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Publisher's Summary

Little more than 200 years ago, only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared traverse the unmapped territory of the modern-day Middle East. Its history and peoples were the subject of much myth and speculation - and no region aroused greater interest than Egypt.

It was not until 1798, when an unlikely band of scientific explorers traveled from Paris to the Nile Valley, that Westerners received their first real glimpse of what lay beyond the Mediterranean Sea.

Under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Army, a small and little-known corps of Paris' brightest intellectual lights left the safety of their laboratories, studios, and classrooms to embark on a 30-day crossing into the unknown: some never to see French shores again. Carrying pencils instead of swords, specimen jars instead of field guns, these highly accomplished men participated in the first large-scale interaction between Europeans and Muslims of the modern era. And many lived to tell the tale.

Internationally acclaimed journalist Nina Burleigh brings readers back to a little-known landmark adventure at the dawn of the modern era - one that ultimately revealed the deepest secrets of ancient Egypt to a very curious continent.

©2007 Nina Burleigh (P)2007 Books on Tape

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A lesson in history

The perspective of this novel is fascinating. It contains an encyclopedia of information woven together well. Little cumbersome at times but definately worth the trouble.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too little plot, too much political patronizing

The politically correct carping starts subtly and ends overtly. It's not terribly thoughtful. Though purporting to rescue Egyptians from the stain of French and British foreigners, the author instead disrespects them with her view that they were helplessly infantile.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Listened to it twice.

Where does Mirage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the best book I have come across on the scientists that accompanied Napoleon on the French adventure in Egypt.

Any additional comments?

The narrator Cassandra Campbell while obviously an American speaker did a creditable job in pronouncing the French names and words which is always appreciated.
There is a freshness of tone in Nina Burleigh, perhaps due to the fact that she is a young journalist rather than a grizzled Historian. She has an obvious affection for Egypt, the Scientists and though she has reservations about Napoleon and the soldiers, but she does not have the usual hostility towards Napoleon found among Anglos.
A good read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great combination of history, science and culture

What made the experience of listening to Mirage the most enjoyable?

The very rich, multi-layered intellectual experience. Many of the current West vs. East issues are seen in this book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Understanding how Napolean was the rock star of his day.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

nice prespective on what happenned on the ground

If you could sum up Mirage in three words, what would they be?

I enjoyed the read. It made you feel and smell the aroma of the time and it tells you how the role of science and scientists make all the difference in human progress.