Birds of the Nile Paperback – 27 Sep 2013
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About the Author
N.E.David is the pen name of writer Nick David. Birds of the Nile is his debut novel. He lives in York, UK.
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At times I was a little unsure of the protagonists motivation, which made the middle of the story slow a little too much for me. However, this is an interesting and worthwhile read and I would happily suggest it to anyone.
involved in extraordinary events. It looked at the Egyptian revolution from a different perspective than our TV sets and
made heroes out of seemingly un-heroic individuals. The setting. both in place and time were convincing. The author depicts
blindness in a sympathetic but unsentimental way. A book which leaves you thinking about the characters long after you have
closed the last page.
The romantic involvement is subtle and fittingly so. The novel contains a broad tapestry of characters. I liked the silent Ira, the larger than life Mrs Biltmore and the Britishness of David and Joan.
The subplot of the birding holiday was well considered and was woven seamlessly throughout the novel. I also enjoyed the Foreign Office sections and the personage of Carpenter, who was the epitome of officialdom - a penpusher who offloaded his workload elsewhere.
I was delighted to revisit through Birds of the Nile some of the historic monuments I visited myself whilst in Egypt and it refreshed my memory of the ways of the Egyptian people, whilst at the same time letting me view things from a different perspective - that of an Englishman who considers himself Egyptian.
All in all this novel is a triumph which I have already recommended to friends.
beginning, we are fascinated and intrigued by this sightless man and want to know his story. Depicted intially as a straight forward representation of the quiet, retiring foreign diplomat intent only on searching out the 'fabulous birds of the nile', N.E. David nevertheless, uses Blake's inner voice to hint that so much more lies deep below the surface. It is with some flair, therefore, that the author introduces us to the idea that 'they' - his colleagues in the Foreign Service - do not understand him or the country they work in; implying Blake knows both well. The journey we take is not so much down the Nile but Blake's journey of self-discovery where he experiences loss but awakenings too. The novel begins and ends in his room but the spirit of the place is Egypt - past and present - in all its unfathomableness. There is a wealth of difference between the two but as the revolution gets underway and we are drawn into the muddy grey area of politics, power and love - the slow emergence of heroism surprises no one more than Blake himself.
I can well recommend this book.