The world of ancient Egypt springs magnificently to life in this astonishing historical novel of love, war, political intrigue, and religious revolution. Told from the first-person point of view, it is the story of Sinuhe, physician to the royal court of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his successors in the middle of the tumultuous 14th century B.C. From his exalted position, Sinuhe was able to observe and participate in some of the most intimate and important decisions that affected the powerful Egyptian kingdom of the 18th Dynasty during a very troubled period of its history.
Waltari brilliantly captures the life and rhythms of the ancient world as it was 3,400 years ago. When Sinuhe is sent as envoy to various foreign courts, including Babylon, Syria, and Crete, he encounters strange people with even stranger customs and beliefs. But Sinuhe is a tortured soul, a man who has been in love many times, and always to his sorrow. He travels to forget. Based on actual historical events, Sinuhe encounters many of the real-life characters who are familiar to many: Pharaoh Akhnaton, Queen Nefertiti, Tutankhamon, and the ruthless Horemheb - all real people whose lives, images, and stories are known to us from stone engravings, sculpture, and papyrus chronicles brought to light by modern archaeology. Follow along on a journey down the ancient Nile to a time of mysterious religions, beautiful palaces, and squalid urban life - to a time of spiritual and political passions that threatened to overwhelm an entire kingdom.
©1945 Estate of Mika Waltari (P)2014 Audio Connoisseur
I have loved the historical novels of Mika Waltari since I was a kid. He hit on a good formula. Take a figure from the past and let him (always a him unfortunately) make his way. The Egyptian is, I believe, the first of his historical novels (the Etruscan, and the Roman his most well-known other works). We follow Sinue from his childhood all the way to his old age. And, he meets people who represent different classes and trends in the society. And he has adventures and love affairs along the way. Now, this is not great writing but it is compelling writing.
A word about the narrator, Charlton Griffin. Griffin has an amazing voice. He imbues his characters with such distinctiveness. It is a pleasure to listen to him. Well, that is except for the female characters. Just as Waltari gave the females in this novel a sameness which is bothersome, Griffin does not render the female characters as fluidly as he does the males. So, if you are looking for a modern, progressive novel, this might not suit. But if you are in the mood for a nice stroll through history, this might be just your cup of tea.
Charlton Griffin is such an eloquent reader whom I became a fan of after listening to the complete Sherlock Holmes stories with Audible (highly recommended by the way!). Charlton handles this book with great care and builds the myriad of characters in this tome with passion and caring. The voice of the main character of Sinuhe through the years and the many supporting characters, especially of his loyal slave Kaptah, was all handled masterfully by the reader. The only weakness in Charlton's craft (at least with this book) is his limited range with the female characters. They all all sound more or less alike...kind of a shrilly old hag. Once I got used to that, I decided to tolerate that one flaw in exchange of the rest of the brilliant read. Great performance in all.
I'm Egyptian I study Egypt history to connect me with home. I would say the story is mostly fiction but the description of the ancient way of life is accurate. The original story was in a different pharaoh reign, not Akhenaton, but just finishing reading the book "Nefertiti" I enjoyed it more because it's information was still fresh. I loved the performance and the special sound effect made it very different than the other books I heard on audible. It was more like watching a movie which I really liked. I hope those who read it find it as interesting as I did.
This is among the top 3 audiobooks I've listened to so far. The story is completely absorbing and the narration is top notch. Some of the characters are really funny, too, which I wasn't expecting. I chose this audiobook on a whim, never having been drawn to ancient Egyptian history before, and now I'm really fascinated by that period.
I can't think of a close comparison to this book, but if you like historical fiction or Egyptian history then you would probably like this.
A great narrator can make a story come to life, and a bad narrator can ruin an otherwise great novel. Luckily, Charlton Griffin is the former. His performance is perfectly nuanced and not overdone. I'm really impressed by his vocal agility, especially when portraying the supporting characters. I will definitely seek out other audiobooks narrated by him.
I would love to go to dinner with Kaptah, Sinuhe's loyal servant, and of course he would find a way to make me pay :) He is definitely the funniest character in the book, but he also has depth and a lot of heart under his great belly.
I'm definitely glad I took the risk on this audiobook, and I look forward to Mika Waltari's other novels.
This was a fantastic literary work. I will. never forget the characters. Very 😔 ending. I wished Sinuhe could have won happiness with Maneer !!
Excellent story and rendition. If at all interested in ancient Egypt, Syria, Crete, or the Hittites, this is a must. It is chaptered in a way that allows you to pick back up after long breaks. Highly recommend!
I love it and enjoyed every part of the book. I read it many years ago and consider it the best book I had ever read. It is between my favorites of all times.
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