on 7 October 2012
The 'Book' of the Dead is a series of prayers entombed with the dead to guide them through the afterlife. Faulkner's book contains one of the most comprehensive compilations of these prayers and (although I'm no scholar of Egyptology) from what I'm told, it is the most authoritative translation. Faulkner's book is a great insight into Egyptian religion with many unexpected nuances. It is well put together with plenty of illustrations from the original scrolls showing the scenes described in the prayers and has a brief introduction to the subject describing the Book of the Dead, its development and place in Egyptian religion.
Despite being a 'popular' version, the text does not shy away from literal accuracy, leaving it a complicated, but rewarding read. Because of the broad audience, the book does not have any scholarly discussions about why certain passages have been translated the way they have, but that's not something that bothers me. In all honesty, I'd even recommend the book for perspective and entry level students, since the fully academic version with the rendering notes left in can cost over £100.
The book of the dead is not a comprehensive or easily understood guide to ancient Egypt, but if you want to read about ancient Egyptian religion through the eyes of the ancient Egyptians, then this book is ESSENTIAL.
on 13 May 2015
An absolutely beautiful book. The only thingI think would improve it is - it's only the translations, but it doesn't show the original hierogylphic text. It's also missing the original notes about the translations. It's for general interest, not real study.
But if it included all that as well, it would probably be 3x the price!
Superb value and gorgeous photos.