this is my roommate's favorite book (and I knew that before moving in with him), so I said I'd give it a try. sweet merciful egyptian gods, what was that? I can't even use my "didn't quite expect that" tag, because I don't know what that was. It's well written, and if you're into loveless sodomy and incest, this might work for you. I even like Ancient Egypt, but that couldn't get me over the wtf? factor.If you're looking for slightly more accessible Mailer, I would recommend The castle in the forest. It has Nazis. And moves a bit faster.I would suggest that reading Ancient evenings as your first Norman Mailer book is akin to seeing Inland Empire as your first David Lynch movie. It's just too mind-achingly bizarre to start there, unless you're really into bizarre things.