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I am not sure what this audiobook was trying to be. The reader is excellent, but this is not a history of ancient Egypt, certainly. While there is an excellent narrative of Egyptian mythology, the rest of the book seems to be aimed at an audience of third graders. I should have known, since it's only 2 hours and 25 minutes long. You can't even scratch the surface of 3000 years of Egypt and the Pharaohs in that amount of time. And that's what this audiobook does: it fails to scratch the surface.
If you want a real history of ancient Egypt in audio form, seek out Professor Bob Brier's efforts for the Teaching Company.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Ancient Egypt the most enjoyable?
If you're looking for a simple overview of Egyptian history, you should know that the first hour of the book is spent retelling myths about the gods: Rah, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Anubis, Seth, etc. These myths are certainly pertinent to the history and culture of Egypt -- and really interesting to hear -- but it's not what I expected. However, after about an hour, the book turns to history in terms of actual people. My homeschooled children, ages six, seven and eight, enjoyed listening to the two-hour-plus audiobook. At about an hour in, I asked if they wanted to finish the rest later or switch to music, and they all said they'd rather keep listening. It's not a little kids' book, though, and it will take a few listenings for my kids to absorb the bulk of the information. That's a good thing. As an adult, I found the level of detail to be just right for the novice. I can remember the dynasties and tell them apart, I know which came first and which Egyptian god had the head of a jackal (Anubis). For cultural literacy, it's a great place to start. You'll hold your own during conversations at cocktail parties and gallery openings, and you'll be able to answer questions from kids. It takes a historian with a strong grasp of his subject to create a book that tells the tale simply and memorably. If you want to drill down for more information -- on Seit I or Hatshepsut, for example -- there are other books containing more detail on various pharaohs and dynasties. But if you don't know where to start, start here. The mythology/history approach opens the door to learning about mythology in other ancient cultures, and how a culture's myths and objects of worship impact their worldview, government, values and traditions.
What about Nicholas Boulton’s performance did you like?
The narrator has a clear voice and speaks slowly enough for the listener to take in what he is saying. His volume is consistent. A good choice for this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful