Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips took me forever to read because real life kept intruding. I suspect this was actually a good thing because most of the characters in the book are unlikable and I might have gotten too annoyed with them (despite my love of unreliable narrators) to finish if I'd been reading faster. The time I took allowed me to appreciate the humor of the characters and the story in small doses without being overwhelmed. The book is about an archeologist in the early 1920s, who is searching for the tomb of a rather pornographic pharaoh only he seems to believe really existed. Mixed in with his pompous journal entries and hysterical musings on his anticipated achievements are letters from his fiancee and reminisces of a retired private investigator in the 1950s relating how he solved a double murder during the same years. Shortly after I finally got a chance to really sit and devote some time to it, the book turned delightfully dark and twisted and became even more fun to read. I've read reviews of this book that have said that the ending is unexpected, but they must really underestimate the intelligence of the average reader, because I had guessed the supposed twist from the very beginning. This didn't take away from the story much though, because the way the truth is revealed is so great.

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