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Ancient Evenings Paperback – October 2, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a weird book to say the least and not like anything I've read (mostly classics, sci-fi and scientific) however it was thoroughly fascinating at the same time. It didn't matter what was going on in the story: the writing was powerful, the thoughts and images of the story clearly conveyed in writing. Very few books can put a picture in your head like this one can.
While the sexual exploits were certainly entertaining (and quite humorous at times) they - like everything in the book - happened for a reason, illustrating the power struggles and state of the mind quite lucidly as the characters interacted with each other.
This book isn't for everyone, but those able to read it cover to cover will think about the book and characters long after finishing it - the mark of any good book as far as I'm concerned.
This description,fiery and mystical, sets the stage for the level of tales to follow. As one reads about the many exploits of Menenhetet, one begins to reflect on ones' own life experiences: the ups and downs, the power ploys, the sexual exploits(of which there are many and varied), and at last both the finality and continuity of life. The descriptions of place such as the palace of Thebes, the Gardens of the little queens (the harem), the battle at Kaddesh, the royal barge, the city of Tyre are all told with stunning clarity and immediacy. Another review described the homosexual scenes between men; there are also some such scenes between the little queens, but all these scenes, including the many heterosexual ones are described with a sensitivity and a focus on power in relationships rarely written about in most modern novels. At least that has been my experience. Finally, the way Mailer writes about the thoughts of the different characters and the way they drift in and out of each others minds made me believe in the ability of a person today to experience transcendent thought. I read the book over six years ago and I am still impressed with its' power over my consiousness.
Mailer seeminngly captures Egypt during a period that could be easily considered antithetically decadent to its many periods of great glory like the First Dynasty's uniting of the "The Two Lands," the Pyramid Age, the 12th Dynasty or the famous 18th, with Akhenaton, Nefertiti, and King Tut. Or, heartbreakingly enough for romantic Egyptophiles like myself, he could be capturing how everyday Egypt, underneath the pomp and circumstance of the persepective of an Egyptologist or the Kingly/Pharonic court ritual (much like Rome millenia later) actually was.
Mailer has always been accused of personalizing himself too much in his work, and the evidence of twentieth century left-of-center White American bohemian life and culture, as well as its self-projected/narcississtic perspective on ancient Egyptian culture, does at times bleed through. African people South of Egypt are referred to in the novel as Negroes or Blacks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Threw this book out after encountering some of the most choppy, random prose I've read in my entire life. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Billy S.
Okay, so people either love Mailer, or hate him; after dragging myself through "Ancient Evenings", I now hate him as well as love him. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Andrew Christie
This was my husbands book that he had been looking for for years. He hated it! He really tried reading over a hundred pages, but still found nothing redeeming in it!Published 3 months ago by mouser
Another book in my top ten, which is odd because I mostly despise the works of Norman Mailer.
It's a good story set in Ancient Egypt, and features the rather compelling... Read more
in the review, itsd a minor point, but his wife was NEFERTIRI not NefertitiPublished 13 months ago by Sharon Mullins
Imaginative, daring, evocative, and thought provoking.
This book takes one an adventure through many lives in the mythical past of Ancient Egypt. Read more
This book made such a powerful impression on me when I read it. I've never read anything like it since - even from Mailer. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Cort Johnson
One of my favorite novels, this Mailer offering kept me engaged from start to finish. I will enjoy reading it again and again.Published 23 months ago by Cookie