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The Pharaoh's Shadow: Travels in Ancient and Modern Egypt [Paperback]

Anthony Sattin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 2001
In a ruined temple along the Nile, Anthony Sattin came across a woman praying to the gods of ancient Egypt to bless her with a child. Later the same day, a policeman stopped his taxi to ask if he had a mobile phone - he wanted to call his mother. These encounters encapsulated the Egyptian experience: while undoubtedly forward-looking, Egyptians are obsessed with their long and well-documented past. Europeans, Turks, Mamelukes, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Jews, Christians and Muslims have all left their mark; but older than them all are the surviving customs of Ancient Egypt, from fertility rituals and funerary rites to the cult of saints, snake-charmers and magicians.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (1 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575402784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575402782
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 953,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

Recent Reviews
'This is a marvellous book, and one that any living travel writer would have been proud to write...it stands as one of the most fascinating and remarkable travel writing debuts to be published for many years.' (William Dalrymple, The Spectator, 1 July 2000)

'...a great read that gets my vote for the first Thomas Cook Travel Award of the new millennium. If you read only one travel book this year, make it this one.' (Robert Carver, Daily Mail, 9 June 2000)

'From a long and intimate acquaintance with the country he has distilled a delightfully idiosyncratic exhibition of Pharaonic survivals in modern Egypt - half travel book, half Golden Bough. It is fun, enthralling and sometimes scary, rather like Egypt itself.' (Jan Morris, The Independent, 29 April 2000) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Anthony Sattin has been travelling in and writing about Egypt for 10 years and contributes frequently to the Sunday Times travel pages.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating adventure through Egypt 29 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Anthony Sattin's book takes a Egypt from a different angle to many of the other books I have read about the country. "The Pharaoh's Shadow" contains no endless ramblings about the beauty of the priceless archaelogical treasures that Egypt is best known for, but follows the trail of a man very much in love with this country. Sattin sets out to understand the culture of modern Egypt by looking at "survivals" from times past. Sattin records his travels with humour, incredible detail and enchanting style. I devoured this book; it has served to increase my yearning for further knowledge of the fascinating land of Egypt. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How you would *really* like to explore Egypt! 13 Dec 2012
By 31
The minute you get off the beaten tourist track in Egypt without a guide, you you find yourself in a land that is in equal measure beguiling and frustrating. But you wanted to get a feel of the 'real Egypt,' right?

Sattin's book takes you through byroads and lost trails. His meetings with Egyptians exude charm and a distinctly Egyptian way of investigating. He ponders customs, folklore, religions ancient and modern, strange beliefs, weaving a poetry of discovery between mudbrick villages and monuments known and unknown.

Perhaps you are an independent traveller, waiting on Edfu station for five hours for a train that might not come. Or maybe you are a suntanned holidaymaker, cruising the Nile and experiencing Egypt through more vicarious means. But there probably comes a time when you stow your Fodors or Lonely Planet, and need something a little less serious than E.A. Wallis Budge's definitive guide to Egyptian Mythology. You retire from the heat to your mosquito net or air-conditioned berth. And, at such times, Sattin is like the eccentric but trusted friend you never knew you had.

This is among the best travel writing. Informative yet relatively easy on a near sunstroked brain. He displays a genuine interest in people to be envied and emulated. He tells you personal stories about Luxor Temple the tour guides and books would never know. He penetrates the seemingly impenetrable native bureaucracy of hidden destinations with charm and genuine emotion. It will not be long before you start wondering if the tomb or wooden shack he mentions is just around the corner. The factual map in your back-pocket reveals new colour as you pour over the names; and the twinkle in a street-seller's eye offers warmth and stories that are there for your asking. Sattin is the man who asked.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Anthony!!! 4 Dec 2009
I bought this book because I wanted to have another point of view about Egypt and Egyptians although I had lived here.

The author lived in Cairo for some years and became acquainted with the language and the behavior. He get back a disenchanted and real glimpse of Egypt and you can feel his eagerness for understanding.

He preferred to know people to find the nobility and the MAGIC they inherited from the past and he has never interfered with the pride and the secrets even if he reported about real SURVIVALS.

The book is a little sad in the end even if I share his decision not to stay in Egypt and watch a dramatically change for exasperate modernity, a longing for big malls and opportunity.

The future looks black, but We Hope for a bright bean of light!!!

Thank you Anthony for this beautiful and unique insight!!
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