Whatever Gets You Through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments
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Whatever Gets You Through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  20 ratings  ·  5 reviews
"I fear each passing night that I will not receive my maintenance dose of suspense, and then I will cease to exist."--"Whatever Gets You through the Night"

"Whatever Gets You through the Night" is an irreverent and deeply funny retelling of the Arabian Nights and a wildly inspired exploration of the timeless art of storytelling. Award-winning writer Andrei Codrescu reimagin...more
Hardcover, 179 pages
Published May 15th 2011 by Princeton University Press (first published March 30th 2011)
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The Book : An Online Review at The New Republic
The Thousand and One Nights, also known as The Arabian Nights, is the world’s best-travelled collection of stories, and the most popular. It might be the most-read book in English after the Bible and Shakespeare, but it has a different kind of familiarity than those canonical works.Read more...

Codrescu's meditation on Sheherezade, the teller of the 1001 tales, is occasionally brilliant and frequently maddening. The author applies his prodigious imagination to an extended retelling of the frame story of the Arabian Nights and a few of the opening tales, along the way mixing in an excellent overview of the various translations plus musings on the nature of storytelling. The copious footnotes are at times hilarious, puzzling (as in "Really? He interrupted the flow of the story to tell me...more
Michael Arden
Despite the catchy cover art, this is a tedious outing to the realm of the ARABIAN NIGHTS. The author reworks the framing story by giving Sheherezade the powers of a medium to foretell the future to the extent that she can place the setting of a tale in the Turkish Sultanate, which did not yet exist during the Baghdad Caliphate, where the stories are spun. He also states that her three Fates were called Antoine Galland, Richard Burton and Husain Haddawy, all famous translators of the NIGHTS who...more
We know the basic tale of the inventive, clever Sheherezade: how the cruel King Shahryar wedded and bedded a different virgin every night and had her killed at dawn and how Sheherezade bargained with her life by entertaining him for 1,001 nights until he no longer wished to kill her, thus saving an entire nation of terrified women. This novel tells how this all began, how two kings were betrayed and their very different reactions following the murder of their betrayers.

It roves wittily through...more
Aug 17, 2011 Tom marked it as to-read
Well, shoot, who could resist this, especially since Amazon is offering at 45% off. (as a companion reading, I heartily recommend Edward Rice's bio Captain Sire Richard Francis Burton, one of first Eng translators of Arabian Tales)
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Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-born American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio. He was Mac Curdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University from 1984 until his retirement in 2009.
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