Before reading "The Story of Tutankhamun" by Garry Shaw, I knew about as much as most people know about the Boy King—primarily about his tomb and the treasures that were discovered there. Garry Shaw takes it deeper in his book, placing King Tut in the context of this time and place, including what is known about his ancestors, his wife, and the time before and after his reign. I found the information interesting, and feel like I came away with a deeper understanding of this time in Egyptian history. I wish the book had a better flow and more consistent viewpoint—at times it read like an academic book, and other times it drifted into what I can only imagine are best guesses at how the King felt in certain moments. The book also stated some items as facts that, in further research, turned out to be less certain. In all, a good read if one knows little about Tutankhamun, as I did.
This is a short biography on Tutankhamun, focusing on the period of his father's reign through to his successors and the end of his family's dynasty. The information is good and easy to follow, and gives a good picture of the boy king himself, as well as the political landscape of Egypt at that time. Here we get a picture of Tut as a boy struggling to return to tradition after the monotheistic reign of his father, while battling external and internal issues. The author does not really expand or add to the reader's understanding of Tut, I didn't feel like I learned anything new from this book. I also felt like it read more like an academic paper instead of a book at times, though overall the book is easy to read. I liked the inclusion of full color photographs, which I felt added a lot to the story of Tut.
Just terrific. This book adds to the already vast amount of information about Tutankhamun to build a full,picture, not just of his life, but of the world in which he lived. Brilliantly focused, the author shines a spotlight on key areas of interest in the context of the young king’s life experience as a whole.
Easy to read history of King Tut. Flows like fiction which, I believe, is the best kind of non-fiction. Well researched and written. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book
100 years after the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb and the world is still fascinated by the boy king. Shaw delves into the extraordinary journey Tut went through, both in life and death. Pharaoh during a major upheaval in Egypt's history, thanks to his father trying - and failing - to establish a new state religion, he managed to accomplish quite a lot in his short reign to bring back stability to his country. Then, dying young - cause still unknown - his tomb was lucky enough to be buried under the debris of a flash flood, protecting it for 3,000 years until Carter came along and brought the boy king back into the spotlight. His golden mask fascinates - but the other objects - canes, shoes, toys, clothes, show his humanity, and people are still eager to know this young man.
I have been interested in Egyptology for most of my 62 years and this the most readable account of Tutankhamun’s life and legacy that I have come across. It is also the most descriptive. It was easy to imagine myself at the New Year festival - so much detail was given. It is also a very clear history of his immediate predecessors and of the discovery of his tomb. It brings you right up to date with the transfer of the tomb contents to a new museum at Giza. Never boring, and a very engaging style ensured I finished this book in record time. This would make an ideal gift for anyone with an interest in Egyptian history.
The Story of Tutankhamun: An Intimate Life of the Boy who Became King by Garry J. Shaw is a great nonfiction and biography that gives all the history and thrill of a fantastic and fascinating life.
I have read many books on several of the Egyptian dynasties as well as archeological events surrounding these great historical figures, so I had a baseline knowledge base and interest when I began this book, however it is still a fascinating, interesting, informative, and entertaining read no matter what level of knowledge the reader already possesses.
The pages flew by and it kept my interest throughout. Well-researched and educational yet entertaining…an excellent combination.
Thank you NG and Yale University Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/3/23.
The Story of Tutankhamun was a riveting read, partly thanks to the story-like style of the prose. Shaw keeps the story going, rather than pausing too often to debate theories, saving any such discussion for the endnotes. I certainly learnt some new things, both about Tutankhamun and Ancient Egyptian culture, from this work and I would recommend it to those interested in the period. Given the book's style, it will be suitable for both scholarly readers and the interested layperson. There was also a nice smattering of images throughout, illustrating some of the items found within the tomb. This book gets 4.5 stars from me.
A hundred years ago, the discovery of ‘King Tut’s Tomb’ set the world on fire. All things Egyptian became the rage, impacting architecture, fashion, design, and even the movies.
Just over 200 pages long, with forty illustrations, The Story of King Tutankhamun was an enjoyable introduction. The story begins with Tutankhamun’s parents, Akhenaten and Nefertiti. They had changed Egypt completely, building a new capital and religious center and commanding worship of the sun disk god, sidelining other traditional gods. After their deaths, a daughter briefly ruled before Tutankhamun became pharaoh at age 10. There was a backlash against his father’s rule; the capital was returned to its previous city and the old gods rose to prominence again. Akhenaten and Nefertiti were literally erased from history, their images defaced.
The pharaoh was the chief priest. He led the religious ceremonies for the country. Born Tutankhaten, he even changed his name to Tutankhamun to show he was the son of Amun, the creator god who created all the other gods, not Aten the sun disk who his father worshipped as the source of all life.
I can’t help but wonder how Tutankhamun felt. Did he have a lack of real power? Was he an inexperienced youth who couldn’t stand up to the demands of those who had been dispossessed and were now eager to regain what they had lost? Or, did he truly believe that the abandoned gods had forsaken Egypt and left it weaker? What we do know is that his face was now the face of the Amun.
The child king married a half-sister. The lack of viable pregnancies left them without an heir. Not until Ramses was a pharaonic line reestablished. After his death, Tutankhamun was sidelined as his parents were, buried in a borrowed tomb, with a repurposed gold mask, his images defaced.
The story of how Howard Carter, funded by Lord Carnarvon, searched for Tut’s tomb, and discovered it, and the treasures therein, is legendary. Shaw addresses the legendary curse and the appropriation of Egyptian artifacts. The biography traces the legacy of Tut into contemporary times, such as the exhibit of reproductions of Tutankhamen’s tomb treasures and the “Immersive King Tut” exhibit that came to Detroit.
Shaw includes imagined scenes from the pharaohs life, and describes in detail his education and other activities. I loved the description of the woven clothing he wore, the descriptions of the ceremonies and processions, the banquets and hunting trips, learning how his tomb was robbed and hastily restored.
The book is a nice introduction to this most well known pharaoh, and is appropriate for YA readers as well as adults.
I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.
The Story of Tutankhamun is written by Garry J. Shaw just in time for the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by Howard Carter. Shaw has a way of writing that makes the figures of the past come to life, and the history moves along at a quick pace without becoming dry. The author very clearly cares about the human aspects of Tutankhamun, his family, and his subjects, which is important as all of that generally tends to be swept away in the face of the priceless treasures that were uncovered in his tomb. He also weaves together and looks at the various theories that surround both the causes of Tutankhamun's death and the condition of his tomb when it was uncovered.
It's an easy, fast read that would be a helpful and welcome reference to anyone who already enjoys Egyptology or to those who are beginners and wish to know more about the famed pharaoh beneath the gold and jewels.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a biography of an Egyptian ruler that is probably the most well-known. Published to coincide with the 1922 tomb excavation, the first question that comes to mind is: does this biography need to be written? The answer is yes, despite countless biographies of King Tut already filling the shelves of libraries and bookstores. The reason? This biography acknowledges all of the sources that have been uncovered and examined in the past hundred years, but it takes a fresh look at them, with all of the historical advances that have been made. It dives deep into King Tut's childhood, and the influences that formed him into the 'boy king'. I highly recommend this book as a starting point for those wanting to learn about King Tut.