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Aladdin and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights

(The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights #1-3)

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  67,683 ratings  ·  2,123 reviews
Some of the best-loved stories in the world, originating in Persia, India and Arabia, retold especially for children.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 26th 1996 by Puffin Classics (first published 800)
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Popular Answered Questions
Cibele Andrade The original 1001 Nights (or the compilations of it) are not what I would call children fairy tales. At least, i wouldn't give them to a child to…moreThe original 1001 Nights (or the compilations of it) are not what I would call children fairy tales. At least, i wouldn't give them to a child to read. You should give them a try. =)(less)
Tobias If you're feeling adventurous and don't mind archaic English, have a go at Burton. It's hilarious and quite charming in its own way, but not at all…moreIf you're feeling adventurous and don't mind archaic English, have a go at Burton. It's hilarious and quite charming in its own way, but not at all representative of the Arabic since he emphasizes racism, sexism, and a bunch of other things in his own verbose way.
Haddawy's translation is a more scholarly one. In fact, it is translated into English from the Syrian 'Mahdi'-manuscript, which is the oldest surviving (substantial) material, and it is probably the closest thing we'll ever get to a somewhat stable 'original' of the 1001 Nights. However, this version only includes about 30-something tales.
I have been enjoying Malcolm Lyons' translation lately. It is the first complete English translation from the Calcutta II manuscript since Burton, and it reads very smoothly.(less)

Community Reviews

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Manny
Ah, if only I could write like the late Sir Richard Burton! Normally I dislike translations, but to refuse to read The Arabian Nights on those grounds would be like refusing to read the Bible. I love parodying people's styles, and I have tried my utmost to parody Burton convincingly, but I can't do it. He's too clever. He has taken this unique book, a miraculous survival from the most ancient antiquity, and he has created a unique language to make it accessible to us: the backbone is a kind of S ...more
Better Eggs
When I was a little girl my grandmother gave me a big, blue, cloth bound edition of this book. It had the most exquisite coloured plates protected by tissue paper interleaved with the printed sheets. It was the perfect storybook for a bookish, fanciful child living in an abusive home. I spent a year reading this book. Every night I would read it and disappear from all the fear and unpleasantness around me into this realm of people in exotic clothes who could do magic. I cherished the book. I too ...more
Aaron
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The more I read user reviews of The Arabian Nights, the more convinced I am that people are just posting negative things to be contrary. How can you not love this collection of stories?

Common complaints:

1)It's racist -- Yes, the work itself, by today's standards, could probably be considered racist. This work was originally written many thousands of years ago. Keep that in mind and get off your high horse.

2) It's misogynistic-- I disagree. That which would be considered misogynistic falls into
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
996. The Thousand and One Nights, Anonymous
The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Greek, Indian, Jewish, Persian and Turkish folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Abbasid era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian w
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
996. The Thousand And One Nights, Anonymous
The tales of told by Shahrazad over a thousand and one nights to delay her execution by the King Shahriyar have become among the most popular in both Eastern and Western literature.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1981 میلادی و سپس بارها نسخه های متفات را نیز خوانده ام
عنوان: هزارویک شب - ترجمه از عربی: عبداللطیف تسوجی تبریزی، نشر هرمس، ادبیات ایران کهن
ترجمه اشعار: میرزا محمدعلی سروش اصفهانی
ا. شربیانی
JG (The Introverted Reader)
For those 2 people who don't know, The Arabian Nights is sort of a collection of short stories told in the Arabian world, as I'm told it should be called, (which seems to include India and parts of China) waaaaaay back in the day. The framework of the story is about a sultan who caught his wife cheating on him. After he has her killed, he decides to take out his revenge on the entire sex, so he marries a different wife every day and has her killed the next morning. Scheherazade is the Grand Vizi ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
996. The Thousand And One Nights, Anonymous
The tales of told by Shahrazad over a thousand and one nights to delay her execution by the King Shahriyar have become among the most popular in both Eastern and Western literature.
The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Greek, Indian, Jewish, Persian and Turkish folklore and
...more
Jan-Maat
As a child I had a small selection of tales from the Arabian nights in a hardback volume with a few gorgeous full colour plates. From this a couple of stories stayed with me, a Sultan travelling in disguise meets a man who having learnt of the Sultan's weakness for baby cucumbers was intent on trying to fool him out of a fortune in exchange for them, the man although greedy is also garrulous, tells the Sultan in disguise his wicked plans enabling the Sultan to turn the tables on him and trick hi ...more
Claudia
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A review is pointless for this book. It’s a classic and everyone should read it. Those who are complaining about how women are treated in the stories should read it more carefully and should pay attention also when it was first written.

Reading this edition, two things amazed me: how well I remember all the stories, taking into consideration that last time I read them was more than 20 years ago and second, how accurate the Romanian translation I read is compared to this one.

As for this edition,
...more
Aubrey
A library of books is the fairest garden in the world, and to walk there is an ecstasy.
Within the span of the ninth to the thirteen centuries my library consists of these: Beowulf, The Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, The Sagas of Icelanders, Njal's Saga, and this. What a show of power, then, that a monumental collection the likes of which the Anglo world has never even attempted to replicate is popularly framed as a collection of children's tales, sexy times, a
...more
Manny
As I say in my review, I wanted to write a parody of this wonderful book but was forced to admit defeat. Burton is too damn clever for a good parody to be possible. During my preliminary negotiations, I had however received a remarkable offer from Alfonso. A Burton parody without political incorrectness is unthinkable, and Alfonso bravely put himself forward to play the role of an evil blackamoor of hideous appearance.

It seems wrong that Alfonso's selfless devotion to literature should go unrew
...more
Sidharth Vardhan
A Story to Save a Live

The beauty of the stories and the poetry of the thought that most destructive demons can be tamed back with a few stories was fascinating to me even when I first saw the serialized version on tv. What I didn’t realized was that the stories Scheherazade, that great goddess of story tellers and inventor of cliff-hangings, told the king weren’t as random but had an order in themselves.

This book has made Scherzade my favorite superhero – superhero was the word we use for one
...more
Ali
[As I have not read the Nights yet, this is not a commentary on them, but rather a comparison of the many translations available. This used to be a comment on my not-yet-review of the first volume of the Lyons translation of the Nights, but I thought it would be more helpful if it was a review. I've expanded on some of my earlier comments and tried to be more critical than "I like this one" or "this one seems odd", which was all I had time to write at the time I posted the comment. This is restr ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Oh, the wonders of literature! While reading this book I could not help but sing the songs or hum the tunes associated with the tales:
♪♫♪ A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming ♪♫♪
I grew up with mostly Filipino komiks around me. Only my father loved reading books and we had very few (compared to what I have now) classics and contemporary books at home. My parents did not read to me when I was young. Those are the reasons why
...more
Madeline
Aug 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list, fantasy
I am planning to read through this whole book someday, I swear. But it's going to be a slow process. Here, in list form, are the reasons I may or may not finish The Arabian Nights.

Reasons I May Finish This Ridiculously Long Book:
-Scheherazade (or whichever of the twenty ways to spell her name you prefer) is kind of a badass genius. Since her father is the king's vizier, she gets exempted from said batshit crazy king's plan to marry and then kill every single available virgin in the city. But she
...more
Destiny Dawn Long
This edition is a translation of the first 271 nights from the "1001 Nights" cycle.

One of my favorite aspects of this work is the role of Shahrazad. While many people discuss that she is telling the stories to save her own life, what people fail to recognize many times is that, really, she volunteers to be placed in the position in order to save her kingdom. She's a great literary heroine--saving the world through storytelling.

It also provides a great lens into a world that today is depicted i
...more
Erik
I really need a 2.5 stars option, though I would end up using it on three-fourths of everything. As a generic, I can neither recommend nor disavow this book.

Okay so the beloved Arabian Nights, tales from a thousand and one nights. I should start with what this is NOT. This is not a linear story about a princess telling stories to a king. This is not a children's read involving genies, magic, and cyclopi (I refuse to spell this any other way, no matter the red line beneath it). This IS a collecti
...more
Vit Babenco
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read One Thousand and One Nights I was literally put under the book’s spell – charmed, enchanted and bewitched. It isn’t just magic of fairytales. It is first of all magic of the oriental world. And of course I was at once mesmerized with the incredible frame tale of Shahryar and Scheherazade.
Nowhere is so much magic as in Arabian Nights: magical word opening the cave door: “‘Open, Sesame!’ And forthwith appeared a wide doorway in the face of the rock. The robbers went in, and last
...more
Alex
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What you thought was the Arabian Nights was more likely Richard Burton's bastardized, inflated 19th-century adaptation, which was as much about Richard Burton (and his weird ideas about sex) as it was about Arabia.

Which is sortof neither here nor there; there is no canonical version of Arabian Nights anyway. It's just an umbrella term for, basically, all of the Middle East's favorite stories. And if the version that heavily influenced guys like Borges was Burton's, isn't Burton's version the on
...more
Ashley Daviau
I’m really right in the middle with this collection. Some stories absolutely enthralled me and I loved them! But on the other hand, some quite nearly bored me to death. It was really an even mix of both, I can’t even say there were more good stories than bad ones. I was quite disappointed by this read to be honest, I was expecting much more from it!
Michael Finocchiaro
Arabian Nights is one of the great literary works of all time but precautions need to be made if you want to read it to your kids. First off, there is a LOT of violence in the stories and a TON of sex. Don't be an idiot like me and start reading an unabridged copy to your kids or you will have to be explaining very early on why so and so killed his wife and imprisoned another...
That being said, there are few works with as much imagination and wonder in them and taken in lighter doses, it is a be
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: djinn, princess, enchanted fish and mermaids everywhere
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list and a love of all things from the orient
Having just re-read this book i'm reminded how the flowery wording and a hint of "eastern promise" manages to white wash over the actual issues of the story. Sheharezade is actually technically being kept hostage with a death penalty hanging over her head, forced to spin yarns to save not only her skin but that of all the other virgins in the vicinty. Her tales touch on marital rape, mass murder, theft, deception, fratricide, regicide, racism and necromancy. And you all thought American Psycho w ...more
Aya
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arabic
King 1: I miss my brother king 2
King 2: damn my wife is sleeping with a black slave I KILL HER AND HIM. oh and I will go see my brother.
King 1: let’s go hunting brotha
King2: no I’m soo gloomy. Oh and btw your wife and every single one of your concubines are sleeping with black slaves too. I saw them.
King 1: I KILL THEM ALL.
King 2: damn bro this whole thing sucks I don’t feel like being king any more.
King1: me neither hey let’s leave everything and go see if other men’s wives suck too
*they go o
...more
Shirley Revill
I have read this book a few times over the years and I believe I was about thirteen the first time I read this book. A wonderful classic tale. Pure nostalgia.
Marc
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Fate is volatile, as you can see, sometimes there is joy, then sadness"

I really enjoyed reading this classic. For the sake of clarity: I have been selective, of course, because digesting all 3100 pages in such a short time (one month) would have been too much, but I think I have certainly gone through half of the stories.

What is particularly striking is the enormous diversity of this collection. To begin with, geographically: of course, the stories are largely situated in the Arab world, but
...more
Megan
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very sad book, in the sense that it makes you think, "What the hell happened to Baghdad?". Here, Baghdad is pretty much the most magical city in the world, and most of the Arabian Nights takes place in or around it. The world of the Arabian Nights is amazingly liberal compared to Europe of the same period (which is roughly the 13th century), especially when it comes to women. From the storytelling heroine Scheherazade on down, most of the women of the Arabian Nights are well-educated a ...more
Diba
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I simply have problem with the title, since it should be One thousand and one night, the translation of Burton is worthy to read and also should be praised to introduce such a masterpiece to Western literature. Not only do these stories depict cultural and social codes of Middle East and centra Asia, but also they convey how morality and wisdom were respected in these societies. As we are living in an era that most people are biased about their originality and are focused on the small w ...more
Terry
Aug 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Shahrazad turned to King Shahrayar and said, ‘May I have your permission to tell a story?’ He replied, ‘Yes,’ and Shahrazad was very happy and said, “Listen”:

Of all of the world’s story collections, surely The Arabian Nights has the best framing device—the best fictional pretext by which to justify the telling of the other stories. I mean the story of Shahrazad (as this text transliterates her name), the daughter of the vizier to King Shahrayar. Bitter over his first wife’s betrayal, Shahrayar
...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
The Arabian Nights / 0-486-22289-6

I'm a bit of an "Thousand Nights" enthusiast -- I enjoy the stories immensely and I have four separate translations in my personal library. Several friends have asked me to discuss the differences between the editions, so I thought I'd present a four-way comparison and then talk about which version is best for which audience.

For the purposes of the four-way comparison, I will draw text from the opening tale of the two kingly brothers in order to highlight how e
...more
Ali
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this the second time around, and maybe even more so as I've matured. I have my favourite ones, but not enough to begin listing them as they all kept my interest much like they withheld the King's.

They were short and full of adventure. I felt like I was able to inject myself in them as if I were one of the characters, or at least watching at a close distance as the stories unfolded.

My plan was to read one per night before bed, but again, I enjoyed the stories so much I wanted t
...more
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Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons:

* They are officially published under that name
* They are traditional stories not attributed to a specific author
* They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author

Books whose authorship is merely uncertain should be attributed to Unknown.

Other books in the series

The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights (4 books)
  • The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights, Volume 1
  • The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights, Volume 2
  • The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights, Volume 3
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