Egypt through Drury's eyes; Egypt: The Eternal Smile: Reflections on a Journey, by Allan Drury. New York: Doubleday & Co. $40
Pulitzer-winning novelist Allan Drury has structured this hansomely illustrated travelogue on a journey he and the book's rhapsodic photographer, Alex Gotfryd, followed between Abu Simbel and Alexandria.
Amid and account of his highly vivid, personal impressions, Drury interweaves snippets of information about ancient Egyptian history, culture, and religion. He is clearly far more at home in the land of fiction than fact and is at his best when the employs his novelistic talents to create atmosphere, discern the timeless links between past and present, and characterize the pharaohs.
At times his dramatization of history seems too presumptuous and his style too jaunty. Yet, in sum, the book offers an engaging potpourri of travel tips, local color, and historical fact, along with a version of ancient Egypt that makes up for in originality what it lacks in objectivity.