The Egyptian: A Novel

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Chicago Review Press, 2002 - Fiction - 503 pages
4 Reviews
First published in the United States in 1949 and widely condemned as obscene, The Egyptian outsold every other novel published that year, and remains a classic; readers worldwide have testified to its life-changing power. It is a full-bodied re-creation of a largely forgotten era in the world’s history: the Egypt of the 14th century B.C.E., when pharaohs and gods contended with the near-collapse of history’s greatest empire. This epic tale encompasses the whole of the then-known world, from Babylon to Crete, from Thebes to Jerusalem, while centering around one unforgettable figure: Sinuhe, a man of mysterious origins who rises from the depths of degradation to become personal physician to Pharaoh Akhnaton.

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The book is one of my (uncountable) favourites.
It makes no sense to write its plot. Good books can not be described by hundred words.
They are should-reads.
As having the gift to be multilingual
, I've read it in Hungarian, English and German - then I shouldn't have compared them.
Here are my critic addressed to English readers.
1. There are whole pages missing. One example is BOOK 6 - The Day of the False King - chapter 5:
"So Kaptah was lifted to the throne of justice; before him were laid scourge and fetters, the symbols of justice; then the people were called on to step forward and lay their cases before the king.
::::::::: HERE IS AT LEAST TWO PAGE MISSING, two case in details :::::::
When Kaptah had pronounced judgment on some of these..."
Shame on You, translator - Naomi Walford ... (Edited to add: the wikipedia call it abridged translation, so be it.)
2. "in the United States ... widely condemned as obscene"
Nothing obscene in it. The book may be read by benedictine monks - their only problem would be some critic against Egyptian gods, if extended to gods in general...
Ludwigm from Hungary

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I finally found this book in the library when I was 11 and read it from cover to cover as soon as I got home. I laid in my bed and did not lift my head from the pillow and read. By then I had figured out how to drink a bottle of pepsi without having to sit up so I was all set and I told my mom I was sick the next day so I could stay home from school to finish it... And then I read it again.
I never found anyone who had read this book until I was in a biofeedback session with a physical therapist. The purpose of the session was to teach me to stay calm when stricken with an asthma attack, in order to keep things from escalating. The first exercise he has me wired up to measure my relaxation response and we did a countdown initially to get a baseline reading. The next step was to measure the response after applying a simple relaxation compensation he was starting to teach me about. When I was able to immediately go into a completely relaxed phase, he was very surprised and asked if I (age 19 at the time) had been practicing meditation. When I told him I had never meditated before in spite of knowing all there is to know about the TM movement, he did something odd, and I still have no explanation for it. He asked me if I had read the book The Egyptian! After ascertaining that I had, he continued the session and while we had the bond of similar reading materials, I still do not understand why, or how, this was a sufficent explanation of my savant-like biofeedback skill set.
Meditation is not something I am able to do as my brain is hyperactive, but from taming wild animals, particularly birds, I had taught myself to become quiet and still for extended periods of time. I still do not understand the connection to The Egyptian. :D


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About the author (2002)

Mika Waltari (1908–1979) is best known for his historical novels, which include The Etruscan and The Roman. He is widely considered the greatest Finnish writer of the 20th century.

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