Customer Review

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, and dare I say it - enthralling!, 5 April 2012
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This review is from: Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Complete Beginners: The Revolutionary New Approach to Reading the Monuments (Hardcover)
This book is a must for beginners - its red decal says it all - Brand New Method.
As a beginner starting out with the intention of better understanding all those monuments that one visits in Egypt, I sought various books that would get me to that point. Janice Kamrin's book - Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: a practical guide is also excellent but introduces large numbers of words before one even gets to trying out what one has learned other than through exercises of text. Working with real inscriptions comes much later, but only after one has really struggled.

Bill Manley's new book is different in that it instills confidence right from the first chapter - starting with a stela for translation which he shows is entirely possible by learning and referring to a few basics and following some rules. Chapters progress steadily introducing the reader to the offering formula, with relevant tidbits and history carefully placed to increase understanding and maintain interest. Almost without realising it as one moves through the chapters, one picks up 2 and 3 sound signs, titles of position, and being able to tackle more and more complex dedications and epithets. The illustrations are good with both photographs and line drawings to ease visualisation, and sections of carvings ringed off so as to tackle the transliterations and translations piecemeal. By the end one is dealing with quite complex carvings and feeling good about how to approach them.

I managed the whole book in a week, getting up early just to tackle a little more, and similarly each evening. Mesmerising and a real treat.
This book replaces and far supersedes the starter chapters in the 'best seller' of he and Mark Collier - How to Read Egyptian - although he suggests their text a follow up to this book. It is clear to me that this new volume requires a successor volume that will move the reader on to some of the more complex issues by using the new methodology and especially the layout which is so much better. I look forward to that book emerging soon as it will certainly become the new standard. Thanks and well done Bill.
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