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The Arabian Nights (New Deluxe Edition): Based on the Text Edited by Muhsin Mahdi [Kindle Edition]

Muhsin Mahdi , Husain Haddawy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

Now as sumptuously packaged as they are critically acclaimed—a new deluxe trade paperback edition of the beloved stories.

The stories of ?The Arabian Nights ?(and stories within stories, and stories within stories within stories) are famously told by the Princess Shahrazad, under the threat of death should the king lose interest in her tale. Collected over the centuries from India, Persia, and Arabia, and ranging from adventure fantasies, vivacious erotica, and animal fables, to pointed Sufi tales, these stories provided the daily entertainment of the medieval Islamic world at the height of its glory. No one knows exactly when a given story originated, and many circulated orally for centuries before being written down; but in the process of telling and retelling, they were modified to reflect the general life and customs of the Arab society that adapted them—a distinctive synthesis that marks the cultural and artistic history of Islam.

This translation is of the complete text of the Mahdi edition, the definitive Arabic edition of a fourteenth-century Syrian manuscript, which is the oldest surviving version of the tales and considered to be the most authentic.

Product Description


[A] distinguished new translation. --Edward Said

About the Author

Husain Haddawy was born and grew up in Baghdad, taught English and comparative literature at various American universities, wrote art criticism, and is now living in retirement in Thailand.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 559 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393331660
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; New Deluxe Edition edition (5 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DW1X9HA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,566 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Arabian Nights 9 Sept. 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a translation of the oldest manuscript of the Alf Layla wa-Layla, the Thousand and One Nights. It is a lively tale. The 'thousand and one' nights of the title are the nights during which, as the other reviewers have already written, Shaharazad entertains her murderous husband with a tale with cliff-hanger at the end of each to force him to put off her execution for another day. There never were a thousand and one actual nights in the story - that came partly from the title of the book whose translation from Persian into Arabic more than a thousand years ago formed the nucleus of the book we have now, the Hazar Afsan or 'Thousand Tales'.

In this volume are to be found the oldest tales of the Alf Layla wa-Layla. You need to buy the companion The Arabian Nights: Sindbad and other stories: Vol 2 published by Norton in paperback or hardback (it's also available as an Everyman hardback The Arabian Nights: Vol 2) to get the old favourites like Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sindbad the Sailor. These tales were added to the Arabian Nights by Galland around 1710-1720. He was the first translator of the Arabian Nights (into French) and added tales from other Arabic sources on his publisher's request. These have been part of the Arabian Nights ever since: even modern Arabic editions all include these tales now!

Be aware there are two editions of this book, the Norton and the Everyman edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accessible classic 27 May 2011
I'd only read and heard children's versions of some of the tales from the Arabian Nights before and it wasn't until I watched a TV programme about this version that I realised how ancient the stories are, and that they are for adults. The content varies from pious to raunchy - think of Chaucers Canterbury Tales translated into modern English. The stories are an easy read; good for reading last thing at night. The cover is attractive and the quality of the paper used for the pages is good but the way the pages were cut has left their edges rough. Be aware of this if planning to give to someone else as a present. All in all I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a very accessible way of reading these old tales.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a delight! 9 May 2012
By Idu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I only knew children's stories from Arabian nights so I was for a big surprise that this book is not for children at all! I just could not stop reading it! Spicy, sexy, adventurous, funny! And very good translation!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly inventive 23 Feb. 2015
By Tonman
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fascinating picture of the times. The stories are funny, and naughty and the invention never ends.
I did find that it became too repetitious for me as each story developed into ever more complex knots.
I skipped all the poetry, and there's masses of it, and if you have what it takes to enjoy that, you'd surely enjoy this even more than I did.
Nonetheless, it's one to relish, perhaps in smallish bites, taken often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Repolished Gems 10 Sept. 2013
Husain Haddawy's translation of the One Thousand and One Nights is from a fourteenth Century Syrian edition - the oldest manuscript of the stories to have survived. The language in his translations - sensual, sly, bawdy, satirical - reveals these famous tales-within-tales in a new light, demonstrating why they have had such a profound influence on world literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Divine... 30 April 2014
By Anon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow what a read! One is truly transported into the lands of love, djinns, hatchbacks, kings, magic and mystery. I am a huge lover of all tales from 1001 nights, and grew up listening to these marvellous tales. I have lots of these books and these tales are not told in a non repetitive manner.

If you are someone who loves the 1001 nights, buy this. You will not be disappointed.
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