Book Review: TALES FROM 1,001 ARABIAN NIGHTS (2011)

Published by Shah Shahid on

There’s really no proper way to review this book. TALES FROM 1,001 ARABIAN NIGHTS is a collection of folk tales, mythology, stories from hundreds of years ago. Some of these stories we’re familiar with, others, not so much. But it’s essentially an anthology of stories within stories that stem from being very boring and bland, to awesomely exciting.

Aladdin and Ali Baba are but a few of the stories that this collection includes. This is the original translated collection which even boasts of some Sindbad the Sailor stories. Painstakingly elaborate in some parts, abruptly brief in others, ARABIAN NIGHTS is really a book for the reader that likes to expand their horizons.

Essentially about a bitter king who, after being cheated on by his wife, kills every virgin he spends the night with after his treacherous wife. One such virgin, in order to save her life, decides to keep the king occupied by regaling him with a bunch of stories for more than a thousand nights, thereby extending her life as long as the King is occupied. That is the loose premise of the book, under which all these stories are told.

Some stories actually end up being stories within stories within stories, which, honestly, gets a little frustrating to read. Majority of the stories have a sort of message and moral, some being mostly about the benevolence of Allah and such.

It’s a great read, but not for readers that enjoy cohesive stories that feature a plot, adventure, conflict, resolution. The stories contained within this anthology all follow a basic premise of good resolving over evil, usually with religious inclinations.

Some of the best stories have to be ones of Ali Baba and Aladdin. The anthology expands a LOT on these stories that we think we already know all about. Some of the more frustratingly irritating stories are about Sindbad and his repeated mis adventures. Despite being shipwrecked multiple times, and being saved multiple times, Sindbad still persists on going on an adventure… just on a whim, each time afterwards.

TALES FROM 1,001 ARABIAN NIGHTS really is for the reader that likes stories enough to get into this ambitious book. And it is that, ambitious. Without a consecutive storyline that follows from beginning to end, it’s difficult to get into and complete a reading of this book. At one point I thought of reviewing each story, but realize I wouldn’t have the time or energy to review hundreds of stories. ARABIAN NIGHTS took me a while to get through… onto flowy stories!

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Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


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