Page 506. " I know the true name of Ra. My mother told me. "
GNU Free Documentation LicenseHorus - Credit: Jeff Dahl

The Egyptian god Horus is one of the most important deities in Ancient Egyptian religion. His mother is the goddess Isis, who tricked Ra's true name from him. Often depicted with the head of a falcon, Horus is associated with the sky, with warfare and is seen as a protector.


Page 511. " I know it's crooked. But it's the only game in town. "

This is a quote from Canada Bill Jones, who has been described as 'the greatest three-card-monte sharp ever to work the boats.'

Born William Jones in Yorkshire, he migrated to Canada, hence the nickname. He eventually died a pauper.

Page 513. " the way of hard truths or the way of fine lies? "

This phrase reminds me of 'the Gates of Horn and the Gates of Ivory.' In Greek mythology these are 'gates' where true dreams pass (the gates of horn) and false dreams pass (the gates of ivory.)  The gates feature in Gaiman's first Sandman graphic novel, Preludes and Nocturnes.

Preludes and Nocturnes on Book Drum

In Virgil's Aeneid, the 'gates of horn and ivory' represent 'true shadows' and 'false dreams.'

Page 521. " The boat was being poled by a tall figure "

The mysterious ferryman in this Underworld setting sounds like the Greek ferryman of the dead, Charon. However he turns out to be Mr Ibis / Thoth.