Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Has anyone read....

Trying to remember a title or an author? Want to know who or what a particular novel is about? Want a recommendation for books about a particular person or period? Post here!
User avatar
diamondlil
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2642
Joined: August 2008

Has anyone read....

Post by diamondlil » Sat September 13th, 2008, 10:58 am

The Egyptian by Mika Waltari.
I just saw it on my Amazon recommends list, but don't recall having heard of it previously.
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.
My Blog - Reading Adventures

All things Historical Fiction - Historical Tapestry


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

User avatar
Susan
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3746
Joined: August 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA

Post by Susan » Sat September 13th, 2008, 11:55 am

I saw the movie on TV when I was a teenager and I was aware of the book and thought I might want to read it, but I haven't. I think I might own a copy that I bought at a library sale. The book's Wikipedia article says it was first published in Finland in 1945 and that an abridged English translation was published in 1949. Also, that the book was the best-selling foreign novel in the USA before Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose took its place about 35 years later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Egyptian
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mika_Waltari

The film came out in 1954 and starred Jean Simmons and Victor Mature.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046949/
Last edited by Susan on Sat September 13th, 2008, 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat September 13th, 2008, 1:06 pm

Yes, I read it years ago. I may still have it on my shelf. Waltari writes dense novels based on male characters which follow them through their lives, which are usually pretty eventful. I have also read his the Roman, which sticks in my head better.
I thought the books were very well-researched, but as I was in my teens, I can't say that I would still find them so today. But even then I was pretty good on ancient history, and glaring errors would have jumped out.

Waltari's works usually contained a bit more sex than was usual for the era -- I remember being shocked a time or two. Probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow today.

User avatar
donroc
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 858
Joined: August 2008
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Contact:

Post by donroc » Sat September 13th, 2008, 3:41 pm

I read The Egyptian when it was first released in the USA, then saw the film. I enjoyed both, with the exception of Purdom in the title role.

A few years ago, I found another novel by Waltari in a used book store, The Roman. Very disappointing.

That reminds me of another novel I believe has not been mentioned.

I forget the author's name but it was titled either Moses, Prince of Egypt or simply Prince of Egypt. When the Heston 10 Commandments was released, I believed then that the screenplay was taken more from that book than from Scripture.
Image

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Sat September 13th, 2008, 4:07 pm

I've read The Egyptian, and enjoyed it very much, especially the parts that took place in Crete. I've never seen the film. As for authenticity, I think that scholarship of Ancient Egypt has taught us so much more since the time this book was written in the 40s, but if you like large, sweeping epics, this book is pretty good for that. Sinuhe is a very introspective character, but he has a sidekick to provide some levity and humor.

User avatar
nona
Bibliophile
Posts: 1149
Joined: September 2008
Location: Oklahoma

Post by nona » Tue October 14th, 2008, 3:14 pm

has anyone read Forever Amber, recommended from amazon but it has mixed reviews, if someone here has an opinion on it I would be thankful, hate to buy a nice thick paperweight when I have one or two already.

User avatar
donroc
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 858
Joined: August 2008
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Contact:

Post by donroc » Tue October 14th, 2008, 3:20 pm

I read Forever Amber the year it was released when I was a lad. It was considered very risqué by some at the time. I remember enjoying it and disliking the film, mostly because of casting, except for George Sanders as Charles II.
Image

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Tue October 14th, 2008, 3:31 pm

I loved Forever Amber -- although the two main characters are not all that nice and likeable so if that's important for you you might reconsider. There's always the library.

FYI, the book is big but if I recall the font is big also so it goes quicker than you'd expect.

Trivia, although quite tame by today's standards FA was actually banned in Boston when first printed.

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4241
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Tue October 14th, 2008, 4:31 pm

I loved Forever Amber, too! I would like to have a re-read one day.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
LCW
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 756
Joined: August 2008
Location: Southern California

Post by LCW » Tue October 14th, 2008, 4:33 pm

Nona, Forever Amber is one of my favorite books of all time. It's amazing! Read it! :D
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

Post Reply

Return to “Ask Your Fellow Readers”