Cleopatra's Bath: Short Stories and Photographs
by Khaled El Shalakany
Trafford Publishing

"War is hell, you may say. Yes, it is, and we are in hell."

Cleopatra's Bath: Short Stories and Photographs by Khaled El Shalakany is a collection of short stories and photographs. The stories and photographs work together to help the audience gain an appreciation for simplicity and discover the beauty that hides within. The work contained in this collection varies in topic from Egyptian scenes to time travel, glimpses of Cleopatra bathing and heroic acts. The photographs in the collection were also taken by Khaled El Shalakany and help display true beauty.

The photographs El Shalakany includes are breathtakingly beautiful. He seemed to really be able to capture the essence of beauty within these photos. The short stories included don't seem to have a connection, such as having the same theme, but they are thoroughly engaging and enthralling. El Shalakany writes in a different tone for each story, and it works for this collection. The differences in tone and atmosphere make each story stand apart from the others; they don't all blend together. Some are dark and serious while others are light and moving. The photographs didn't seem to have a connection to the short stories; they separate the stories and add a lovely visual quality to the collection. The short stories and photography in this collection bring out the beauty in things we tend to overlook or take for granted. While stories and photographs don't seem to be related to one another, they flow well together to create a stunning visual and written display of artistry. Khaled El Shalakany accomplished what he sought to: to portray beauty in simplicity. This collection is one that calls for a place on your bookshelf.

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