Alexandria by Peter Stothard
The Last Nights of Cleopatra

68%

6 Critic Reviews

While not entirely successful, Alexandria provides a chaotic and enlightening glimpse inside the mind of a great thinker and editor.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

When Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself stranded in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution.

Guided by two native Egyptians, Stothard traces his own life-long interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he had always wanted to.

In Alexandria, part memoir and part travel literature, Stothard was the sights and sounds of the ancient city to reconnect with the formative experiences of his childhood education, and his literary career. Melancholy and sometimes humorous, Alexandria offers a first-hand glimpse into the fracturing police state of Hosni Mubarak, before the uprising in Tahir Square changed everything.
 

About Peter Stothard

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Published August 1, 2013 by The Overlook Press. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Education & Reference.
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Critic reviews for Alexandria
All: 6 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 3

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Dec 31 2013

The stories of Stothard and Cleopatra are interleaved, with no attempt to graft one factitiously on to the other; the concern here is to make sure that each sentence is poised and precise.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Tom Holland on Jul 05 2013

...in the flow of his memories, the starring roles are given not to those we know to be authentic...but to a gay friend, "Maurice", and a girl known only as "V": figures so pseudonymous as to seem composite. The effect is disorienting and phantasmagoric. Stothard himself comes to seem almost as elusive as Cleopatra.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Holland on Jul 05 2013

Much of what Stothard tells us about himself is clearly true, but it is hard to feel any great confidence that all of it is true.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Jamie James on Sep 06 2013

Yet every page in "Alexandria" is fresh and original, and the book is frequently hilarious. Mr. Stothard writes with a fine grace that succeeds in unifying this quietly virtuosic genre-buster.

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Kirkus

Excellent
on May 07 2013

Don’t try to categorize this book; just read it and let it flow over you.

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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Isabelle Fraser on Jan 31 2014

While not entirely successful, Alexandria provides a chaotic and enlightening glimpse inside the mind of a great thinker and editor.

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Reader Rating for Alexandria
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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