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The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights: Volume 3 (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 4 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014044940X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449402
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A magnificent, unexpurgated edition of the greatest collection of folk tales in the world . . . "The Arabian Nights" is not a book to be read in a week. It is an ocean of stories to be dipped into over a lifetime. And this new Penguin edition is the one to have." -"The Sunday Times" (London) "The translation . . . ought to become the standard one for the present century." -"The Times Literary Supplement" "These magnificent volumes are the most ambitious and thorough translation into English of "The Arabian Nights" since the age of Queen Victoria and the British Empire." -"The Guardian" "This new translation of the world's greatest collection of folk stories restores their colour and verve." -"The Sunday Times" (London)

About the Author

Malcolm Lyons, sometime Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge and a life Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, is a specialist in the field of classical Arabic literature.His published works include the biography Saladin, the Politics of the Holy War, The Arabian Epic, Identification and Identity in Classical Arabic Poetry and many articles on Arabic literature.

Ursula Lyons, formerly an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Cambridge University and, since 1976, an Emeritus Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, specialises in modern Arabic literature.

Robert Irwin is the author of For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and numerous other specialised studies of Middle Eastern politics, art and mysticism. His novels include The Limits of Vision, The Arabian Nightmare, The Mysteries of Algiers and Satan Wants Me.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RKaur on 16 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love that the stories have been translated. Will be a while before I finish them though. I like to digest a story properly before moving on.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pete Burgess on 30 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an excellent collection of stories, from the one's that you _think_ you know to those that are completely new.
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Star on 14 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I don't want to review things but just give feedback, i.e. that the product was fine, came on time etc.. Why does this review thing keep coming up?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Excellent New Translation 4 July 2010
By MaryMR - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have purchased all three volumes of which this is the third. Physically, they are beautifully executed: each volume is large and heavier than most paperbacks but the spine is strong and up to the task.

Volume three contains nights 719 to 1001. It has well-drawn Maps, a detailed Glossary and an Index of Nights and Stories for all three volumes, broken down by volume. Each volume has the same Maps and Glossary but only Volume 3 has the comprehensive Index for all three volumes (e.g., the Volume 1 Index only indexes the stories in Volume 1). Volume 1 has the additional Editorial Note, Note on the Translation, Translating Galland, and Further Reading. Volume 1 was clearly designed to be the beginning and Volume 3 the end. Each can be read separately but if you want 1001 nights of reading joy I recommend all three.

Over the years I have read many Nights in other translations. They were written in a style that suited the English language of the day which makes them somewhat tedious to read now. This translation has retained the spirit set in an English that is much more readable today; reading flows smoothly and is a joy.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"I Found It!" The Best 1001 Night Tales! 28 Mar. 2011
By Light - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 3rd and final Volume of the Set by Lyons. I had been searching for a "Complete" 1001 Night Tales or The Arabian Nights for some years. I have read the Josepah Campbell edited version, Payne, Burton, Scott, Haddawy versions... but this is my Favorite because a) it includes all the Stories found in the French Edition by Galland and b) it is the Complete Tales that are found in the extensive versions or translations for the most part with Poems and a wonderful accurate English Translation.

It is properly executed and Flows like Honey! I am Grateful to the Lyons for doing all this Work (husband & wife), and for making it available to us. This is the Edition I would read for "fun" as well as for high school and college studies. I perhaps would also use it, given that I moderate, with teenagers and children who are rather bright.

I have only Positive things to say and I am Grateful it is available in 3 Volumes by Penguin Books for this outstanding price. Again, I have been researching this Material for some time, and now I can finally say there is a Complete Set available that is Modern, "Complete", easy to read and understand, contains the Poems, and Flows nicely with every Night accounted for until It reaches 1001 Nights! Beautiful!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous, in every sense of the word 6 Nov. 2013
By krebsman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading this translation off-and-on since late 2010. It has been a magnificent reading experience. Certainly there are formulaic elements in THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. The characters tend toward the stereotypical: there's the handsome naïve but perseverant hero, the beautiful princess, the wily vizier, the temperamental sultan, and the wicked magician. Things seem to happen in threes. Certain situations become commonplace: Any net cast is destined to eventually haul in a cache of treasure, a talking fish, or some magical object. If there's a door and someone says, "never open that door," you can bet your life that before the story is over that door is going to be opened. The supernatural elements are everywhere and we see alien societies of beings with super powers who can thrive underwater, or on high mountains, or in secret caves. Dickensian coincidences abound. And I came to love every bit of it the same way I loved fairy tales as a child. The language is formulaic, too. "Morning now dawned and Sharazad broke off from what she had been allowed to say" begins virtually every story. I loved "to hear is to obey, "and "they lived happily until they were visited by the destroyer of delights."

The stories in this final volume seem more "literary" than those of the previous two volumes. The big difference is the abundance of poetry. The great American librettist/lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II said of writing musicals that the characters should only sing when the emotion is so big that speech alone does not suffice. That is the way verse is used this volume. Older translations usually omit these verses, which is too bad because it lifts these stories to a higher plane. The alternative is swooning. The heroes swoon quite often in these stories, sometimes to comic effect. The ladies, however, are often daring, bloodthirsty, and incapable of fatigue. Miriam the sash-maker at one point disguises herself as a man using a horrifying technique later perfected by Hannibal Lechter!

These tales also include a great deal of information about the lives of common people that is embedded in these stories. One can learn a lot about such things as their diet, their homes, and their daily habits. This was especially evident to me in the long "orphan story" of Aladdin, translated by Ursula Lyons, which is also in this volume. Aladdin is a street urchin until he is taken under the wing of a magician with an ulterior motive. But the magician takes him out of the slums and among respectable people so that he can observe their behavior and learn how to get along in polite society.

This is a great work of literature that has influenced many cultures. It is a book to be read again and again. Five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Endless Classic Tales 17 April 2013
By Greg Wallace - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While these fascinating stories go on and on (they can be a bit repetitive), they are classics. The volumes include interesting articles and commentaries on the works which show how they influenced 18th Century British literature. They also provide an insight into the world of the golden age of Persia.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
funny, frightening, engaging 4 Aug. 2012
By BKLVER - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a book you can grow old with. The tales are to be read across the ages and fortunately there are various translations for each age. I first read a children's book version in third grade and revisted the work through the eyes of a teenager. Now in my 40's, the stories, especially as told in this particular translation, get better and better, and feel wiser and wiser. Unlike the Cantebury Tales of Chaucer, another mindblowing baudy funny wisdom filled classic of tales within tales, Arabian Nights can be enjoyed by children of all ages, depending on the edition. This edition is ripe for adults.
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