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Like Mayflies in a Stream Kindle Edition

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Length: 196 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Like Mayflies in a Stream is fast-paced, crisp and vivid from the outset, depicting events, characters and scenes (particularly battle scenes) with a visceral and almost cinematographic style. ... Despite the entertaining narrative, Like Mayflies in a Stream is based on historical scholarship that encompasses the greater cultural landscape of Sumer and its people's lifestyles. In particular, the novel addresses the difficulties facing women. ... I thoroughly enjoyed this book and became drawn into its world; it's a rattling good yarn with characters we care for in situations that make us feel for them." --HerStoria magazine
 
"I was caught in the flow of the narrative. Roberts realizes her players well, showing multiple sides to mythic characters, and the details she puts into this historical re-imagining of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" really bring the story to life. ... The emotional and political twists and turns are best experienced firsthand. I recommend this novel for both its fast pacing and insightfulness, as well as for its historical grounding, and I look forward to more from Hadley Rille Books' Archaeology Series." --GUD Magazine

Product Details

  • File Size: 474 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Hadley Rille Books (November 6, 2010)
  • Publication Date: November 6, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BA5GK4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,238 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Shauna Roberts (1956-) was born in Dayton, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Beavercreek. After receiving degrees in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), she was a science and medical writer and copyeditor until she retired in 2010.

Currently a resident of Southern California, she writes historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and romance. She is a 2009 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop and was the 2011 winner of the Speculative Literature Foundation's Older Writer Grant.

Please sign up for her author newsletter at http://eepurl.com/Fr3Hf.

Customer Reviews

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William Hammett on November 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Shamhat is one the strongest female protagonists you will find in a book of fiction, but she isn't a child of the sixties or a modern feminist. She is a priestess and servant of the goddess Inanna, tending to her temple duties in Mesopotamia in 2800 BCE. In Shauna Roberts' LIKE MAYFLIES IN A STREAM, Shamhat struggles to preserve faithfulness to her goddess, a task that conflicts with the personality of King Gilgamesh, who focuses on lust and feats of strength rather than the good of his people.

Shamhat's conflict results from two dreams, one received by Inanna's chief priest, Nanna-Ur-Sag, and another, one received by Gilgamesh himself. From his dream, Nanna-Ur-Sag believes that a powerful man from the desert is destined to restore order, balance, and justice to Uruk. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, believes that a powerful man from the desert is destined to be the one companion strong enough to complete his restless and reckless personality.

A wild man, Enkidu, indeed lives in the desert, but to lure him into the city--Shamhat's mission as dictated by Gilgamesh--the priestess must lose the trappings of her holy office and use her highly advanced sexual artifice, usually used only on a sacredd feast day of Inanna, to humanize Enkidu and convince him to journey from the desert to the city. If she is successful, however, will Enkidu fulfill the vision of Gilgamesh's dream, or that of Nanna-Ur Sag's?

A lesser writer might well have lost the narrative structure of such a novel in trying to execute a plot faithful to ancient Sumerian customs and terminology.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Farrah Roybiskie on January 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Years ago, while in college, I was required to read The Epic of Gilgamesh for Freshmen World Civilization. I remembered liking the story, but the writing style made the book a chore to get through. If LIKE MAYFLIES IN A STREAM were available back then, it would have made all the difference in the world to that college freshmen.

Shauna Roberts writes with such detail that you feel as if you are in the ancient city of Uruk, seeing the sights, hearing the noise, and smelling the smells of the city and desert where the wild man, Enkidu, resides. Told from the perspective of Priestess Shamhat, a fascinatingly strong female character, LIKE MAYFLIES IN A STREAM makes you forget that you're getting a history lesson. This novel will suck you in and transport you back to a time and civilization that is still a mystery in many ways.

It is a entertaining read that should be required reading for today's World Civilization classes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Malley on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Forget history. Forget accuracy and detail. This retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh is a simply fantastic novel. The writing is clean and compelling, the storytelling brilliant. There's plenty of action, a kind and sensitive heart to the story and one of the best heroines I've ever encountered.

Okay, now the history. Now the accuracy and detail. Like Mayflies in a stream is one of the best historicals I've read, especially considering the period in which it's set. Shauna Roberts clearly knows her stuff. Better still, she manages not to dump her knowledge in our laps. Instead she creates a subtle, thorough and convincing portrait of this lost world, seamlessly bringing the modern reader into a culture very different from our own. It's an impressive feat of literary sleight-of-hand. Just beautifully done.

From start to finish, Like Mayflies in a Stream swept me up and refused to let me go...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaolin Fire on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
While I found the cover off-putting for a handful of reasons, once inside I was caught in the flow of the narrative. Roberts realizes her players well, showing multiple sides to mythic characters, and the details she puts into this historical re-imagining of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" really bring the story to life.

I was not familiar with the myth prior to reading Roberts' interpretation, and I think that it stands well on its own. We are quickly, and rather brutally, introduced to the deprivations of the King, Gilgamesh, and the cloud that hangs over the citizens of his city. He is both their protector and their destroyer. Also in play are Shamhat, a priestess of Inanna, who has personal connections to both the King and the newly-forming rebellion; Zaidu, a trapper who sets the story in motion; and Enkidu, beast-man raised by gazelles, who becomes the fulcrum of change.

The King is a bull of a man: muscular, quick-tempered, and driven by powerful lusts. He cripples the men he wrestles, races others beyond exhaustion, and now has claimed first "rights" to any bride. Gilgamesh answers to no one but the gods--and while the temple grows rich from offerings left by those begging the goddess Inanna for protection, the clergy are simply one more voice that the King ignores.

When Zaidu comes to Gilgamesh with his tale of a beast-man destroying his traps, the King sees that perhaps he has found an equal to try. Gilgamesh sends Shamhat into the desert with Zaidu to tame the beast-man and bring him back to the city.

The emotional and political twists and turns are best experienced firsthand. I recommend this novel for both its fast pacing and insightfulness, as well as for its historical grounding, and I look forward to more from Hadley Rille Books' Archaeology Series.

The review copy was provided by the publishers and will be retained by the reviewer.
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