Friday, April 8, 2016

#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings - Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth


For Book Beginnings:
It all began with a glance, a glance that grew into desire, as the ship pushed its way against the calm, strong current at the end of the flood season. 

For Friday 56:
So I started a new life in the service of a new god and a new king. I served them with a loyalty drawn only from my sense of duty. But I must admit that the king revealed new powers. I was not aware he possessed. Despite his physical feebleness and feminine appearance he challenged everything that came his way.

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 new novel, Mahfouz tells with extraordinary insight the story of the "heretic pharaoh," or "sun king,"--and 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.


This pharaoh has long been a fascination of mine. I've had this book in my home library for quite some time. I'll be interested to read the interpretation of him by such a talented author.


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18 comments:

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  1. Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Hope you enjoy it.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

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  2. Sounds like an interesting story. This week I'm spotlighting The Obsession by Nora Roberts. Happy reading!

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  3. I've always been interested in Egyption Pharaohs, it is such a curious time period. Akhenaten sounds like a good novel, I'll have to check it out.

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  4. This one is not my usual read, but the prose is lovely, and the story sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  5. I have put this in my library queue. Thanx for the recommendation

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  6. Wow. This book sounds phenomenal. I will look around for it.

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  7. *New GFC follower. Hope to "get to know" you better in the future.

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  8. Sounds like a book both my husband and I would enjoy. Fascinating!
    My Friday post features LONGSHOT.

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  9. Welcome to BBOF! You started off with a fascinating book. I've only read one Mahfouz book, and this one looks like it could get me back for another.

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  10. This sounds interesting! I've always been fascinated in Akhenaten's reign and that period in Egyptian history. I'm adding it to my TBR!

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  11. The wonderful prose has me caught already. These memes are great for chatting and finding new authors and books:)

    My 56 from A Monster Calls

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  12. Sounds captivating!! Happy weekend!

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  13. I have had this on a book shelf for quite a while and you have made me want to read this, finally. I have been a little intimidated but what strong and beautiful prose.

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  14. This sounds interesting - I used to read a lot about Egypt and their kings - will have to add this to my list. Here's my Friday meme

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  15. I'm already sold - I'm adding this to my tbr.

    And, I'm now following. :)

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

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  16. I'm really curious now. This doesn't sound at all stuffy. That beginning makes me want to keep going. The 56 really makes me wonder about this Pharaoh! Hope you're enjoying your Nobel pick!

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  17. I've seen this author's name, Naguib Mahfouz, so often. Don't know a thing about him. Glad to see one of his books here. So that I can make myself more familiar with his writings.

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