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Publisher's Summary

In this updated version of the classic of popular Egyptology, Barbara Mertz combines her doctorate in Egyptology at the famed Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago with a life-long enthusiasm for ancient Egypt. Her love of the subject is contagious and makes her the perfect guide to ancient Egypt for the student, the layman, and those who plan to visit or have visited the Nile Valley.
©2007 MPM Manor, Inc.; (P)2007 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

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By Ethan M. on 12-27-07

One of the best history books on Audible

This book is brilliantly written, wonderfully read, and is sprinkled with lots of wry humor -- all of which is especially impressive as it is a rather fact-filled history of Ancient Egypt. The overall effect is something like a Bill Bryson book (say, A Short History of Nearly Everything), only more thorough and academic, and with a much lighter authorial touch. Everything is here: the details of archaeological dating, the characters behind the archaeology, and the progression of the long history of Pharonic Egypt. I am not quite done with the book yet, but already am sad that it will be ending.

Dr. Barbara Mertz, who wrote the book, received her PhD in Egyptology at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. She wrote this book in the mid-1960s, though it has been updated, apparently, for this audiobook (though I cannot confirm this is the case). From other reviews of the book, I gather that the material in it still reflects current thinking in the field, though some details may have changed. Interestingly, Dr. Mertz is better known for her fiction, she also writes under the names Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, and she has written many suspense novels as well as the Amelia Peabody, Vicky Bliss, and Jacqueline Kirby series of archeology novels. Her deft touch with words shows in this book, which I highly recommend!

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83 of 83 people found this review helpful


By Euryleia on 07-07-08

Should History be this much fun?

This is written incredibly well and the narration is a treat. Are you supposed to laugh out loud at a history book? You will at this one. Are you supposed to stay up late because you can't wait to hear what she's got to say next? You'll do that, too. Usually I don't like to listen to history (the narrators tend to put me to sleep) but I am happy to have this in my Audible library.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Jules on 02-22-16

a bit too dramatic for my liking

With a factual topic such as Egyptian history, I think it's best to be told the facts and for the reader to then come to their own conclusions as to the why's, who's and when's that historical fact misses out due to a lack of evidence.

The author tend to put her own spin on such areas. I don't have an issue with this really, but it is the almost condescending way in which she discards other views from hers, that I have issue with.

The facts that are given are in line with well documented works, though the feeling of sanctimoniousness that the author and narrator relay make it hard going for me.

Another issue I have is the way the author spend around 10 minutes on the entire late period seems a bit odd and left me with a feeling that she'd run out of patience when writing the book.

It is easy to be over critical and I don't wish to be. Overall, the book is informative but runs out of steam at the end and has tried to be too theatrical.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Jarrod on 02-01-12

A great introduction

I downloaded this audiobook a week before visiting Egypt. It was a great primer for someone with very little knowledge of the country. While I can't stand the American accent of the narrator (or in general for that matter), I liked this audiobook as it is beautifully written.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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