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One Thousand and One Nights [Hardcover]

Hanan Al-Shaykh
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 13.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Aug 2011
Witty, poetic, erotic and brutal, One Thousand and One Nights are the never-ending stories told by the young Shahrazad under sentence of death to King Shahrayar. Maddened by the discovery of his wife's orgies, King Shahrayar believes all women are unfaithful and vows to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. To survive, his newest wife Shahrazad spins a web of tales night after night, leaving the King in suspense when morning comes, thus prolonging her life for another day.

Written in Arabic from tales gathered in India, Persia and across the great Arab empire, these mesmerising stories tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate.

Now adapted by Hanan al-Shaykh the One Thousand and One Nights are revealed in an intoxicating new voice.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (15 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408826046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408826041
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'Comic, tender, mischievous ... A fearless, pioneering writer' (Independent)

'What a woman!!! What a storyteller!!!' (Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis)

'One of the finest writers of her generation' (Financial Times)

'Al-Shaykh writes with a pen that is neither East nor West but entirely her own' (Los Angeles Times)

Book Description

The Arab world's greatest folk stories re-imagined by the acclaimed Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh, published to coincide with the world tour of a magnificent musical and theatrical production directed by Tim Supple

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 10 Stars!!! 11 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book deserves ten stars! What wonderful tales, tales that transported me back into time and has left me hungry for more. I have always loved and been fascinated by the stories from 1001 nights, primarily because a lot of the tales originated from Persia, the land of my maternal ancestors. The author has done justice to the stories. I could envisage everything, and I too journeyed along with the characters through their adventures.
I have a collection of different versions of 1001 nights by different authors, and so far I have enjoyed this version the most. I am saddened that I finished the book so quickly.
I really hope that the author writes another book that details more stories from 1001 nights. Thank you Hanan for transporting me to the land of kings, princesses and jinnaat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling 21 Dec 2012
By Gazza
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a simply fantastic read,give it a try,im now in the process of ordering other titles from this fantastic writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent recreation of some classic tales 5 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a joyfully and beautifully written collection of tales. "The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad" is the principal tale: the others are fitted inside it. The stories are not bowdlerised, (thank Heaven!) , so they're quite racy at times.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sexy but sad 18 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those who read selections from 1001 Nights as a child and enjoyed the magic and mystery, this selection comes as a real surprise with its steamy erotic tales full of entirely adult themes. The focus here is on relationships and the interactions between people who live in a rigidly hierarchical society in which women, slaves and donkeys are at the bottom of the heap - though not always in that order!

Hanan Al-Shayk writes beautifully and she does a brilliant job in bringing these tales into the modern era. No fault of hers but ultimately I found these stories really depressing. The cultural values they depict are so far adrift of our own that I struggled to identify with the characters or empathise with their concerns. The subjugation of women and the exploitation of slaves is the constant underlying theme in the book and it doesn't make comfortable reading. In a sense this depiction of the oppressed, and the wiles and deceits they employ to assert their own needs, opens a window on a reality from the past. However the problem is that the distinction between the goodies and the baddies becomes so blurred that I ceased to care who came out on top.

It did occur to me that she might be using these tales to make a point about contemporary Arab society but as I know little of it, others would be the best judge of that. A really thought provoking book but alas not to my taste.
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