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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 38, September 20, 2009, Article 8

BOOK REVIEW: ALEXANDRIA BY LINDSEY DAVIS

Harry Waterson submitted this review of the new book Alexandria by Lindsey Davis. Thanks! -Editor

Davis Alexandria Who killed Theon, the head librarian at the great library in Alexandria? Are scrolls missing? Are they being stolen, destroyed, recycled, and mismanaged or just suffering from benign neglect? Read about life in the great reading room of the greatest library in the world in A.D. 77.

This is a historical mystery written by Lindsey Davis entitled Alexandria. It is the 19th book in a series featuring Marcus Didius Falco and the nefarious goings-on in the roman world of the Emperor Vaspasian. The novel is witty and fast paced and full of details of bookkeeping in every sense of that term.

St. Martin's Press published Alexandria in the US in May 2009.

Bibliophiles might like this quote:

Ptolemy Soter had had a glorious ideal. He set out to own every book in the world, so that all the world's knowledge would be gathered in his Library, available for consultation. We would call that a good motive. But collecting can be obsessive. Totality becomes an end in itself. Possession of all an author's works, all the works in a set, becomes more important than what the texts actually say. Ideas become irrelevant.

In this novel Ptolemy's glorious ideal has become tattered and frayed and mischief is afoot. I recommend it highly.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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