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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Dan Brown style thriller
There are 2 types of books Manfredi writes, the historical fiction novels and the thrillers. This is the thriller genre. Of course with his background, the thriller has it's roots in ancient history, a la Dan Browns the Da Vinci code. Some of Manfredis attempts at this genre for me have not worked, however this one I thought was excellent. Written before 9/11 it predicts...
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by chuckles

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical Thrill Mish Mash
This is the second Valerio Massimo Manfredi novel I have read, and the least satisfactory. Manfredi is a professor of classical archaeology, and the two novels I have read have an historical thread running through them. However, in "The Pharaoh", this historical thread is crudely intertwined with an admittedly prescient, but for me hackneyed, terrorist threat to the USA...
Published on 2 Jun 2009 by S. Loddick


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical Thrill Mish Mash, 2 Jun 2009
By 
S. Loddick - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Paperback)
This is the second Valerio Massimo Manfredi novel I have read, and the least satisfactory. Manfredi is a professor of classical archaeology, and the two novels I have read have an historical thread running through them. However, in "The Pharaoh", this historical thread is crudely intertwined with an admittedly prescient, but for me hackneyed, terrorist threat to the USA plot. The comparisons with Dan Brown are hard to avoid, and this novel tried to be too much like Brown and strayed from Manfredi's strengths. I sometimes wondered if the clunkiness of the writing was down to poor translation?

In summary, barely average, certainly not one to recommend, but it won't put me of Manfredi.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Dan Brown style thriller, 22 Oct 2008
By 
chuckles "barnie884" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Hardcover)
There are 2 types of books Manfredi writes, the historical fiction novels and the thrillers. This is the thriller genre. Of course with his background, the thriller has it's roots in ancient history, a la Dan Browns the Da Vinci code. Some of Manfredis attempts at this genre for me have not worked, however this one I thought was excellent. Written before 9/11 it predicts a scary possibility of international terrorism that was not so far away from fact. I finished this book in less than a week and it caused many a late night as I felt I had to read just one more chapter.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Archaeological Adventure, 4 May 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Hardcover)
Few authors can be better equipped to write about the history of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome than Valerio Massimo Manfredi. Professor of archaeology at the university of Milan, he has carried out many excavations and expeditions in the Mediterranean region and has produced many factual books on historical matters, mainly military although he has still found the time to write several novels. This book is a archeological adventure story.

Manfredi is extremely adept at capturing the essence of the period he is writing about, whether that be ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome. This book takes place in the recent past but is heavily influenced by events from over 2,000 years ago. In 586 BC the Kingdom of Judah is caught up in a violent war with the Babylonians. A war in which Judah is unlikely to escape intact. During the ensuing chaos the Prophet Jeremiah endeavors to save the sacred Ark of the Covenant.

Over 2,000 years later the eminent Egyptologist William Blake is called to oversee the find of a magnificent Pharaoh's tomb located a number of miles from the Valley of the Kings. This in itself is incredible as it has always been believed among Egyptologists that the major tombs of the Pharaoh's existed only in the Valley of the Kings.

The site of the new tomb is located in a highly sensitive area, both politically and militarily. Blake's discoveries will lead to an amazing biblical discovery.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear..., 2 Jun 2011
This review is from: Pharaoh: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
I've read a number of Manfredi's previous truly historical novels and quite enjoyed them, but this one is a dud. I get the feeling he's tried to climb on the Dan Brown bandwagon, fallen off it, then tried to get back on a passing Tom Clancy bandwagon, and then fallen off that too... Very poor characterisation, weak, implausible plot line, a series of coincidences that go way beyond the 'suspend disbelief' margins. All in all, something I wish I'd not bothered buying. I hope he sticks to the historical stuff in future, as this is truly awful.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awful, 9 May 2011
By 
J. Parker (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Hardcover)
This is simply an awful book, the plot has so many holes it's ridiculous, the characters are terrible, and some of the fudges to keep the tale going are ludicrous. I actually finished reading it as I couldn't help myself, it was a bit like the mocking fascination that drives you to watch poor b-movies. A complete waste of paper
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pharoah - Manfredi, 22 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: Pharaoh (Paperback)
An interesting mix and quite a thought-provoking one. The Kingdom of Judah (poor old Zedekiah), Jeremiah and the Book of Kings, a soupcon of the prophet Baruch, the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in 586 BC and the Ark of the Covenant. In 2006 Egyptologist William Blake is at the centre of a discovery that involves Moses, a tomb of a pharaoh and the powder keg of war in the Middle East.

This is a very good read with a good incidence of 'can't put it down'. It could have ended happily half way, but it reaches new levels in the last part. The only reservation is that the last half has a marked degree of unreality about it. The quality of the writing and the historical plot reflects well the authoritative writing of a professor of classical archaeology.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read!, 19 Feb 2010
By 
SJ (Warrington, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pharaoh (Paperback)
'Shows Dan Brown how to do it!' had been emblazoned across the front cover of this book and as I had read Manfredi before, I was intrigued. Manfredi's usual style of writing ensures the very best in researching the subject and as such transports the reader sucessfully to that era. If this story could achieve this benchmark and build upon the usual rollercoster ride offered by Browns work then it would be a truly great novel.

However whilst parts of the story are gripping, such as the opening of the tomb and resultant discoveries within, some areas are too slow and a section to do with the escape is to be honest a bit too far. Again the research is first class but in my opinion doesn't really attain the heights expected of either Manfredi or Brown works.

Worthy of a read but you may, like me, be dissapointed with the closing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate, 9 Feb 2010
This review is from: Pharaoh (Hardcover)
I thought this was quite interesting until Blake 'fell in love' after only 2 weeks with the girlie - I hate inappropriate sex scenes there's just no need for them - unless the author is hoping for a movie to be made.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very badly plotted thriller, 28 Aug 2009
This review is from: Pharaoh (Paperback)
This was my first Valerio Massimo Manfredi novel. I'm not encouraged to read any more. The archaeology-based opening was interesting, but once it turned into a thriller I found the plot ludicrous. The coincidence of the archaeologist protagonist, Blake, just happening to have coffee with the most wanted terrorist in the US is just too much to take. And the device for getting the hero and heroine from Israel to the US at the right moment ("I've just remembered there's a small executive jet hidden not far from here! It's fully fuelled and has the range to reach the US! And, oh, did I mention that I have a pilot's licence?") made me want to throw the book down in disgust. I found the (naive? bizarre?) political viewpoint of the novel rather strange and unsettling as well.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Moses is turning in his grave!, 20 April 2010
By 
James Shields - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Paperback)
last week I had two Manfredi books in my hand this and 'The Lost Army'. I opted for this novel based on the cover - and yes I know you shouldn't judge a book and all that but I love stories about ancient Egypt.

Don't be fooled, the cover is a smoke screen for very poor novel which sees the lead character morph from one cliché to another, seemingly at random with no real character development.

I have read other reviews which liken this to a Dan Brown novel. You have got to be fncking kidding?! This book reads like a terrible straight to DVD film with a stilted script whose lines are delivered by hack actors.

The coincidences in the novel made me want to gouge my eyes out and the lead character's sudden declaration of love was so out of the blue that I thought I must have fallen asleep and missed an entire sub plot. A quick check revealed it was not there.

None of the characters have any depth and the leads transition from Indiana Jones to cold-faced killer is farcical, I have not finished reading this but hope he is killed off in some sort of horrific accident.

I got the impression from the very first chapter that the text was poorly translated from Italian, some of the dialogue is clunky and doesn't make much sense but translation aside there are just too many flaws in the story to really enjoy this book.

I'm stuck like a deer before headlights waiting to see how this book finishes but I get the impression the Author has some issues about the people of Israel.

I wept when I realised that I couldn't give this expensive 355 page toilet roll a zero star rating.

This is a bad book, it is terrible. Somehow there was a mix up at the publisher and they sent a first draft to print. I may end up using the pages of this trash to make a papier mache effigy of Manfredi so I can punch him in the face.
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Pharaoh
Pharaoh by Valerio Massimo Manfredi (Paperback - 5 Dec 2008)
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