Jim Coughenour's Reviews > The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights

The Arabian Nights by Anonymous
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A couple years ago I read the Husain Haddawy translation of these tales wih my reading group at Symposium - which I truly enjoyed. At the same time I was reading Robert Irwin's beguiling introduction to the tales. And just as everything was wrapping up, I discovered that Penguin was scheduled to publish a much fuller version around Christmas, so I promptly ordered the "wonderful three-volume, luxury, limited edition boxset" for my Christmas present. Now, stimulated by Codrescu's retelling, I've extracted the first handsome tome from its box and am surrendering again to these fantastic tales that celebrate the sexy, cunning, capricious carnival of the Arabian middle ages. I can't say how much fun these are! shocking, scintillating, rich with humor & intrigues & erotic enigmas. Picture all the pleasure of childhood fairy tales freshly experienced in desiccated middle age. The juice, the joy… silk roads, djinns, dates & beheadings, slithering princesses, salacious seekers, clueless travelers, talking fish, snakes and birds. Eunuchs and Moors. The stories of the night.

If I'm lucky I'll plow through these all the way up to Christmas, or until my wrists snap perching this brick of a book on my ribs..

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