The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt I give it 2 stars

Notwithstanding the glowing reviews on Amazon and MetaFilter, this book is drier than a desiccated mummy. One yawn-inducingly dense essay follows another, never saying much. It doesn’t work as history, as anthropology, as archaeology, as religion, and certainly not as a story. Here, let me open it at random (page 270):

Both men also had large tomb chapels at Sheikh Abd-el-Qurna on the Theban west bank (TT 29 in the case of Amenemopet); indeed Sennefer had two tombs (TT 96 upper and lower) in order to accommodate several different female contemporaries, probably including wives and sisters. The elder daughter of Sennefer, Muttuy, shown on statutary and in the lower part of tomb TT 96, appears to have married a man called Kenamun who succeeded Sennefer as mayor of Thebes. This couple, Muttuy and Kenamun, were contemporaries of Amenhotep III and were interred in tomb TT 162.

Is it any wonder that I have no recollection whatsoever of reading this passage the first time through?

UPDATE: Aislinn pointed me to this pamphlet on mummies from the Field Museum. At 18 pages of clear and informative text, it weighs in at somewhere around ten times as interesting on a per-page basis as the Oxford History.