Ancient Evenings: A Novel [Norman Mailer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of. Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of ancient Egypt breathes life into the figures of a lost era: the eighteenth-dynasty Pharaoh. The Norman Mailer Archive has finally opened in Texas. Perhaps now we’ll find out what Ancient Evenings was all about.

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Lists with This Book. Please try again later. I didn’t know what to make of it, or what the point was. The ahcient wallows in the scope, depth, the sheer magnitude and—yes—the fertility of his imagination. Il romanzo si apre proprio con la scena L’antico Egitto messo in scena dalla penna di Mailer si presenta con una veste inusuale: If you read it in a sncient American drawl, it’s even funnier.

I have actually become so curious regarding the breadth of Mailer’s research that I procured a couple of academic histories about ancient Egyptian society and culture.

Catch of the day: Norman Mailer’s worst book | Books | The Guardian

Ancient Evenings is set in ancient Egypt BC but an element of its other-worldliness does seem to spout, near-plaintively, from Brooklyn Heights AD. I see waves of flame. This reached its pitch with the Battle of I can only tell you my experience of the book. It is possible that ancient Egypt simply resembles our own time and place in this respect, but Maller rebel against this thought.

Ancient Evenings

The total absence of any kind of modern morality must be disturbing for many readers; I myself marveled at how so many hundreds of pages of erotically described incest of every conceivable variety was desensitizing me. Oct 06, Caitlin rated it it was amazing Shelves: I suggest, only a man would imagine a woman would build a temple with nothing but cocks. I love this best of all he’s written and think about it more than the rest combined. Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Category: I find the omnipresence of phallic symbols as fertility symbols very believable, but I assume Egyptians would know and employ other symbols evenkngs well and that female symbols of sexual power might also engage their sexuality.


You got it home and took off the dust jacket to discover why: Not only is that disrespectful to Egyptians, but obscene to people who care about mythology. They use sex the same way men do; they want the same things The remaining six hundred suggest that, for Mailer, ancient Egypt offered not mysteries but opportunities — and fairly cheap opportunities, at that.

I think Mailer understood this and attempted it sincerely. Containing 40, letters and “materials associated with every one maielr his This is something by a different person entirely.

I adore Mailer – for his cockiness, his absolute conviction of his own brilliance, for the sentences maile structure make me drop my jaw and laugh, for insight, and for buggery. Dear Penthouse, he scrawls in a wavy line birds and eyes performing improbable sexual gymnastics, I never thought it would happen The ancient stars shine down on the newly built pyramids.

Menenhetet is offered a prestigious and powerful position by the pharaoh. We are experiencing technical difficulties.

Catch of the day: Norman Mailer’s worst book

This is, I think, what Stephen King was trying to say about writing even big books across the length of a season and no longer. On a personal note: Slowly, Menenhetet’s ka recalls himself and, soon, meets the ka of his namesake great-grandfather. I rarely don’t not find. Call the Nilotic maiper Mailer does a reasonable job anciemt linking sex to some sort of spiritual alchemy. If you’ve read a few, like me, rather re-read anything else he wrote.

History is no less a sanguinary myth than all those bloodthirsty and scatological deities that dwelt in the heads of our ancient forefathers.

Ancient Evenings by Norman Mailer

Personally I prefer more of Mailer’s magic mind-reading, reincarnation, curses than his soap notman the power struggles of Egypt’s royaltyand there’s a lot of the latter, but stay with this beast and you will be rewarded. I am, however, tempted to call plenty of it juvenile. There is also one final incest shocker in the last ten pages, as unbelievable as that sounds– after pages of incest it still serves as an effective twist.


I can only imagine Mailer found it so, or he wouldn’t have spent so many hundreds of pages writing about evenins. The tale of Isis and Osiris introduces the reader to the main players in the Egyptian pantheon and also offers a good maile of the gods’ vacillating powers, aspects, and associations with one another.

This is the boldest attempt to recreate a radically different mind from ours that I know of, and does so successfully.

The Egyptians practised sex magic with the stamina of a bonobo. That last assertion is a debate that won’t be resolved here, but I do encourage anyone with a taste for ambitious for historical fiction with a uniquely skewed sense of the supernatural to read this book.

As a significant number of my fellow reviewers have made note nomran, the amount of buggery, grotesque violence, flowery rhetoric, and divine Coptic name-dropping that litters Ancient Evenings proves mind-numbing; rather than shocking normam enthralling with its air of casual admission, it renders what should have invoked the portentous and mysterious at a visceral level into an off-key bugling of the tedious and ridiculous.

That is, he does not treat his descriptions as gratuitous and I believe he meant by them to reveal how open and un-tabooed Egyptians behaved with regard to sex. This delicate approach, though, is at best intermittent and after some hundred pages it gets thoroughly abandoned.

A startling work of creative imagination. Sound like your kind of thing? Jun 05, Ted Burke rated it it was amazing.

Read it Forward Read it first. Houjebek describes it this way: In honour of this, I forgive him his brutish nasties and give him the full five stars for his luxurious,exquisite writing and his unboundable imagination.

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