
2 58
2.5 11
3 88
3.5 36
4 99
4.5 13
5 61

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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