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Three Novels of Ancient Egypt: Khufu's Wisdom/Rhadopis of Nubia/Thebes at War (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) Hardcover – 27 Mar 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 591 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library; Reprint edition (27 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307266249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307266248
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 3.6 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,153,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Mahfouz's characters blaze with intensity, his Egypt pulsates with unresolved tensions."
--THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
"Mahfouz's understanding of human psychology and history is profound."
--THE BOSTON GLOBE
"He is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, a Mann, a Zola, and a Jules Romains."
--Edward Said, LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
"Mahfouz is the single most important writer in modern Arabic literature."
--NEWSDAY
"A storyteller of the first order in any idiom."
--VANITY FAIR
"Through works rich in nuance--now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous--Mahfouz has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind."
--The Swedish Academy, upon awarding Mahfouz the Nobel Prize in Literature

Mahfouz s characters blaze with intensity, his Egypt pulsates with unresolved tensions.
THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
Mahfouz s understanding of human psychology and history is profound.
THE BOSTON GLOBE
He is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, a Mann, a Zola, and a Jules Romains.
Edward Said, LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
Mahfouz is the single most important writer in modern Arabic literature.
NEWSDAY
A storyteller of the first order in any idiom.
VANITY FAIR
Through works rich in nuance now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous Mahfouz has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.
The Swedish Academy, upon awarding Mahfouz the Nobel Prize in Literature"

Book Description

Three Novels of Ancient Egypt Khufu's Wisdom, Rhadopis of Nubia, Thebes at War
Translated by Raymond Stock, Anthony Calderbank and Humphrey Davies
Introduction by Nadine Gordimer


"If the urge to write should ever leave me", Mahfouz said in an interview recently, "I want that day to be my last." --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Beautifully packaged by Everyman's Library, these three novellas from Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz are folk tales from the pharonic periods of Egypt. Included are "Khufu's Wisdom", a story that speaks to the futility of challenging fate, even if you are the most powerful man in the world; "Rhadopis of Nubia", the story of an all-consuming love affair that brings down a young pharoh; and "Thebes at War", that has the feel in story and language of "The Iliad" or other classical epics.

Author Mahfouz has purposely given his stories an extrarealist, even surrealist, feel. His interest is less in providing a totally accurate historic context but more in presenting interesting characters living in historic times. It's no accident that he portrays the powerful as especially vulnerable to destiny, passion and sins of pride and arrogance. The loftiest characters in these stories lose the most in terms of privilege and power. These books were written at a time when Egypt's modern rulers were seen as ineffectual, corrupt and personally inmmoral.

As mentioned, "Three Novels of Ancient Egypt" is beautifully bound and printed (complete with silk place holder). There is an interesting forward by novelist Nadine Gordimer in which she includes a favorite quote from literary critic Georg Lukacs. "What matters i the historical novel is not the telling of great historical events, but the poet's awakening of people who figure in those events." Apt for these three novellas. Wonderful read. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stunning historical trilogy with interesting central characters with time spanning through the ancient Egyptian kingdoms. The stories are fantastical but based on just enough historical references to make them visually real and appealing to read. Power and destiny, human weaknesses and strength of beliefs are the recurring themes: these are epic stories and yet are eminently readable, well recounted and translated.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three impressive early works by Nobelist Mahfouz 19 Oct. 2010
By Blue in Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully packaged by Everyman's Library, these three novellas from Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz are folk tales from the pharonic periods of Egypt. Included are "Khufu's Wisdom", a story that speaks to the futility of challenging fate, even if you are the most powerful man in the world; "Rhadopis of Nubia", the story of an all-consuming love affair that brings down a young pharoh; and "Thebes at War", that has the feel in story and language of "The Iliad" or other classical epics.

Author Mahfouz has purposely given his stories an extrarealist, even surrealist, feel. His interest is less in providing a totally accurate historic context but more in presenting interesting characters living in historic times. It's no accident that he portrays the powerful as especially vulnerable to destiny, passion and sins of pride and arrogance. The loftiest characters in these stories lose the most in terms of privilege and power. These books were written at a time when Egypt's modern rulers were seen as ineffectual, corrupt and personally inmmoral.

As mentioned, "Three Novels of Ancient Egypt" is beautifully bound and printed (complete with silk place holder). There is an interesting forward by novelist Nadine Gordimer in which she includes a favorite quote from literary critic Georg Lukacs. "What matters i the historical novel is not the telling of great historical events, but the poet's awakening of people who figure in those events." Apt for these three novellas. Wonderful read. Recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 Novels of Ancient Egypt 29 Jun. 2014
By R. R, Castillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mahfouz' ancient Egypt novels carry a weight of authority, but are in fact an acquired taste--Mahfouz' style does not immediately sit well in English. Still, each novel holds up well.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading 21 Jan. 2010
By The River Horus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sorry to disagree with the majority of reviews and with the critical praise heaped on Mahfouz as a writer but I found these novels of "ancient Egypt" rather mundane and misleading. As historical novels, they fail to create a sense of place or atmosphere. The setting of the action in ancient Egypt is purely coincidental in that the stories might as well have been set in just about any period and with only slight adjustment of a few incidental details might as well been. Characterization is similarly weak in terms of drawing upon any historical features. Perhaps the translations are partially to blame, but even this does not explain or excuse what I regard as many glaring anachronisms in the novels. For example, early in the novel "Rhadopis of Nubia", a variation on the Cinderella story, Mahfouz describes a set of statues of the "kings of the Sixth Dynasty", a term that could not possibly have any conceptual meaning to the contemporaries of the story. If you are looking for historical fiction in the vein of a Renault, Stewart, or Cornwell, you will be mislead by these novels.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love Egypt 31 July 2008
By Sandra A. Engelbrecht - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love each and every one of these books. If you love realistic Egypt you will love these books. Very well written and you can almost imagine yourself there.
0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Ancient Egypt 17 Jun. 2009
By Fred. K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased the book based on a review. I've just started to read and was a little put off at first. but it grabbed my interest as I progressed. I look forward to an enjoyable and informative read.
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