September 6, 2012

Review : The Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

Title : The Arabian Nights
Author : Andrew Lang
Reading Dates : 18 Jun - 25 Jun 2012
Total Pages : 347

From Amazon :
This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare's finesse to Oscar Wilde's wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim s Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is must-have addition to any library.

Book Review of The Arabian Nights.

The Arabian Nights wasn’t what I thought the story would be. The stories that Scheherazade tells to save her life doesn’t seem all that compelling to me. Would the Sultan really have stayed her execution for these stories ? I don’t know. To each their own I suppose. The only memorable ones were the tales which I’d already known from childhood like Sinbad and Aladdin.

As for the storytelling, I found it distracting and confusing with the characters within the stories telling tales themselves. It didn’t take long for me to lose track of who was telling what and trying to remember the reasons for the current tale gave me a headache..

Another reason I didn’t like The Arabian Nights was the role of women in the tales. I suppose I shouldn’t complain since these tales were from a different time but still I couldn’t help feeling irritated. Take one of the later stories in the book where the male protagonist simply gives away his wife out of generosity and she not only accepts it but doesn’t find fault with him at all when returned to her husband.

Definitely not my cup of tea.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Not likely
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? No.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? No one. At least not this version.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

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