Chris's Reviews > The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights by Anonymous
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Mar 19, 09


Anyone who has looked into reading the Arabian nights realizes quickly that over the centuries these tales have been added to, bowdlerized, imitated, rewritten, and re-edited by so many different people in so many different place at so many different times it is nigh impossible to determine the most authentic version that is closest to the original. Not that I am a scholar in Middle Eastern literature, but this edition packs a punch.

This edition, the edition that I read, is a new translation made by Husain Haddawy from the so-called definitive Arabic version of these tales. There are 11 main tales, and the narrative voice is consistent in that each come from a consistent culture and time frame. None of these are the familiar ones I always thought of as tales from the Arabian nights (Ali Baba, Sinbad, etc) but turn out to be much more entertaining. Filled with sex, violence, demons, magic and endless twists and turns, they are a thoroughly enjoyable mythical romp through Middle Eastern middle ages.
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