Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth

Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth

by Naguib Mahfouz
3.2 11

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz

From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and author of the Cairo Trilogy, comes Akhenaten, a fascinating work of fiction about the most infamous pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

In this beguiling  novel, originally published in Arabic in 1985, Mahfouz tells with extraordinary insight the story of the "heretic pharaoh," or "sun king,"--the first known monotheistic ruler--whose iconoclastic and controversial reign during the 18th Dynasty (1540-1307 B.C.) has uncanny resonance with modern sensibilities.  Narrating the novel is a young man with a passion for the truth, who questions the pharaoh's contemporaries after his horrible death--including Akhenaten's closest friends, his most bitter enemies, and finally his enigmatic wife, Nefertiti--in an effort to discover what really happened in those strange, dark days at Akhenaten's court. As our narrator and each of the subjects he interviews contribute their version of Akhenaten, "the truth" becomes increasingly evanescent.  Akhenaten encompasses all of the contradictions his subjects see in him: at once cruel and empathic, feminine and barbaric, mad and divinely inspired, his character, as Mahfouz imagines him, is eerily modern, and fascinatingly ethereal.  An ambitious and exceptionally lucid and accessible book, Akhenaten is a work only Mahfouz could render so elegantly, so irresistibly.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307481269
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/26/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 417,365
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. His nearly forty novels and hundreds of short stories range from re-imaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. Of his many works, most famous is The Cairo Trilogy, consisting of Palace Walk (1956), Palace of Desire (1957), and Sugar Street (1957), which focuses on a Cairo family through three generations, from 1917 until 1952. In 1988, he was the first writer in Arabic to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in August 2006.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
This is a great little book. A little different, and maybe not quite as profound as Mahfouz' more modern stuff, but a very worthwhile read nonetheless. The themes of religious impact, the relative nature of truth, and the complexity of human motivation are all the more powerfully portrayed by the fact that these characters are supposed to have lived some 3500 years ago. Some things never change. This slim volume can be read in one, or at most two, sittings, so do yourself a favor and pick up this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick but enjoyable read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Janus More than 1 year ago
Akhenaten is the story of the "heretic" pharaoh, who nearly brought Egypt to civil war with his belief in a single god, and his wife, the beautiful Nefertiti. The story is told through various interviews as a young man seeks to learn the whole truth behind Akhenaten's brief reign. Mahfouz's prose is crisp and beautiful. For a subject that could potentially become rather dry, he expertly infuses the right amount of zest into his words to keep the story moving at a good pace. This is perhaps one of the best character driven novels ever. Each interviewee injects their own personal bias in telling the story. Thus giving the reader a clear picture of who these people were, but more importantly, tying the theme (that there are many versions of any story and truth can be found in all of them) together. Some readers may be put off by the subject matter (a story of religious persecution and political ambition, less any elements that would truly make this a 'thriller' type novel) but for the openminded reader who has an appreciation for excellent writing and a fascinating story, I can't recommend Akhenaten enough.
Name4me More than 1 year ago
Because there is scant data on the facts of this time period, the books I've read all offer different perspectives on the motivation and details of Akhenaten and those around him. It is enjoyable to read various books and imagine which author has painted the most accurate picture, but we will never know for sure. This book doesn't flow like one story. It is written from a type of interviewer's perspective, with each person being a new section. I enjoyed reading it and appreciated the perspectives given, but I found the other books I've read from this time period more interesting.
jlacerra More than 1 year ago
Mahfouz takes plenty of liberties with the scant historical evidence regarding his subject, Pharaoh Akhenaten. He employs the tactic of a traveling (ancient) reporter gathering data from eyewitnesses. Each tells essentially the same story, albeit with different shadings and spins. This device is clever if properly used, but here it is not.

We are given virtually no character development for the reporter or his interviewees. Separator paragraphs inserted in each interview are almost identical, and tedious. Mahfouz writing style is wooden; one might just as well be reading an engineering manual.

The book has no beginning, no middle, and no ending ... it just rambles. I finished it because it is mercifully short. Actually, it is too short to be a true novel, and is more of a lengthy short story, but at a full novel price. The real mystery is not Akhenaten, but how Mahfouz got a Nobel prize!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best historical fiction reads I've come across. No one knows what really happened with Akhenaten, but this author has some interesting views that come across in a vivid story. It's hard to remember that this is fiction when reading it! A lot of the views represented differ from archeological "evidence", but it was terrific nonetheless - a great read. If you can find a copy of this - READ IT!!