he identifies the first "dominant leitmotif" running throughout the book: "Denial and avoidance of the countenance of death characterize much of the American. 22 Only in the Book of the Dead of Neferrenpet, a contemporary of Nefertari, do we find a similar In summary, the specific vignette to spell 94, as it occurs in. Cussler's multitude of fans arrive at the table expecting a roiling stew of seafaring adventure, exotic travel destinations, cutting-edge science, a splash of.
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Phone number is required. Phone number is invalid. Have a Coupon Code? Why should we care about her? And why does Diogenes risk his whole plan to sneak into her room and seduce her?
Okay fine, he's crazy like that he doesn't need a reason, but these are still the most ridiculous and seemingly pointless scenes of the whole book, and that's really saying something.
Well, it turns out that the reason for it all is so that Constance can come from out of nowhere in the end of the book and kill Diogenes by wrestling him into a live volcano.
She has to do it, because the main character can't bring himself to. She falls in as well. I'm pretty sure the volcano has some ominous name, like Mount Doom or the Gate of Hell or something.
So we have pages and pages of painful scenes that have the sole purpose of manufacturing Golumn so that she can jump into a volcano. It's transparent in retrospect, because there was no other possible reason for those scenes to exist.
That's beyond sloppy storytelling. View all 4 comments. I picked this book up from my local library for a dollar. I believe it was a dollar well spent.
The creepy factor was right up there. I like how the authors used modern day techniques to achieve horrific situations.
This was definitely a thrill ride and I enjoyed my time on it. Feb 05, Paul rated it it was ok Shelves: I enjoyed Douglas Preston's recent best-selling sci-fi thriller, Impact also reviewed here on Facebook , but did not much like this one, a bit of airport trash he co-wrote with Lincoln Child.
It's not as bad as Ted Bell's Spy reviewed here: The Book of the Dead is one of a series of novels, with a cast of characters introduced and presumably more fully developed in earlier novels.
Unfortunately, though I enjoyed Douglas Preston's recent best-selling sci-fi thriller, Impact also reviewed here on Facebook , but did not much like this one, a bit of airport trash he co-wrote with Lincoln Child.
Unfortunately, though I think the authors intended it to be, it is anything but a stand-alone novel. Odd and peripheral characters are constantly being introduced with no explanation of what may have gone before -- two separate female characters had apparently been attacked and almost murdered in previous novels; another seems to a scientific and philosophical experiment, a year-old savant in the body of a woman in her 20s, with the social skills and worldly experience of a home-schooled year-old -- and you never quite grasp who these people are or why they are important.
The main characters, two brothers, are well explained, though improbable -- one is an evil genius, the other a good genius, each gifted with essentially superhuman powers.
And there's a female police captain, who is always referred to by her title, which is Captain of Homicide -- a most un-American kind of title, although she's NYPD.
In parts of the book it is all too clear that two writers are at work, often at cross purposes. In a climactic scene, the evil brother retreats to his volcanic island fortress, and suspecting that the year-old year-old woman has tracked him down and is even now climbing the volcano to reach his fortress, barricades himself deep within, surrounded by 3-foot-thick stone walls -- yet he not only hears her knock on the door, he says "who's there?
The plot, the cliffhangers, the main characters and some of the peripheral ones all have this in common: And yet this is not a comic book, or a fantasy like Harry Potter -- it's supposed to be a thriller, based in modern life and experience, and thus remotely possible.
Well, it ain't, and I didn't like it. This book is the last of the little trilogy within the Pendergast series that started with Brimstone and Dance of Death.
While I was really looking forward to reading it, I started out a bit slow, first because I was in the middle of a different book when my library order came in, and I started playing Dishonored on my and was trying to figure out what I was doing without dying too often.
But then I got a few chapters in and couldn't stop reading! All sorts of suspenseful things were going on This book is the last of the little trilogy within the Pendergast series that started with Brimstone and Dance of Death.
All sorts of suspenseful things were going on all at once, and this is one book where, if you read at least the previous book, you know exactly who the bad guy is, but none of the other characters do, and so you may find yourself yelling like me, "Noooo, don't listen to him!
Don't go in there with him! In any case, really good fun. Never a dull moment at that Museum! Feb 21, kartik narayanan rated it liked it. The Book of the Dead is another so-so entry in the Pendergast-verse and brings the Diogenes trilogy to an end hopefully!
It suffers from the same malaise as the previous couple of books in that the antagonist is boring and the story boils down to Batman chasing the Joker in the Dark Knight.
There is no mystery and the protagonists are basically boring while having the ability to foresee random events. And the ending is ambiguous enough without any form of closure.
I hope the next book The Book of the Dead is another so-so entry in the Pendergast-verse and brings the Diogenes trilogy to an end hopefully!
I hope the next book will be a return to the core pendergast values. Jan 13, Rob Thompson rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the seventh book in the Special Agent Pendergast series.
Also, it is the third and final installment to the trilogy concentrating on Pendergast and his relationship with Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta in their pursuit to stop Pendergast's brother, Diogenes.
Preston and Child call these books the Diogenes trilogy. The three books in the trilogy start with Brimstone in and continue with Dance of Death in This final book was released on May 30, and has been on the New York Times Best Seller list, reaching as high as 4 on the list.
Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast is the focus of this novel as his evil brother Diogenes puts several plans into effect.
One plan involves targeting Aloysius's dearest friends Concurrently, the New York Museum of Natural History has re-opened an old tomb, closed down decades ago.
There are hints of the tomb being cursed, but most tombs do have a curse on them as a matter of course, as a protection against grave robbers.
Not much is thought of the curse until a lighting technician is found savagely murdered. Later, a British Egyptologist goes mad and attacks a colleague; security is forced to shoot and kill him.
When a replacement Egyptian specialist turns out to be the one woman Pendergast is in love with, everyone becomes suspicious of this coincidence.
Their fears are not unfounded. By the end of the book the authors have, as expected, tied up all the loose ends. Like all their books, the pacing is fast, the plot far-fetched, and the the writing flows well.
There is a lot to enjoy here. But as this was the final book in the Pendergast-Diogenes trilogy, some of the suspense was lost as the final outcome was pretty obvious.
Thus only 4 stars not 5. A must read for all Preston-Child fans, but not the one to start with. Well, I guess the magnificent run of Pendergast novels couldn't last forever.
This was a good book, but I felt cheated. The Tomb of Senef with its colourful history and its macabre 'curse' offered so many real opportunities.
In the end, when The Event was revealed, the whole thing just fell flat. Also, I wasn't too impressed with the wrap-up of the whole Diogenes sequence.
Is this the same Diogenes who was so masterfully powerful in Dance of Death Pendergast, 6? I don't want to r Well, I guess the magnificent run of Pendergast novels couldn't last forever.
I don't want to reveal any spoilers, so I am unable to explain exactly why I thought the second half of this book was so unappealing.
Suffice to say, it's probably a good thing this trilogy is now wrapped up, so that the authors can work on returning to form. Give us another Relic , guys!
Jul 19, Alice rated it it was ok. If you can get past the plot, which is utterly preposterous, this is a pretty good action read.
I found myself flipping past the criminal mastermind's rantings because after awhile, they get boring. I also I fail to see what help it is when he quotes things in French got that , Italian can guess at that , Russian nope , and Greek nope again , and then does not provide translations.
Maybe the point is to let the author impress his readers. That got boring too. My interest picked up when the t If you can get past the plot, which is utterly preposterous, this is a pretty good action read.
My interest picked up when the tables turned in the last few hundred pages. Wish I'd known that this was the last of a trilogy when I got it from the library.
I downloaded it, so I didn't have a cover to look at. I got a ways in and the dialogue started talking about other crimes that the characters had been involved in.
This is not a stand alone book! I always love picking up a Pendergast novel for when I want a fun and quick detective story.
The finale of the Diogenes trilogy within the series didn't fail. Seriously though, with all the things that happen at that museum, you'd think they'd have shut down new programs by now.
Your sense of reality definitely has to be suspended for this one but it's a fun ride. Oct 27, John Beta rated it really liked it.
I always enjoy the reliable thriller-mystery, with a dash of horror read in between my other readings. However, I should have read Brimstone and Dance of Death first.
Shame on me for not reading more reviews and blogs on this. I was still entertained by the clever Agent Pendergast and his cohorts.
Dec 08, Sophiene rated it really liked it Shelves: I just love the mix of history and thriller. Especially the museum history is fascinating. I'll try to get more of these.
May 18, Cherie rated it it was amazing Shelves: And now I know the story of Constance Green and Diogenes Pendergast and I am caught up with the beginning of the series and the "Pendergast Trilogy" is behind me.
Too many bad experiences, I think. I really enjoyed Scott Brick's narration of the story and look forward to hearing him again.
Apr 17, Carol rated it it was ok. I did not care for this book at all. There are too many subplots-- 1 the opening of an Egyptian tomb at the NY Natural History Museum is plagued by murders, 2 a clever prison breakout, 3 a weird young lady living in a sumptuous mansion in New York, 4 two brothers, one good, one evil and each gifted in his own way, are connected by a traumatic event that occurred when they were little boys.
All of the disconnected subplots and the sheer volume of characters left me thinking I needed to take n I did not care for this book at all.
All of the disconnected subplots and the sheer volume of characters left me thinking I needed to take notes. I was constantly trying to remember who this or that person was.
Not to mention that the revenge one brother seeks to exact on all mankind because of his childhood trauma is both bizarre and completely unhinged and not believable at all.
I mean, did I miss something? He crawls into a large magician's box when he's 7 and he sees something so evil which is never fully explained that now as a man, he wants to kill everybody.
And when the aforementioned weird young lady, who is a minor character in two chapters of the book, appears at the climax and is largely responsible for the slam dunk ending, I closed the book thinking, "Uh, that was freakin bizarre.
For one thing, I wanted to know what was in that valise that Dionysius carried with him. Were there body parts in there?
What was in there that so traumatized the cop when he opened it!? What was the horrible trauma the young Dionysius experienced that made him turn evil as a man!?
Having said all that, I will say that the writing itself was intelligent and well constructed. Too bad it was a ridiculous plot.
The Book of the Dead 83 82 Jan 19, Diogenes 13 37 Sep 05, Interesting historical connection to Pendergast 65 78 Oct 23, Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in , and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley.
Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston.
Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in , and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley.
Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two front teeth to his brother Richard's fist; and various broken bones, also incurred in dust-ups with Richard.
Richard went on to write The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event, which tells you all you need to know about what it was like to grow up with him as a brother.
As they grew up, Doug, Richard, and their little brother David roamed the quiet suburbs of Wellesley, terrorizing the natives with home-made rockets and incendiary devices mail-ordered from the backs of comic books or concocted from chemistry sets.
With a friend they once attempted to fly a rocket into Wellesley Square; the rocket malfunctioned and nearly killed a man mowing his lawn.
They were local celebrities, often appearing in the "Police Notes" section of The Wellesley Townsman. It is a miracle they survived childhood intact.
After unaccountably being rejected by Stanford University a pox on it , Preston attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy before settling down to English literature.
Some of the spells included were drawn from these older works and date to the 3rd millennium BCE. A number of the spells which made up the Book continued to be inscribed on tomb walls and sarcophagi , as had always been the spells from which they originated.
The Book of the Dead was placed in the coffin or burial chamber of the deceased. There was no single or canonical Book of the Dead.
The surviving papyri contain a varying selection of religious and magical texts and vary considerably in their illustration. Some people seem to have commissioned their own copies of the Book of the Dead perhaps choosing the spells they thought most vital in their own progression to the afterlife.
The Book of the Dead was most commonly written in hieroglyphic or hieratic script on a papyrus scroll, and often illustrated with vignettes depicting the deceased and their journey into the afterlife.
Wallis Budge, and was brought to the London Museum to preserve it, and it is where the Papyrus Scroll of Ani remains unto this day. The Book of the Dead developed from a tradition of funerary manuscripts dating back to the Egyptian Old Kingdom.
The Pyramid Texts were written in an unusual hieroglyphic style; many of the hieroglyphs representing humans or animals were left incomplete or drawn mutilated, most likely to prevent them causing any harm to the dead pharaoh.
In the Middle Kingdom , a new funerary text emerged, the Coffin Texts. The Coffin Texts used a newer version of the language, new spells, and included illustrations for the first time.
The Coffin Texts were most commonly written on the inner surfaces of coffins, though they are occasionally found on tomb walls or on papyri.
The earliest known occurrence of the spells included in the Book of the Dead is from the coffin of Queen Mentuhotep , of the 13th dynasty , where the new spells were included amongst older texts known from the Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts.
Some of the spells introduced at this time claim an older provenance; for instance the rubric to spell 30B states that it was discovered by the Prince Hordjedef in the reign of King Menkaure , many hundreds of years before it is attested in the archaeological record.
By the 17th dynasty , the Book of the Dead had become widespread not only for members of the royal family, but courtiers and other officials as well.
At this stage, the spells were typically inscribed on linen shrouds wrapped around the dead, though occasionally they are found written on coffins or on papyrus.
The New Kingdom saw the Book of the Dead develop and spread further. From this period onward the Book of the Dead was typically written on a papyrus scroll, and the text illustrated with vignettes.
During the 19th dynasty in particular, the vignettes tended to be lavish, sometimes at the expense of the surrounding text. In the Third Intermediate Period , the Book of the Dead started to appear in hieratic script, as well as in the traditional hieroglyphics.
The hieratic scrolls were a cheaper version, lacking illustration apart from a single vignette at the beginning, and were produced on smaller papyri.
At the same time, many burials used additional funerary texts, for instance the Amduat. During the 25th and 26th dynasties , the Book of the Dead was updated, revised and standardised.
Spells were consistently ordered and numbered for the first time. This standardised version is known today as the 'Saite recension', after the Saite 26th dynasty.
In the Late period and Ptolemaic period , the Book of the Dead remained based on the Saite recension, though increasingly abbreviated towards the end of the Ptolemaic period.
The last use of the Book of the Dead was in the 1st century BCE, though some artistic motifs drawn from it were still in use in Roman times.
The Book of the Dead is made up of a number of individual texts and their accompanying illustrations. Most sub-texts begin with the word ro, which can mean "mouth," "speech," "spell," "utterance," "incantation," or "a chapter of a book.
At present, some spells are known,  though no single manuscript contains them all. They served a range of purposes. Some are intended to give the deceased mystical knowledge in the afterlife, or perhaps to identify them with the gods: Still others protect the deceased from various hostile forces or guide him through the underworld past various obstacles.
Famously, two spells also deal with the judgement of the deceased in the Weighing of the Heart ritual. Such spells as 26—30, and sometimes spells 6 and , relate to the heart and were inscribed on scarabs.
The texts and images of the Book of the Dead were magical as well as religious. Magic was as legitimate an activity as praying to the gods, even when the magic was aimed at controlling the gods themselves.
The act of speaking a ritual formula was an act of creation;  there is a sense in which action and speech were one and the same thing.
Hieroglyphic script was held to have been invented by the god Thoth , and the hieroglyphs themselves were powerful. Written words conveyed the full force of a spell.
The spells of the Book of the Dead made use of several magical techniques which can also be seen in other areas of Egyptian life. A number of spells are for magical amulets , which would protect the deceased from harm.
In addition to being represented on a Book of the Dead papyrus, these spells appeared on amulets wound into the wrappings of a mummy.
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