Saturday 15 October 2022

Book Review: The Story of Tutankhamun by Garry J. Shaw (Non-Fiction/History)

Title: The Story of Tutankhamun
Author: Garry J. Shaw
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 3 January 2023
Pages: 208
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction/History
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 sparked imaginations across the globe. While Howard Carter emptied its treasures, Tut-mania gripped the world—and in many ways, never left. But who was the “boy king,” and what was his life really like?
Garry J. Shaw tells the full story of Tutankhamun’s reign and his modern rediscovery. As pharaoh, Tutankhamun had to manage an empire, navigate influential courtiers, and suffered the pain of losing at least two children—all before his nineteenth birthday. Shaw explores the boy king’s treasures and possessions, from a lock of his grandmother’s hair to a reed cut with his own hands. He looks too at Ankhesenamun, Tutankhamun’s wife, and the power queens held. This is a compelling new biography that weaves together intriguing details about ancient Egyptian culture, its beliefs, and its place in the wider world.


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.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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