River of God Is Part Book Review

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Mythology - Religion
  • Type: Book Review
  • Paper: #55852120
  • Related Topics: God, Afterlife

Excerpt from Book Review :

Rive of God is hardly a romance, though, and has other implications that, even somewhat subtly, convey the author's social and political viewpoint. First, the political system, so intricately surrounding the Pharaoh is shown to be both divisive and efficient. It is efficient in the sense that there is a single authority, and realistically, it would be impossible for a real Pharaoh to have control over all the aspects Smith suggests. The system was also divisive, however, in that while its historical precedents focused on tradition, it was the quality of the human Pharaoh's personality and foibles that set the tone for the nation. Culturally, every aspect of Egypt was shown to be focused on the god-king; yet Smith accurately represents that regardless of the period of history under study, people are people -- with their errant ways, their grandeur, and their hierarchy of being. Sociologically, Smith shows Egypt to be rather monoculture -- religion surrounded the Pharaoh and the preparation for the afterlife -- but again, this was for a certain class of individuals; upper middle and royalty. Smith does not allow us insights into the workings of the common person, ostensibly because this is fiction and needs action and movement. However, in both of the other books mentioned, Roots and Aztec, the author is able to present cultural life from the ground up, thus giving the reader a better understanding of the culture as a whole.

River of God is well-written fiction. It has the requisite plot elements, action, romance, and likable and despicable characters. There is an underlying criticism of Egyptian religion and political myopia, but that is fairly easy to do three millennia after the depicted events. All in all, it was an entertaining and thoughtful book.


Smith, W. River of God. New York: St. Martin's…

Sources Used in Document:


Smith, W. River of God. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.

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