Customer Reviews for

The Egyptologist

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Worst book

    This was way too long. I figured out the so calledvtwists early on and then was bored eith rhe endless entries from "Trilipush" who had clearly gone quite mad. Very disappointing

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    "Tedious" doesn't even begin to describe this book.

    I tried to give it a chance. I really did. But after a while, the endless, overblown, self-absorbed narrative from both "correspondents" led me to do something I have never done with a novel: put it down. I totally lost interest. After 150 pages or so, a writer worth his salt has to cut to the chase. Maybe it all leads to a thrilling, orgasmic climax, but the foreplay is absolutely forgettable. The equivalent of looking for cracks in the ceiling while you're waiting for it to over with. He also has to create characters with whom the reader can find even an iota of identification. Trillipush is simply loathsome. Perhaps he is meant to be, but the Aussie private detective is only slightly less so. Obviously, Phillips has a loyal following, and it is to be hoped his other novels have not followed this florid, paid-by-the-word, narrative approach. Sadly, after wading through this tripe I will not waste my time trying to find out.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best book I've ever read!

    This is my favorite book of all time. The story is interesting. It's like a puzzle you piece together from different characters perspective. Love it!

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    amusing, excellent twist

    How does an Australian detective connect a missing Australian soldier with a British Egyptologist who lives in Boston? Through a series of letters written by Ferrell (the detective) and journal entries written by Trilipush (the Egyptologist), the story slowly but surely weaves itself together. And the ending! It was kind of expected, but not in the way that I thought. I will not tell you, you need to read it for yourself! But it was the type of ending that makes me want to read it again, now that I know what I know...

    The two main characters side-by-side showed many similarities. Both wanted to achieve immortality: Trilipush in making a great Egyptian find, and Ferrell in turning this old case of his into a book or a movie. They both believed what they wanted to believe despite not having anything factual to support their claims. And, they both went to great lengths to prove their unfounded beliefs.

    Seeing the other characters, namely Margaret and CCF, through Trilipush's and Ferrell's eyes also sheds light onto their personalities. Ferrell, being a detective, tends to be more pragmatic and realistic, while Trilipush leans more toward what he wants to see instead of what is there. It's hard to establish the true characteristics of Margaret and CCF when they are shown to the reader in two different lights. Margaret does send a few letters to Trilipush while he's in Egypt, but the letters mostly show that she's not even sure of who she is, either.

    Trilipush's excursions to the desert happen alongside the great discovery of King Tut by Howard Carter. This, I think, is a great aspect of the story; it shows that Trilipush has enormous shoes to fill and he does get jealous. When he first meets him, Trilipush finds Carter quite amiable, but as more and more comes out of Tut's tomb, Trilipush derides Carter and thinks poorly of Carter's excavation process.

    Now to talk about the ending without revealing too much...The entire story is put together in a way that is humorous and entertaining with bits of mystery thrown in to keep the reader guessing. Reading along, I did pick up on things here and there that, if I were animated, a big question mark would appear above my head. All those question marks were confirmed at the end, and in a much bigger way than I had imagined. A great ending, all loose ends tied, and the reader is left with quite the picture in her head. Now, what happened here is the true meaning of a twist.

    If you're not a fan of Egypt, I don't really recommend this book. Most of it is spent talking about Egyptology (go figure, considering the title..) and archaeology, so it would probably be mostly boring to you. But if you can stand Egyptian history and enjoy a good mystery, this is an excellent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    Big disappointment

    Don't waste your time. I finished reading it, hoping it would get better or that I would care about the characters. It didn't and I didn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    Cleverly Twisted

    I picked this pick up on a whim because it had the word 'Egypt.' I began reading it and found myself intimidated by the long passages but drawn in by the mystery the reader does not get completely blasted by until the end when you yell 'That FOOL!' It takes a patient reader to appreciate and take in the way Phillips throws the plot around. The format of the book is confusing in the beginning, but as you keep reading, the confusion develops into an ominous tone that builds up the tension and unravelling of the novel and its characters. It is certainly worth the effort and attention of anyone who claims they can read a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2006

    A masterwork of unreliable narrators

    I haven't had a book take me on such a thrilling ride in years. An epistolary novel par excellence. Phillips has created a wonderfully intricate psychological thriller. Since each narrator has his own personal agenda, neither of them can be completely trusted. We, the reader, are left to find the truth somewhere in between the journal entries and the letters. The exotic setting adds to the drama and intrigue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2006

    Witty, sly

    I actually laughed out loud at several points in this book, much to the annoyance of my poor husband who was trying to sleep. Once you figure out where the main character is headed (madness)and it all becomes clear (or mostly clear) you realize just what a clever tale it is. It did take me awhile to catch onto the threads of the story but the effort was well worth it. Naughty, charming, wickedly funny, especially the narrative of Mr. Trilipush as the tomb excavation progresses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    Don't say I didn't warn you.

    In my review of Arthur Phillips' first book, I pointed out that it was not fare for any reader seeking 'a portable replacement for mindless television.' In 'The Egyptologist,' Phillips proves me a prophet. This was the hardest read I've encountered since Thomas Pynchon's 'Mason & Dixon.' God! I loved it. This writer's willingness to take literary chances is beyond applaudable. His crafting of language is spellbinding. His layering of innumerable threads of seemingly unrelated research is prodigious. But his most amazing achievement is to spill out all of those uncertain aspirations onto the pages of a book and make them sing in harmony. No. 'The Egyptologist' is not Mike Hammer. It's not even Nick and Nora Charles. So, if someone told you this is a murder mystery, forget it. It's about as mysterious as a fortune cookie. And, as with that oriental treat, what you'll find inside is both obvious and entertaining. Could the book have been fifty pages shorter? Probably. But by the time I was reaching that conclusion, I was so caught up in the unraveling of everyone's aspirations, I didn't have time to complain. Surely you've read books before in which the author couldn't decide what kind of person he wanted his character to be. Well, everyone in this book is that way. And it makes us see that maybe the rest of us are like that, too. It's just a matter of how far we'll go, how much we'll risk, to be someone else. In this book, a host of supporting characters make feeble attempts at changing their realities... with money or travel or drugs. One of our narrators sits in a nursing home and broods about it, reaching until the very end for an opportunity to live some other life. And the other narrator just By Damn! DOES IT. Whoops! Now, I've said too much. Or as some reviewers of this work would have you believe, I've given it all away. Oh Posh! as the dear opiated Margaret might say. There was nothing to give away from the start. Phillips doesn't try to fool us. He simply shares with us some vivid portrayals of human fallibility in the throes of ambition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    tedious

    Too many characters, too boring, but still I felt compelled to find out if what I had guessed happened by the first quarter of the book is in fact what happened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    Excellent book

    I could not put this book down. The author is truly cunning in using suspect and biased narrators to tell the tale. The detail about Egypt and the Carter find was very interesting. I thought this was provocative and a good murder mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2005

    Love to yawn? Give this a read.

    I bought this book because it was recommended by someone on this site who read another book that I loved. Now that I've read it I understand something about the person who liked it. I understand that he must be brain damaged. This was the most boring book I've ever read. The only reason I forced myself to finish it is because my lovely wife wouldnt let me buy another book till I finished this one. She didn't read The Egyptologist, she's just cheap. I didnt mean 'cheap' honey... I meant 'Thrifty'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2005

    Sherlock meets A Beautiful Mind...sort of.

    For an oddball mystery, The Egyptologist is, for the most part, a good read. Told in an alternating series of letters and journal entries, the story recounts the trials of a Harvard Egyptologist struggling to prove his theories regarding a possibly apocryphal king to a skeptical and largely uncaring world. The central figure is one Trilipush, a character as obnoxious as his name. We have met this character before, in countless stories featuring that storied and landed English gentry class that found itself tottering between triumph and obscurity in the transitional period between the close of Victoria¿s reign and the end of the First World War. Trilipush¿s airs, conceits and overblown sense of his place in the firmament are therefore familiar, if nonetheless extremely tedious. His antagonist, although neither one initially realizes it, is a retired Australian detective named Ferrell, himself given to more than occasional overblown fancy and preening. Ferrell has been retained to track down the whereabouts of a long-lost heir to a British brewery fortune. The divergent courses upon which these two men set out inevitably intersect, although it takes quite a while to get there. The rest of the characters, from the spoiled and ditsy American heiress and her blustering nouveau riche father, to the Trilipush¿s effeminate Oxford classmate and the stuffy and absurd parents of yet another chum, are all straight out of Central Casting and of not much interest at all. What keeps the reader¿s attention, however, is the dawning realization that Trilipush is nuts. As the dogged Ferrell turns up clue after clue, more and more of Trilipush¿s story seems to unravel, and with it Trilipush himself. In spite of indications that author Arthur Phillips was borrowing wholesale from the A Beautiful Mind, the story takes an unexpected and dark turn down a path of sheer madness. Going against type, author Phillips does not quite wrap up this tale in a neat little package as one might expect. Instead, loose ends are left dangling, an innocent man is wrongly convicted, and a central correspondence is never answered. Still in all, justice of a sort is done and the reader is not entirely disappointed with the outcome. A fast read and entertaining for those who enjoy this sort of set piece. Not great, but good enough.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    Obvious and boring

    This was one of the dullest books I've listened too. It took a good idea and completely overdid it. Too many parts of the story had nothing to do with the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    Keep Digging

    I have never opted to write an review before but I am an avid reader.This book is one that I would have say, is one of the most bizarre character studies I have ever had an author develop. It then lead to a humorous, dark, but compelling labyrinth me to immerse myself. This works best for the connoisseur who does not enjoy plots explained to him. My taste is eclectic, so I can only recommend diverse choices, but at least they offer paramount enjoyment: 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter', 'Shadow of the Wind', 'Asylum', and many others.All are strikingly original,complex,compelling,and elegant in writing style.(They will also keep you from becoming jaded with one genre.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2005

    Disappointing

    I read this review page, lots of stars, and it influenced my choice of this book. So I must also post. The history was interesting, the mystery was solvable quickly, so then the character story lost my interest. I finished the book hoping for more, but alas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2005

    Unique and enthralling

    If you've even a passing interest in archaeology or ancient Egypt, this one's for you. The tale is spun alternately through the journals and letters of self-proclaimed explorer extraordinaire Ralph M. Trilipush, and through the correspondence of snoop-for-hire Harry Ferrell (whose link to Trilipush takes him from Australia to London to Boston and beyond). Darkly humorous, absorbing, intelligent and definitely complex, the real mystery of The Egyptologist is how the reader can ever manage to put it down. Fantastic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2004

    Fantastic! Quite a Page Turner

    If you like historical or archaelogical adventure fiction, this book is for you. An amazing mystery, written so wittily, it has you guessing--and better, second-guessing--throughout the book. I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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