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Ancient Evenings
Ancient Evenings
Author: Norman Mailer
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.
ISBN-13: 9780446321099
ISBN-10: 0446321095
Publication Date: 5/1984
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Warner Books C/o Little Br
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
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Helpful Score: 1
Reviewer: Donald A. Newlove (Greenwich Village)

I read this the first week it came out, long ago, and thought it the Great American Novel, despite its being set in Egypt. Why so grand an opinion? Because the writing, especially the set-pieces about mummification and a trip up the Nile, as well as others, were better written than any passages of equal length by any American author I'd ever read. RAINTREE COUNTY sets out to be the Great Amrican Novel but, as much as I enjoyed it when I was twenty, its lyricism falls short of Mailer's. The trip up the Nile is equaled only by Twain's Mississippi, Melville's Three-Day Chase at the end of MOBY DICK, and Hemingway's description of the deep waters Santiago fishes in in THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. I found Mailer's characters, even the walkons, more well-rounded and weighted than any by the whole pantheon of classic American writers. Melville, Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Dreiser, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bellow, Updike, none of them has created Tolstoyan characters with feet as fully plantd on the page as Mailer's Egyptians. Nor has Mailer ever again matched the exquisite bath of light in which he washes these pages.
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Helpful Score: 1
Norman Mailer reveals the beauty and brutality of ancient Egypt. Very long for my taste but has a bit of humor that makes it bearable.
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Helpful Score: 1
Ancient Egypt and weird happenings.
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Helpful Score: 1
Beautiful imagery, a story I have read multiple times and never tire of.
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reviewed Ancient Evenings on + 37 more book reviews
Slow, slow, slow! Despite my huge interest in ancient Egypt and the tale of Ramses, I really had to force myself to get through this book.
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Long and involved story, or rather stories within stories, once put down hard to pick up again.
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Mailer takes on the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Fun.