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The Egyptologist
Arthur Phillips
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 2004



–› Excerpt

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The Egyptologist is a witty, inventive, brilliantly constructed novel about an archaeologist obsessed with finding the tomb of an apocryphal king. This darkly comic labyrinth of a story opens on the desert plains of Egypt in 1922, then winds its way from the slums of Australia to the ballrooms of Boston by way of Oxford, the battlefields of the First World War, and a royal court in turmoil. Just as Howard Carter unveils the tomb of Tutankhamun, making the most dazzling find in the history of archaeology, Oxford-educated Ralph Trilipush is digging himself into trouble, having staked his professional reputation and his fiancée's fortune on a scrap of hieroglyphic pornography. Meanwhile, a relentless Australian detective sets off on the case of his career, spanning the globe in search of a murderer. And another murderer. And possibly another murderer. The confluence of these seemingly separate stories resluts in an explosive ending, at once inevitable and utterly unpredictable.

(see The Egyptologist website)

bookweb    
ARTHUR PHILLIPS' BOOKSHELF

EPISTOLARY NOVELS
Dracula
Bram Stoker, 1897
'This is the only epistolary novel I've ever read that involves more than 2 people.'
- AP

NABOKOV
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov, 1962
'I am a big fan of VN, having read everything by him, and I do feel a kinship to him, in much of his philosophy of what he wanted his novels to do, what he felt they could accomplish, what he found beautiful in fiction. Pale Fire specifically is a great example of what can be done with structure, and how structure can be a reflection of plot and theme (and vice versa, infinitely)! I certainly aspired to that in The Egyptologist, and credited him, obliquely, here and there, for those in the know...'
- AP

ON MARGARET'S BOOKSHELF?
The Diary of Géza Csáth
Géza Csáth, 1989
'In the course of just one day, I live five thousand years ... Start smoking opium as a strong, mature man and ... you can reach the age of twenty million.'
- 'Opium', short story, 1909

'100 years [of opium addiction] aren't worth as much 34 [sober], with their real, true pleasures.'
- Csáth's diary entry, 1913

BOOKS BY ARTHUR PHILLIPS:

The Egyptologist
2004
–› Excerpt

Darkly comic labyrinth of a story about an Egyptologist obsessed with finding the tomb of an apocryphal king.
WHAT TO READ AFTER THE EGYPTOLOGIST

(EARLY) 20TH-CENTURY EGYPT
'The Cairo Trilogy'
Naguib Mahfouz, 1956-1957
The story of a Muslim family in Cairo during Britain's occupation of Egypt in the early decades of the twentieth century.

ANCIENT EGYPT
Ancient Evenings
Norman Mailer, 1983
Crossing three millennia to Pharaonic Egypt, this tale returns to that land' s essences – the war, magic, gods, death and reincarnations, the lusts, ambitions, jealousies, and betrayals.

The Son of Light
Christian Jacq, 1997
First in a series of five novels about the dynasty of Egypt's greatest pharoah, Ramses II (13th-century BC).

DOWNHILL ALL THE WAY
[Publieke werken]
Thomas Rosenboom,
The overconfident violin-maker Vedder and his nephew Anijs, a country pharmacist, walk into a trap of their own making.

Prague
2002
–› Excerpt

In May 1990, five American expats come to Budapest to change the course of their lives.
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