Nicholas Boulton's smooth tone is well suited for this overview of the ancient civilization that developed around the Nile. His slow delivery and excellent enunciation provide listeners with ample time to comprehend the information provided and make complicated information accessible. Everything from the reign of various pharaohs and the building of the Sphinx to the mythical stories of gods and goddesses and the deciphering of hieroglyphics is covered. The use of music to separate sections adds to the mood. The production ends somewhat abruptly after brief coverage of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in the twentieth century.
Ancient Egypt: The Glory of the Pharaohs tells us about civilization under the pharaohs, of mysterious statues and tombs, incredible obelisks, and the Sphinx. In this selection, the ancient Egyptian kingdom is brought to life in a way that fuels the listener's imagination, teaching and entertaining in equal measure.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2012 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks
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"A Fine Introduction"
A brief and enjoyable introduction to the history of Ancient Egypt. Well-written and well-read, it touches upon all the topics that will interest an average reader: the pharaohs, mythology, mummification, the pyramids, hieroglyphics. It also provides an easily understood historical overview, tracing the arc of this great civilization from beginning to end.
"What did I expect for a 2 hour audiobook?"
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.
"Half Mythology, Half History"
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.
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.
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