Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for N Louis > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by N Louis
Top Reviewer Ranking: 87,407
Helpful Votes: 47

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
N Louis (Emsworth, UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
The Egyptian (Rediscovered Classics) Waltari, Mika ( Author ) Apr-01-2002 Paperback
The Egyptian (Rediscovered Classics) Waltari, Mika ( Author ) Apr-01-2002 Paperback
by Mika Waltari
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece for lovers of Egyptology., 2 Jan. 2015
This is a beautiful novel that I have enjoyed reading tremendously.

Waltari has managed to recreate factual events of a particular era surrounding the Pharaoh King Akhenaton, what went before him and what came after, and to weave it into a novel, but documentary in its core. I have checked the encyclopaedia and my Egyptology textbook, and all events and personages are true and factual. With the exception of Sinuhe himself, the main protagonist in the book, they all belonged to the 18th dynasty. Sinuhe lived 600 years before everyone else in the book, which is a little flaw but not serious. Waltari managed very successfully to combine Sinuhe and his wife in exile which is factual, after the pharaoh of the time was assassinated while Sinuhe, a poet and pharaoh's envoy, was in Lybia and fearing going back, ending up in Syria and settling there, and his return to his homeland later and remarrying, with what happened when Amenhotep IV went away from traditions on acceding to the throne and set up his monotheistic religion in the form of Aton the sun god, spirit like and present everywhere and not represented by statues of stone, preaching peace and love, and fraternity and equality between all men, with fierce opposition from the temple priests. Until then Egypt dominated the neighbouring nations, trade was prospering between Egypt and many other nations, foreigners came to live in Egypt bringing in their own customs, traditions and their own gods, and many Egyptians went to settle in the foreign lands conquered by Egypt.

Amenhotep IV had a genetic and chromosomal abnormality, and was born with a drooped jaw, abnormal head shape, thin legs and pot belly. He erected his own city to replace Thebes, changed his name to Akhenaton, advanced different forms of art on the temple walls, and married Nefertiti. Obviously the power of Egypt declined, and Horemheb, the chief commander, and Eie, the chief priest, got rid of him. He had six daughters from Nefertiti, and the two eldest married two brothers, Sekenre and Tut. Sekenre became pharaoh for two years followed by Tut for ten years. Then Eie took the reign followed by Horemheb for several years who had a son named Rameses from Baketamon, sister of Akhenaton. After Akhenaton's death, all traces of his existence were erased from the temple walls, and Egypt's capital moved back to Thebes, his utopian model city that he created becoming a ghost town, and the god Aton abolished and Ammon restored.

Waltari, through the novel, discusses so well all customs and religions of the time, not just in Egypt but also in Syria, Babylon, Hatti and Crete, including the art of medicine and skull trephining, mummification, and the art of war and it's awful consequences.

I found many of the religious notions that Waltari advanced in the novel worrying. He has drawn lots of subtle analogies between the religion of the Pharaohs and Christianity through some of the dialogues between the main characters. He also intimated similarities to Judaism and in particular its origin. It was the first time in history that monotheism was thought of, and love and peace brought to the forefront. There is a theory that Moses took inspiration from Aton, as he lived around the same time as Akhenaton and the events that followed, Moses coming about forty years later. It may be interesting to know that the hymn written by Akhenaton has an almost total resemblance to Psalm 104. I am not sure why Waltari would have wanted this information hinted at in his novel, and whether it is entirely innocent in the sense that he is saying that all religions rotate around the same ideas or whether he had another motive and declaring that Judaism and Christianity may not be all that original after all, that is if he was atheist.

Waltari was raised in a Christian family, and he had also studied theology but quit. It is said that his relationship with religion varied from disbelief to extasy, but later he came back to Christianity.

I have enjoyed reading the book and I have learnt a lot from it historically.


King Candaules
King Candaules
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Admiration mightier tha Love, 22 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: King Candaules (Kindle Edition)
This is a very beautifully written short novel by the poet Gautier. Readers will remember it being touched upon in the film The English Patient, and of course in Herodotus book The Histories. Gautier has developed the story into a beautifully crafted and poetic novella, exploring the psychological aspects of the tragedy and its participants.

Candaules, the Lydian King of Sardes, is marrying Nyssia, the daughter of a barbarian King, whose unparalleled beauty preceded her all over Asia Minor and Greece. In her culture, no man shall ever see her face or any part of her body save her husband. Her renown beauty was spread by her maids and some of her closest friends who had beheld her beauty. The people of Sardes were so disappointed when her cortege entered the city for they could not admire for themselves what they had heard of her extreme beauty as she was and always remained veiled. Candaules felt he possessed what could not be described in words, ' beauty, pure, radiant, without spot, without flaw, the ideal made real, the dream accomplished, a form which no painter or sculptor has been able to translate upon canvas, into marble '.

Candaules tried in vain to convince Nyssia to show herself to his people by removing her veil but to no avail. In essence he wanted to show her off for his admiration was becoming mightier than his love for her. He needed to express to others how fortunate he was to have in his possession such a sought after jewel which no other man could dream of. Eventually he hatched the idea that perhaps he could show her to the leader of his guards, Gyges, in secret, and which he did. Nyssia, on the night this happened, caught a glimpse of Gyges hiding in the marital bedroom chamber, and was distressed beyond consolation, for she felt violated and also humiliated by her husband.

It is worth mentioning that Gyges when sent by his king to escort Nyssia into the city on her arrival to wed Candaules, had inadvertently glimpsed her face when her veil flew off after a sudden gust of wind, and had then fallen in love with his queen. After watching her in all her glory on that fateful night, he became totally besotted with her. To be fair, he tried to convince his king of the absurdity of the request , but had to submit to him. Gyges felt he could no longer flee from fate and that this was his destiny.

Nyssia summoned Gyges the next day and with a cool, determined and unbending will told him that only one pair of eyes could remain alive, those who have the right to see and know her body, and gave him the choice of ' kill or die '. Thus the chastity of Nyssia was avenged and the dream of Gyges accomplished.

The story is full of allegories to Greek mythology which can be heavy at times, but the writing flows, is very succinct and attractive and enjoyable to read, and the story is beautifully presented and well structured.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars I am very pleased with this purchase, 14 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am very pleased with this purchase. They are the original Sennheiser ear pads. It was easy to fit them on, and I am back to enjoying good sound from my headphones. They should last me another five years, and I think the price of £4.99 is quite reasonable rather than buying a whole new set of Sennheiser headphones.


Travail (French Edition)
Travail (French Edition)
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Zola's model vision of just and rewarding labour, 13 Nov. 2014
This is totally unlike all other Zola's novels particularly the Rougon-Macquart cycle, and I have read them all. In Travail, Zola has a biased perspective, the story and it is a good one in essence revolving around the creation of a model community through collectivism for the happiness, peace and justice of all, doing away with the wage system and instead having in place the amalgamation of each person's work leading to fair distribution for all, where emphasis is in making labour dignified and all too important, and where a model city is created with good housing, clean water and air, and shared communal recreation, where no classes exist, and where fraternity and equality reign, the dreamed of perfect Utopia.
I thought the narration and the wedging of these ideas in the story were simplistic, and the notions non plausible. Having shut out all other mundane factors from the story equation, suddenly the novel becomes didactic and theoretical, and Zola kept repeating the same notions over and over again to try and impose them on the reader. I think he wanted to draw our attention to the inequality in the world which would have been rife around his time, but he failed in the presentation. He may have really believed in such model society towards the end of his life.
Zola certainly had a great vision, for in the novel he addressed communism and anarchism, and the good and bad that these systems could do, but he believed that at the end peace and justice would prevail, and that the end justifies the rocky and at times bloody conflict along the way to reach the desired final destination. He also had a vision for future science, the role of electricity replacing coal, the mechanisation to improve the worker's lot, the role of would be aviation, and he predicted wireless communications one day. He truly had a great mind. He was against wars and their destructive effects on people's lives and dignity.
The book is an interesting read but not a convincing one. The good that comes from it is his attempt to address the employer / employee relationship, and the way forward for a happy employee enjoying their work and an employer that strives to treat workers with fairness, justice and merit, for the ultimate peace and prosperity of society.


The Mummy's Foot
The Mummy's Foot
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars The 3000-year-old Pharaoh Princess, 13 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Mummy's Foot (Kindle Edition)
This is a very short story by Theophile Gaultier who is more of a poet than a story teller. The story itself is interesting but the style is unattractive. Each reader will probably come up with their own interpretation, but for me it is about what we consider precious in our life. There is also the theme of the unparalleled Pharoah civilisation, and how we should connect with it on its own merits and not through our modern eyes. I would normally give this book one star, but I have given it two stars because of the originality of the story and what it evokes in terms of thoughts.


12 x Anti Virus Swine Flu Surgical Face Masks with earloops
12 x Anti Virus Swine Flu Surgical Face Masks with earloops
Offered by Max Medsurge
Price: £0.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Adequate Protection, 23 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are very effective face masks against smog pollution and in poorly ventilated crowded places, on foreign travels.


Seraphita
Seraphita
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Balzac delves into the supernatural world, 5 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seraphita (Kindle Edition)
In this novel Balzac tackles the supernatural. The theme is based on the writings of Swedenborg, a swede who settled in Norway, a scientist turned mystic in his late years, and who wrote several books in which he gave his own interpretation of the divine, with particular reference to Christianity. Balzac discusses the various ideas and dogmas put forward by Swedenborg through the protagonist Seraphita. Two other characters, Wilfrid and Minna, help to reinforce the notion of the book by setting them up at the other end of the spectrum from the pure and angelic Seraphita, only for them to cross that path eventually. Seraphita lives an exemplary life, devoting everything to the Supreme Being, to merit the eternal bliss, which, according to Swedenborg, is to become an angel in heaven, for angels, as the story goes, are but humans who have attained the sought after higher status through their soul purification during their life on earth. The novel is too heavy and tedious to read in many parts, and several of the debates no longer hold in the 21st century. But certainly reading this novel is an illumination and an insight into many of the religious perceptions.


La mare au diable. English
La mare au diable. English
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars A novel about the French peasant and their ways and customs, 27 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a short novel, rather plain, and at times the dialogue feels child like, but George Sand's objective was to explore the life of the ordinary peasant and their customs and folklores. In the first chapter, she addresses the reader directly, making a rather sinister analogy with Holbein's paintings about death. She stressed the point that art should not be about portraying pain and suffering, despair and tragedy, but that it should be about hope and happiness. I do not think many of the artists and writers over the centuries would agree with her. The second point she makes is that we should not look down upon peasants, for although some may appear dull and uninteresting, leading a very simple life in the fields, others are no less intellectual than the rest of the population, and do have diverse interests.

The story line is basic and straightforward, but not unappealing to read. I would have liked to see more depth and more expansion, but the characters are well written and you get to know them well. In the Epilogue, Sand addresses the reader again, and goes into some exhausting detail about the customs of marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies in rural France, passed on from the Middle Ages, and she laments the loss of that art by the urbanisation of the land and the encroaching fast pace of life with its practical short cuts adopted by people that threatens those very customs. I found this section tedious and non relevant to the story. It would be of real interest to those who want to study in comprehensive detail the history of the ' Maeurs' in French Society.


Epson XP30/ 202/ 302/ 405 11.5ml Ink Cartridge - Black
Epson XP30/ 202/ 302/ 405 11.5ml Ink Cartridge - Black
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Epson, 15 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is genuine Epson cartridge, it fitted into the printer without any hitch, the ink as expected is of good quality, and the price is very competitive for the ink volume.


Yvette
Yvette
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Maupassant on the theme of life's realities., 2 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Yvette (Kindle Edition)
This is an enjoyable short novel to read which has at its centre the young Yvette, still innocent and naive, unaware that all the comfort and the attention she lives in come from her mother's shady profession. When this dawns on her, her dreams of romantic love and of marriage come crumbling down. Her rebellion is short lived, for she comes to accept the status quo, and she follows in her mother's foot steps. Maupassant is a masterly writer, and the characters and events are presented in an attractive and flowing style.
The theme in Maupassant's story reminds me of Shaw's play Mrs Warren Profession, except that Shaw chose a different ending.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6