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This book attempts to be a cross between a travel book and a history book. In my opinion it fails on both counts. As a travel book, the so-called "journey downriver" is completely missing. No journey is described -- there are brief mentions of several disconnected trips made to Egypt by the author but with no sense of cohesion. A key ingredient of any good travel book is that one has some sense of the traveller's personality or life, but this is totally lacking. As a history book, it does contain a series of well told historical excerpts, but it is impossible to make sense of them because they are disconnected and often incomplete. A geographical ordering is just not a sensible way to tell history because the historical period being described jumps about all over the place. One exception to this is the final part about Cairo, when there is a clear and interesting account of the establishment and political events associated with the city -- told (thankfully) in chronological order. But there's a lot of listening to do before you get to that (short) section. The narration is good -- no problem on that front. I listened to this book after finished the absolutely superb series of lectures on Ancient Egypt by Bob Brier (Great Courses Series -- highly recommended). This book did give some links to the modern country but I was relieved when I finally got through it.
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