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The Last Camel Died at Noon: 05/22/07
Back in junior high school I read Crocodile on the Sandbank and fell in love with the Amelia Peabody series. I read up to The Last Camel Died at Noon but didn't have the chance to read it because my studies got in the way as did the temptation of a library filled with much better books! It's only in the last few years that I've gone back to reading the series, though I'm no longer trying to read them in order.
The Last Camel Died at Noon introduces Nefret, a character whose back story is later more fully explained in Children of the Storm (a book I read in 2005). Both book suffer from being too Ramses-centric and from plot-bloat.
Of the 400 pages, the first 100 are quite good as are the last 100. The middle 200 slog through a whole bunch of heavy handed foreshadowing that makes this "dear reader" wonder just how dense Amelia, Radcliff and Ramses really are. Characters who are in disguise are so obvious in their costumes and aliases that it's painful to wait for the protagonists to catch up. The criminal of the book might as well just introduce himself as such because again his strange behavior and motives are completely ignored.
If you're a fan of the series and like to read things in order, go ahead and read the book. If you're not that devoted, it's okay to skip the book. Everything will be summed up for you in later volumes (and completely rehashed in Children of the Storm).
Comment #1: Friday, May 25, 2007 at 12:01:30
I tried to read this years ago, it might even still be on my shelf. But I couldn't finish it. I think you're absolutely correct in your description of the book. "
Comment #2: Friday, May 25, 2007 at 23:51:55
I've fallen in love with the Recorded books versions ready by Barbara Rosenblat, if you're at all interested in audio books, I think she does an awesome job of reading Amelia, and her Radcliff voice is very funny!"
I've read all the Amelia Peabody mysteries but I enjoyed Ramses more when he was a precocious child. His son and daughter are showing promise as the new generation adept at driving both parents & grandparents crazy with their antics."