Ancient Evenings

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Overview

Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of ancient Egypt breathes life into the figures of a lost era: the eighteenth-dynasty Pharaoh Rameses and his wife, Queen Nefertiti; Menenhetet, their creature, lover, and victim; and the gods and mortals that surround them in intimate and telepathic communion. Mailer’s reincarnated protagonist is carried through the exquisite gardens of the royal harem, along the majestic flow of the Nile, and into the terrifying clash of battle. An extraordinary work of ...

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Ancient Evenings: A Novel

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Overview

Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of ancient Egypt breathes life into the figures of a lost era: the eighteenth-dynasty Pharaoh Rameses and his wife, Queen Nefertiti; Menenhetet, their creature, lover, and victim; and the gods and mortals that surround them in intimate and telepathic communion. Mailer’s reincarnated protagonist is carried through the exquisite gardens of the royal harem, along the majestic flow of the Nile, and into the terrifying clash of battle. An extraordinary work of inventiveness, Ancient Evenings lives on in the mind long after the last page has been turned.
 
Praise for Ancient Evenings
 
“Astounding, beautifully written . . . a leap of imagination that crosses three millennia to Pharaonic Egypt.”USA Today
 
“Mailer makes a miraculous present out of age-deep memories, bringing to life the rhythms, the images, the sensuousness of a lost time.”The New York Times
 
“Mailer’s Egypt is a haunting and magical place. . . . The reader wallows in the scope, depth, the sheer magnitude and—yes—the fertility of his imagination.”The Washington Post Book World
 
“An enormous pyramid of a novel [reminiscent of] Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and Carlos Fuentes’s Terra Nostra.”Los Angeles Herald Examiner
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post

A momumental work, this is Mailer's mammoth journey to the land of the Pharaohs and slumbering tombs of ancient life and death.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Ancient Evenings
 
“Astounding, beautifully written . . . a leap of imagination that crosses three millennia to Pharaonic Egypt.”USA Today
 
“Mailer makes a miraculous present out of age-deep memories, bringing to life the rhythms, the images, the sensuousness of a lost time.”The New York Times
 
“Mailer’s Egypt is a haunting and magical place. . . . The reader wallows in the scope, depth, the sheer magnitude and—yes—the fertility of his imagination.”The Washington Post Book World
 
“An enormous pyramid of a novel [reminiscent of] Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and Carlos Fuentes’s Terra Nostra.”Los Angeles Herald Examiner
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446357692
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/22/1988
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 864
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman Mailer

Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner’s Song and is the only person to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City.

Biography

One of the most provocative authors of the 20th century, Norman Mailer stood at the forefront of the New Journalism, a form of creative nonfiction that wove autobiography, real events, and political commentary into unconventional novels. In a career that spanned nearly 60 years, he wrote more than 30 books, including The Naked and the Dead; The Armies of the Night,, for which he won a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; The Executioner's Song, for which he won his second Pulitzer Prize; Harlot's Ghost; Oswald's Tale; The Gospel According to the Son; and his last novel, The Castle in the Forest, a chilling fictional portrait of the youthful Adolf Hitler. On November 10, 2007, he died of renal failure, leaving behind an astonishing literary legacy.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Nachem Malech Mailer
      Norman Mailer
    2. Hometown:
      Provincetown, Massachusetts, and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 31, 1923
    2. Place of Birth:
      Long Branch, New Jersey
    1. Date of Death:
      November 10, 2007

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    The Ancient Scurge of Egypt Needs A Purge

    This is a long novel that has been meticulously researched, neither length or preparation makes for a great book. The many incarnations of the principal character are a big yawn and the sprawling and meandering passages between the action sequences are pure boredom. I never really became absorbed in the novel, although I found the details of life in ancient Egypt interesting. It must have been easier to get published when this book was printed compared to today's standards due to the erratic economy and other factors and had this novel been submitted now by an unknown, it wouldn't be given a second glance. It makes one wonder if this book was published only because it was by Normal Mailer? This book is overblown and bloated and needs a good enema.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2005

    Turgid, Pompous, Bloated, Pointless

    I'd rather stick a hook up my nose and drag my brains out than have to read this again. There are some novels that sizzle and stimulate like psychical champagne, Ancient Evenings is more like a cement milkshake. Everything else by Mailer that I've read I have enjoyed, and I was amazed by the brilliance of The Naked and the Dead, but Ancient Evenings did not move me at all. Still, other folk seem to dig it, so give it a try if you think you have the stamina.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2003

    A Masterpiece

    This is the best fiction book I have ever read. A real masterpiece of human genius. It is like an ancient sculpture, touching every corner of my soul. It is a book speaking to :feeling, sensing, thinking and intuition of the reader. It embraces Life not through cold intellect alone but through the senses. It is so coherent, that anybody who has ever had any experiences of the collective unconsciousness will recognize the story as True.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2002

    Breathtaking. Brilliant.

    Mailer employs all his gifts as a writer to stunning effect. Through the reincarnations of Menenhetet you experience his lives through the seven components of his `ka`. Mailer blends sexual imaginery, magic, epic battles and betrayals into a profound work of creative fiction. The pinnacle of this achievement is the awe inspiring Journey through the Duad

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2000

    Ridiculous

    What's the point? As noted in the synopsis above, it's the story of a man's four reincarnated lives. There's no linear continuity; it jumps around and leaves one with no idea what's going on or what order things are actually transpiring in. Are other lives remembered? Is the character dead and remembering life vividly, or having premonitions of death? Repleat with homoerotic and incestuous fantasies, this is high fantasy meets masturbation in a liberally 'historical' setting. At the end of the book, you wonder why you struggled through something as ponderous as Joyce's Ulysses and twice as thick, for so little payoff. There is no moment that redeems this work, no character that you come to love or hate. Moreover, I don't think there's any moral or transcendental significance...it's just a lot of typing. It's terrible (sorry, Norman).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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