Corby lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, two daughters, two ducks, two budgerigars, and a brush turkey that is almost as irritating as Socrates.
Corby applied the Page 69 Test to The Singer from Memphis and reported the following:
Our book today is The Singer From Memphis. No, that's not Memphis, Tennessee. It's Memphis, Egypt, and the date is 455BC.Visit Gary Corby's blog.
Page 69 sees our heroes meet a barbarian who is about to become very important in their lives. His name is Maxyates. He is tall. The hair on one side of his head descends to his waist. The hair on the other side is shorn to the scalp. He dyes his skin bright red. Max has an interesting origin.
“You may call me Max,” the red man said.Oddly enough, everything the strange red man says is well documented. The story of Max's people is told by Herodotus, the world's first and greatest historian. There really was a people who looked like Max, who believed they were descended from the survivors of Troy, centuries before.
“That’s your name?”
“My name is Maxyates. But all my friends call me Max. I choose to call you friends, despite the terrible war of aggression your people perpetrated against mine.”
“Your people?” I said, perplexed. I couldn’t recall Athens attacking any bright red people with only half their hair.
“My tribe are the descendants of Troy. After you Hellenes did your best to wipe out my ancestors, the few survivors made their way to Libya, where they started again. I am proud to call myself a child of Hector.”
If this man was a Trojan then I was the King of Persia. But there was no doubting that he was civilized.
It just so happens that Herodotus is one of the characters in this book, and Herodotus is present in the room when Max says the lines above.
This is a huge part of the premise of the whole book. Herodotus has hired my heroes Nico and the intelligent and charming Diotima to escort him around Egypt. During which time we watch as Herodotus goes about his business, and also as Nico goes about his business, which involves battling secret agents, fighting off pirates, wrestling crocodiles, and dealing with his most dangerous foe of all: the Public Service of Egypt.
Whether our party of adventurers manage to survive all that is what you will discover when you read The Singer From Memphis.
My Book, The Movie: The Singer from Memphis.
Writers Read: Gary Corby.