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The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights

by Richard Burton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Modern Library Classics

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,515198,333 (3.91)107
Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever. This volume reproduces the 1932 Modern Library edition, for which Bennett A. Cerf chose the most famous and representative stories from Sir Richard F. Burton's multivolume translation, and includes Burton's extensive and acclaimed explanatory notes. These tales, including Alaeddin; or, the Wonderful Lamp, Sinbad the Seaman and Sinbad the Landsman, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, have entered into the popular imagination, demonstrating that Shahrazad's spell remains unbroken.… (more)
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» See also 107 mentions

English (18)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
These are great stories however you shake it. Way more adult than we are led to be and downright spooky in some cases. Lots of adventure, bad guys and characters who come to life. NO walt disney here. ( )
  Joe73 | Apr 29, 2020 |
The unabridged version is huge, but it comes with a glossary of sorts in the back. No flying carpet anywhere in the entire tome--blast Disney. These stories were handed down long before Islam became a religion backed by the Koran, so this book offers keen insights into the culture it came from. Just as bloody and frightening as the original Grimm's Fairy Tales. ( )
  JoniMFisher | Sep 19, 2019 |
This is the selection of tales of The Arabian Nights as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton and published by The Modern Library. The story of Scheherazade's ingenuity is of Persian origin and its origin has been traced back to 944 AD. However the tales are more Arabian than Persian in flavor. Over the centuries the tales multiplied and eventually comprised an convoluted form that has been a source of admiration as a miracle of narrative architecture. While Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are similar to them in construction, in that they are collections of stories within stories, the Arabian tales is infinitely more complicated.

The frame of the work consists of a whimsical plot arrangement that depends upon the jealousy of Shahriyar, King of India, for his wife and her wanton ways; after executing her he vows to take his revenge on wall woman-ways. Night after night he marries some beautiful girl, only to order her beheaded the next morning. That is until he meets Scheherazade whose wile and intelligence is more than a match for the King. She manages to spin a bewildering number of yarns and, by suspending the ending of each, eludes the executioner. The tales she tells include such stories as "Aladdin's Lamp" and "Sinbad the Sailor" and many more that, while less famous, are equally entertaining.
"the most marvelous article in this Enchanted Treasure was a wonderful Lamp with its might of magical means." (p 712, "Alaeddin; or, The Wonderful Lamp")

The resulting compendium of stories has been popular ever since inspiring many translations and different forms. This translation by Richard F. Burton may be the most entertaining of all. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 5, 2018 |
A wide range of fantastics stories many of which I enjoyed and that very effectively took me to the setting. ( )
  brakketh | Apr 22, 2018 |
good but very long. a lot of foot notes to help you understand the culture... ( )
  MonicaEH | May 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Burtonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Byatt, A.S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cerf, BennettEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, StelleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This Modern Library edition is a rearranged selection by Bennet Cerf from the Burton translation. The most recent paperback editions are introduced by A. S. Byatt. ISBNs include: 0679602356, 0812972147 and 0375756752.

Please DO NOT combine this work with other abridgements unless they have the same ISBN or you have confirmed they are exactly the same work with the same translator/editor. Please DO NOT combine abridgements with complete works. If you see abridgements and complete sets/editions combined together, please help by separating them. If in doubt, please DO NOT combine. Especially not when combining large numbers of copies. It takes a lot of time and effort to separate and recombine works.
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