March reads

I started reading these books because they suited Week 9 and Week 10 of 2007 Never Judge a Book By Its Cover Release Challenge. I did not finish reading them in time for that week’s challenge, so they were wild released after the fact.

River God

I enjoyed reading the River God. I did not expect to, but I became intrigued with the discoveries made by the Egyptians as they travelled away from Egypt to get away from those greedy for the Pharoah’s gold.

Discoveries included:

  • Chariot wheels, which they went on to develop lighter and faster ones which were victorious against their agressors when they returned to Egypt.
  • They had not seen horses before until they arrived pulling the chariots.
  • Steel that sliced through their bronze swords and shields.
  • Rain, as their water was provided by the Nile River.
  • Thickly forested mountains and ravines.
  • Migrating gnus, to feed their growing population and armies once they understood the pestilence that infected their horses.
  • Hunting elephants for their ivory.

It’s just a shame that people have to discover and learn new things by warring on each other.

The author’s note at the end of the novel says that the book is based on scrolls contained in vases that were found in a tomb by a Doctor Duraid ibn al Simma of the Egyptian Department of Antiquities. It is Dr Al Simma that invited Wilbur Smith to rewrite the original transcription “in a style that would make it more accessible to the modern reader”. The book is written from the point of view of the slave Taita, who is the author of the scrolls.

I consider any book that gets me searching for further information a good one. I will certainly be following up more about the Egyptians at the time they travelled along the Nile out of Egypt.

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7 thoughts on “March reads

  1. highly impressionant.an amazing work of fiction as well as an amazing piece of narration too.”the river good” by wilbur smith is the adventure book that don’t allow you to leave it down until you have finished it.

  2. I just finished River God and was fasinated by the author’s note at the end of the book. After researching Dr Al Simma and other characters in the book, I have discovered that it is a wonderful peice of fiction…but just that…fiction.

  3. De todos los libros que he leido en mi vida, nunca uno como este, que genera en la mente del lector el deseo de averiguar si la narracion es real. Antes de leer la nota final de autor ya estaba buscando si existieron los personajes. He estado buscando en internet la respuesta a este interrogante. Aparentemente no hubo reinas ni faraones con esos nombres, pero si seria real el tema de las ruedas y caballos que fueron introducidos en egipto por los hiscos. ¿Quisiera saber si el autor dijo algo sobre este tema alguna vez?

  4. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment Gabriela.

    I have used Babel Fish to be able to read your comment a little.

    Like you (I think) I was interested in the fact that the Egyptians were overwhelmed by the Romans because they had horses and chariots. From memory ( I no longer have the book), the author makes no mention of the ‘wheels and horses’.

    However, Wikipedia does have an entry in both English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyksos) and Español (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hicsos). I’m not sure if both entires agree as the English version appears longer. Let me know what you think.

  5. C’est la première fois que je lis un livre de ce businessman rhodésien, en l’occurrence celui dont on parle ici.
    Je connais l’Egypte pour y avoir travaillé dans les fouilles archéologiques à Thèbes. Dès le début j’ai remarqué quelques incohérences ! Dates incompatibles avec la chronologie, comportements non conforme à la vie à cette époque, esclaves !!! (il n’y en jamais eu en Egypte dans le sens ou nous l’entendons aujourd’hui). Pas de pharaon Mamose ni Memnon. Quant à Lostris la seule que je connaisse et une voyante sur Face de Bouc et qui se propose de communiquer avec l’au-delà ! Puis cette histoire de Hyksos sanguinaires. Faux ! Ils sont venus s’installer sur les rives orientales du delta et les chevaux n’ont jamais tiré des chars avec des lames sur les moyeux (chez les romains dans les courses peut-être) Enfin cette mystification avec le Dr Al Simma et cette découverte d’un tombeau avec une mosquée sur le dessus ! Pourquoi ne pas dire simplement comme le font nombre d’écrivains « les personnages sont de pure fiction et toute ressemblance …. Etc »
    Je pense que ce monsieur connaît beaucoup mieux l’Afrique du Sud et ses sagas que l’Egypte ancienne. Il est dangereux de laisser traîner ce livre entre des mains innocentes et des esprits avide d’en connaître plus sur l’Ancienne Egypte et qui pourraient prendre toute ces histoires pour argent cash. Il existe une multitudes d’ouvrages sérieux (Violaine Vanoyeke, Guy Rachet Mika Waltari et plus loin de nous Herman & Ranke. (Eviter aussi Christian Jack) Mais le bouquet … c’est quant on va voir l’article que lui réserve Wikipédia http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Smith et qu’en bas de page (liens externes) on vous propose le site officiel de Smith « page not found » et quelques éloges à sa gloire.

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