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[41] The Egyptologist – Arthur Phillips

The most thrilling aspect of this novel written in an epistolary format is the historical aspect. A devoted archaeologist Ralph Trilipush is obsessed with finding the tomb of an apocryphal king, Atum-hadu. The author thrives to outsmart the readers with a labyrinth of a story: one that is told by an unreliable narrator through mixing facts, history, fiction, humor, and satire. (I realize this trick about half-way through the book) It sheds light on issues of class, greed, ambition and man’s craving for immortality. The search leads to a quasi philosophical confrontation: what are the requirements for the soul’s immortality in everlasting paradise? The Egyptologist has this immediate appeal at the beginning owing to a potpourri of intrigue, erudition and flair of language, but the story doesn’t live up to its expectation. My advice is not to take the novel too seriously.

Update on injury: My hand is faring much better, with unbearable itchiness. A new layer of skin with a throbbing, jelly texture has formed over the wound. I try not to grip a pen so I can only resort to typing. Thank God it’s the end of the term!

4 Responses

  1. Sounds like a very interesting book; I may have to pick that one up. And glad to read that your hand is healing.

  2. Check it out from the library first Greg!

  3. […] The Egyptologist, Arthur Phillips. The most thrilling aspect of this novel written in an epistolary format is the […]

  4. I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Phillips is an interesting writer, although I’ve yet to read his first (and well-reviewed) book, Prague.

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