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

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1st Edition edition (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140449388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449389
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 4.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Penguin has produced this 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. Settle back, pour a glass of wine and sail away with Sinbad to the Island of Serendib (Christopher Hart The Sunday Times)

The tales satisfy imaginations famished for wonder. But even more importantly, they stand like fabulous cities against the encroachments of the dark (Standpoint)

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. (Guardian)

This is the most comprehensive collection of the stories to date; freshly gathered and translated from Arabic and French sources, this makes a glorious collectors' edition. (Easy Living)

...this new translation of the world's greatest collection of folk stories restores their colour and verve (The Sunday Times)

Book Description

In a wonderful 3-volume hardback slipcase --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This translation of the 1001 Arabian Nights is excellent. It makes it so much more accessible than the Richard Burton ones from the 1800's. I'm sure there will be many purists out there who don't like the translation "for taking too many liberties with the original text" as penguin are being accused of time and again. However, for those who can't read it in it's original language it brings the stories right into your comfy armchair.

I have already found myself cross referencing the stories I've read in this volume with the mentions in the works of Alexandre Dumas. I've also found myself answering cross-word questions I couldn't have dreamed of before. But it not only works from a snobby literature "I've read the Arabian Nights" perspective but gives a brilliant insight into Medieval Arabia and is highly engaging. It also has many parts that leave you laughing aloud. It's brilliant to end on the story of Al Baba and the forty theives as well, as it is one of the most well known of the stories.

I know this review hasn't done such a large collection of Stories much justice but as I'm about start the second volume I haven't got the time to write a better one! I can't wait to get properly stuck into the second volume and the third is still waiting patiently on my shelf! A great collection to have, whether you want to read the stories right the way through or read the odd story whilst trying to decide what book to read next.

As a slight after note, and only after realising Amazon doesnt supply the info, I have decided it may be beneficial to let potential buyers know what stories are contained in this volume. There are main stories and then these are often split into smaller stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Normally, I'd only post a review once finishing a book, but since starting Penguin's The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights: Volume 1 (The Arabian Nights or Tales from 1001 Nights) I've realised that it really is a book to dip into when you're in the mood. It's a chunky tome and not something that can be polished off in a couple of weeks.

I've reached Night 10 so far and am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm not a scholar so am coming to the text with a layman's view as I've always been interested in getting to know the stories. Some reviews have criticised the translation as being dull and less poetic than it should be, but I've found it very accessible and the stories are wonderful and magical at the same time. In fact, I'm a firm believer that you will never find a translation of any foreign-language text that pleases all. For the "everyday reader", though, this one is ideal.

I'm in the Kindle camp and currently have Volumes 1 and 3 - just waiting for Volume 2 to drop to the right price! I always make a point of mentioning the formatting and this one is perfect - which is highly unusual for Penguin books! Text and headings are laid out correctly, and all the real page numbering is in place. If I had one (very minor!) technical criticism it's that the contents and navigation divides the book into collections of 20 or so nights - clearly an approach to reduce the length of the contents and "Go To" menu. But, as there are so many nights to get through, you can forgive this!

I look forward to continuing my exploration of the 1,001 Nights over time. I don't know how long it'll take me to complete this volume, but I'll certainly return with an overview when I have.
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Format: Paperback
I was excited to learn of a new translation in English of the Arabian Nights, as Burton's translation is archaic and the Madrus/Mathers version, while highly readable and striking the perfect tone for a fantasy 'tale' is sometimes inaccurate, at times deliberately so when Madrus replaced a dull story with a more interesting one (though still of old and Asian origin). However, the idiom and tone of the Lyons translation is incredibly disappointing. It is certainly more literally accurate compared to the other two, but it is at the same time less poetic, stiffer and more sterile, while the idiom is bizarre, with words like 'semi-paralysed' instead of lame, and clinical terms like 'erection', 'penis' and 'vagina' quite out of keeping with the original colloquial Arabic.

If you insist on literal accuracy, go for the Lyons, but if you want a wonderful, poetic romance which reads magically, choose the Madrus/Mathers. If you don't mind the archaic, go for Burton!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's great to have all the known and added stories of the Arabian nights in an English translation. They are bulky books, so good for bedtime reading rather than lugging around on a commute. The translations are in a style which suggest that the original grammar has been followed, which I like, but might be confusing for those who haven't studied languages in more depth. The stories are humorous, cheeky, always with a moral or two, and plenty of action, drama and suspense.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The stories were told to us by our teacher at school when we were little and we were enthralled by the stories and decided that we would read ourselves when we grew up.
Wonderful stories and linked as one continuous story! Loved it!!
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