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The setting of "The Picnic at Sakkara", a delightful comedy, is Egypt in the days of King Farouk. Edgar Perry, a lecturer at Cairo University, finds himself in a world on all sides less well-ordered than himself. His own wife deceives herself, it not him; his illustrious private pupil, Tureiya Pasha, encourages him to believe in something like a mirage; his students, in the intervals of hearing from him about the beauties of George Eliot, take part in violent political demonstrations; and one of them, Muawiya Khaslat, an attractive rogue hardly able to reconcile his devotion to Perry with his membership of the Moslem Brotherhood, almost turns the picnic into a tragedy. Newby's Egypt is more than credible and wholly entertaining. 'The light but intelligent novel is always a rare and attractive bird. Such a novel is "The Picnic at Sakkara" - a book that combines gaiety and shrewdness, a sense of fun and a sense of drama, that treats an important and absorbing subject in a light-hearted and light-handed way' - "Daily Mail". 'His most successful novel' - "Times".
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