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The Five and Twenty Tales of the Genie (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Aug 2006


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The Five and Twenty Tales of the Genie (Penguin Classics) + The Hitopadesa (Penguin Classics) + Thirty-two Tales of the Throne of Vikramaditya (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (31 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140455191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140455199
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 867,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

There are no biographical details available for Sivadasa.

Chandra Rajan studied at St Stephen's College, Delhi, and at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.


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I bow my head before Lord Vinayaka, the remover of obstacles, the commander of Siva's impish retinue; and this work I compose for the entertainment of the world. Read the first page
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Enchanting Court Stories of Old India 1 April 2009
By makifat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite the overall darkness of the frame story - the acrid stench of the cremation grounds, an ascetic who brutally murders a child he has had with a courtesan, a necromancer seeking mastery over the world, and a decaying corpse inhabited by a genie, telling tales to an emperor - the stories in this volume are court tales of romantic love and crossed destinies, magical yogis and fairy brides, wise kings and wiley tricksters. These tales haved a real charm about them, and reflect a rich oral tradition masterfully compiled by the medieval poet Sivadasa.

Each of the tales told by the genie are designed to test the wisdom of the legendary emperor Vikramaditya, who is called upon at the conclusion of each story to pass judgement regarding the actions of those within the story. As the tales progress, the emperor gains the trust and admiration of the genie, who ultimately reveals how Vikramaditya can vanquish the sorcerer and gain the Eight Powers which the sorcerer covets for himself.

The Five-and-Twenty Tales of the Genie (which saw an earlier bastardized version by the Victorian adventurer and rogue Sir Richard Burton called Vikram and the Vampire) is one of a recent series of Indian/Sanskrit classics translated and published by Penguin. This excellent series illustrates that the legacy of ancient Indian literature is not confined to the justifiably revered epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Five Stars 2 Mar. 2015
By ALICE BARLOW - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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