The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh
The Buried Book begins with the 19th century rediscovery of the Epic of Gilgamesh – the world’s first accounting of the Great Flood – which had been lost for two thousand years. Telling the story of the men responsible for finding and deciphering the stone tablets in a ruined palace in what is now northern Iraq, it draws readers in with some interesting parallels to today’s Iraq. Having sifted through the archaeological evidence, Damrosch shifts into a thorough accounting of the story of Gilgamesh and how it came to be lost.
The first third clips along in wonderful narrative so well done that readers can almost feel the sand blasting their faces. The second part – examining the history behind the Epic of Gilgamesh – doesn’t have the same intensity. The final third regains that pace as Damrosch ties everything together and points out the impact it has had on modern literature.
Overall, The Buried Book is definitely worth reading, if only to give readers a new point of view on this corner of the world.