Known for wrapping readers in his historical web, Paul West, in his marvelous, new novel, turns his attention to the 4th Dynasty (approx. 2680 BC) of ancient Egypt. Here, we find the pharaoh Cheops, building the great pyramids at Giza, surrounded by workers and solar boats. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, "a hundred thousand men were made to toil constantly for him," and, as Herodotus claimed, Egypt was "plunged into all manner of wickedness." In Cheops, West delightfully has Herodotus transported back in time, to meet the great pharaoh, face to face. Nearing death, getting ready for his final "transportation to the stars," the blind Cheops is obsessed with preparing for his end. All the while, the intrigues of his daughters, sons, wives, and courtiers are revealed, uncovering murder, incest, and rebellion. Most intriguing is the overarching narration told by Osiris, god of the Nile, who comments on this swarm of events with hilarious and humane authority. Profound and entertaining, Cheops: A Cupboard for the Sun is perhaps Paul West's greatest novel yet.
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and the wily marital and maternal maneuverings of Cheops’s wife (and, formerly, his father’s wife) Merytytes, who knows only too well how females may survive (“Woman must ever expect to marry her father, sleep with her brother, be the constant target of uncles and nephews”).| Read Full Review of Cheops: A Cupboard for the Sun
West (A Fifth of November) examines the legacy of the Egyptian leader who built the great pyramids in his latest historical novel, a vividly imagined but flawed book that begins with the once-powerful Cheops fighting a series of grave illnesses.| Read Full Review of Cheops: A Cupboard for the Sun