January 12, 2012

Review of "Tutankhamun"

by Demi

This is a picture book (though that's a little like saying a Stradivarius is a "fiddle"), so it may seem odd to some of you that I have chosen to review it.  However, all of Demi's books are so gorgeous, and this one in particular so breathtaking, that I had to share it with you, and draw your attention to her work if you're not yet familiar with her.  Visually, her books are simply transcendent, like slipping into the best humanity's dreams have ever achieved.

Demi takes her research very seriously, another thing I greatly admire about her, so her copy that accompanies the illustrations reflects the best that current scholarship on the subject has to offer. 

"Can anyone spot the defect in this plan?"

Yes, that's right.  Demi's books occasionally become dated as scholarship continues to develop, and this one is the latest victim, since our beloved Zahi Hawass revealed more of Tutankhamun's story.  Still, I just find it impressive that Demi gave her bibliography.  And it included some of the biggest names in Egyptology.  In a "picture book".  Tell me you don't find that impressive.

For those who know anything about Egyptian art and language, I must warn you that a few of Demi's artistic choices, made no doubt for stylistic reasons, accidentally made someone or something say something she probably didn't intend them to.  But it's a flaw most people would probably never notice, and it's just so gorgeous that it hardly matters.  If you like Egyptology, history, or even just shiny things, you must give this book a flick through.

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