Bob Brier is Senior Research Fellow at Long Island University, USA, and is a world-famous Egyptologist. He is the author of The Murder of Tutankhamen, Ancient Egyptian Magic, Egyptian Mummies, and Secret of the Great Pyramid. He was host to TLC's documentary series The Great Egyptians, The World of Pyramids, and Mummy Detective.
[A] well-researched and amiable account ... If you want to know how to quarry, carve and erect a huge block of granite, then Brier is your man. He meticulously reconstructs the steps taken by the Egyptian stonemasons ... turning then to document the later transportation of obelisks to foreign places. * The Spectator * Obelisks were one of the greatest technical achievements of Ancient Egypt, but they are also a tribute to the skills of the Romans, the Renaissance, and the modern world. Here is a readable and urbane account of both these works of art. * Times Literary Supplement * Mr. Brier tells these stories with panache and with authority. His cast of characters-pharaohs, emperors, popes, engineers, Egyptologists and millionaires-can hardly be beat. And he restores wonder to these enigmatic objects created so long ago. * Wall Street Journal * Brier brings an Egyptologist's perspective, a fascination with engineering, considerable storytelling skills, and a conversational tone honed by professional broadcasting. Together, this makes for a generally enjoyable read. -- Andrew Robinson * Science * Recaptures obelisk mania anew ... [It is] the unexpected illustrations that ultimately provide this book's captivating originality. * History Today * This work contains much fascinating and obscure detail that makes for an entertaining and informative read. * Ancient Egypt * Deftly navigating a wide range of primary sources, Bob Brier illuminates the terrors and triumphs of everyone involved throughout the history of the 'obelisks in exile', allowing a new appreciation of ancient and historical technological hurdles, imperial ambition, and cultural appropriation. * Current World Archaeology * A generous account. * The Literary Review * Cleopatra's Needles is written in Brier's informal, easy-to-read style and will certainly be a welcomed addition to any Egyptophile's library. * KMT Magazine * The book is impressive in its range ... the style is informal and very readable ... this is a fascinating and very informative piece of work. * Classics for All * Bob Brier brilliantly draws the reader's attention to the adventurous stories of these obelisks in times when the Western World was caught up in obelisk mania. For readers interested in the history of science, this book will be highly welcome. -- Carola Vogel * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * This book goes some way towards reigniting the original enthusiasm and appreciation felt for these rare and unique monuments. Accompanied by numerous illustrations throughout, this book is a pleasure to read ... Brier's account of the needles is well informed and is a successful general interest work on a fascinating subject, providing perhaps for the first time a well-written and approachable introduction to the world of the obelisk. * ASTENE Bulletin * Pointing to the heavens, ancient obelisks proudly display their Egyptian origins to the world. Often embellished with informative royal hieroglyphic inscriptions, many obelisks have now gained an additional historical layer-the fascinating and sometimes controversial narrative of their travels from Egypt to faraway lands. Bob Brier captures these stories with his thorough research and unique storytelling skills. * Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology, Harvard University, USA, and Director, Harvard Semitic Museum, USA * A book full of fascinating and obscure details about Egyptian obelisks, this volume by Bob Brier is written in his usual chatty manner. Meticulously researched, it offers an entertaining and informative read for both scholars and the general public. * Rita E. Freed, John F. Cogan Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Chair, Art of the Ancient World, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, USA * Cleopatra's Needles is a brilliant book, bringing the magic and the mystery of ancient Egypt to all of us. * Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist, Egypt * Brier's narrative is compelling and at times thrilling. His descriptions of the men and the challenges they overcame to move these beautiful monoliths during the nineteenth century make the technical skills and the artistic genius of their ancient Egyptian creators all the more remarkable. * Classical Journal *