Saturday, April 7, 2018

Book Review: The Delphic Oracles in Egypt and New York by PanOrpheus

Historical Fiction/Fantasy with Loads of Humor from Dry to Bawdy

With a penname of PanOrpheus, this author has a lot to live up to.  Pan is the god of the wilds and friend of the nymphs.  Orpheus is a legendary Greek musician, poet, and prophet, said to be able to charm anyone with his music, even stones.  While I can’t guarantee that The Delphic Oracles in Egypt and New York would charm a stone, I found it both humorous and thought-provoking.

The book is filled with references to people and events that cut across time and space in odd and unpredictable ways…like spotting Sinatra singing jazz in 500 BC Egypt.  Or traveling in the company of an Oracle who played on Broadway…leaping lizards!  Or discussing the connection between computer software implicated in the 2016 election and Egyptian embalming fluid.  Say what?  The implications of some these happenings and sightings seem clear; others are a bit of a mind twister.  And when you tease one of them from your gray matter, you start wondering – what else have I missed.  (I never did figure out the importance of Mallville, PA, for example.)

I also enjoyed the author’s sense of humor, which ran the gamut from dry to bawdy.  I’d quote something from Phoebe at this point, but it might be difficult to find much without a four-letter word or two…or three.  (And I’d like to keep this review family-friendly.)  Humor is so central to this book that if you eliminate the final Interview between the Reporter and the Mage, it can be seen as a buildup for a play on words.  At that point, it had me groaning…in a good way.

As for downsides, there were few and they were minor.  First, the formatting of my ebook version took some strange twists.  While that didn’t affect the story per se, it was distracting in places.  Second, the book introduces a lot of names at the beginning – some real or close to it, others are total fiction, and several are incarnations of someone you’ve already met.  It can be confusing.  It does come together but checking out the author’s biography on the Amazon book page also provided some helpful context.

So, my recommendation.  Read The Delphic Oracles in Egypt and New York.  Like Phoebe would say, it’s a d@#& fine book.

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