Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: Beneath the Sands of Egypt

Thanks to Donald Ryan, author of Beneath the Sands of Egypt for sharing the following reviews of his book with me.

Barbara Mertz, Egyptologist (a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters, New York Times bestselling mystery author): “Don Ryan is a rare bird – a field archaeologist who can write with verve and immediacy. I heartily recommend his book to all Egyptology buffs.”

Booklist (coveted starred review!): This book should do for Egyptology what Donald Johanson and Maitland Eddy’s Lucy (1981) did for paleontology…It’s a thrilling book, not because it's full of Indiana Jones heroics but because Ryan's enthusiasm for what he does (more dirt-sifting than bullwhip-wielding) is manifest on every page, and—again like Johanson and Eddy—he catches us up in his excitement, makes us wish we weren’t just reading about this stuff but were actually doing it…This wonderful adventure story should be must reading for anyone aspiring to become an archaeologist, but even those of us who harbor no such dreams will be aching to get a little dirt under our fingernails.

Publishers Weekly: “Ryan’s observations are intimate, frank, and perceptive, and his spirited adventures in underappreciated avenues of exploration are a boon for armchair and budding archeologists.”

Library Journal:“American archaeologist Ryan…is best known for his projects in Egypt, most recently in the Valley of the Kings, Thebes. In this action-packed memoir, Ryan's aim is to "share the adventure and perhaps educate, entertain, and even inspire." He accomplishes this with evocative writing and excellent, detailed descriptions of fieldwork in Egypt, be it clearing mud brick in the Fayyum or excavating a series of tombs in the Valley of the Kings. He captures well the joys and hazards involved in fieldwork, as well as the rapport that develops with colleagues and workers…VERDICT: An enthusiastically written book for readers from young adults to armchair adventure lovers who dream of being archaeologists or Egyptologists.”

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