Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown, No. 30

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips

In a weird way, this novel, full of first-person narration you can't trust interspersed with documents proving the narrators wrong, is in the same genre as Shadow of the Wind, the Historian and The Thirteenth Tale -- a literary mystery that flatters the reader with an abundance of historical knowledge or a love of books, or both. Here we trace the career of an egyptologist, who turns out to be someone else entirely, and his obsession with ancient Egypt. There's also a parallel narrative of an Australian detective with an obsession of his own, Phillips, who wrote the aforementioned Prague, has a great sense of plot, and this book is riveting. He tried something similar in Angelica, but I couldn't get into that novel at all, although I may pick it up again next year. And I'm halfway done. 

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