One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling

One Thousand and One Nights A Retelling From one of the world s most acclaimed contemporary Arab writers a sparkling sexy new reimagining of nineteen mesmerizing tales from the beloved masterpiece The original tales of the One Thousand and

  • Title: One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling
  • Author: Hanan Al-Shaykh Mary Gaitskill
  • ISBN: 9780307958877
  • Page: 404
  • Format: ebook
  • From one of the world s most acclaimed contemporary Arab writers a sparkling, sexy new reimagining of nineteen mesmerizing tales from the beloved masterpiece.The original tales of the One Thousand and One Nights were framed as stories told by the young queen Shahrazad to her murderous husband each night in order to save her life Acclaimed Lebanese writer Hanan al ShaykhFrom one of the world s most acclaimed contemporary Arab writers a sparkling, sexy new reimagining of nineteen mesmerizing tales from the beloved masterpiece.The original tales of the One Thousand and One Nights were framed as stories told by the young queen Shahrazad to her murderous husband each night in order to save her life Acclaimed Lebanese writer Hanan al Shaykh has selected nineteen of the stories that focus primarily on the female characters at each story s heart She has translated them into modern English and knitted them together into one cohesive narrative that is lush and evocative, rich with humor, and utterly captivating With an introduction by Mary Gaitskill From the Hardcover edition.

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      Hanan Al-Shaykh Mary Gaitskill

    Hanan Al-Shaykh Mary Gaitskill

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    One thought on “One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling

    1. 4 or 4.5 not sure One thousand and one nights by Hanan Al Shaykh is a mischievous, smutty yet brutal to the bone retelling of the Arabian Nights Loyalty is good treachery is evil King Shahrayar s wife s betrayal evokes a horrendous bloodshed The king takes a girl every night, only to have her killed at the break of dawn From the palace, a lifeless body is delivered to a heartbroken family everyday To put an end to the bloodbath, the vizier s eldest daughter, Shahrazad, a woman of great intellige [...]

    2. THIS WAS AMAZING I read this as a primer before moving on to other modernized retellings of Shahrazad, and it was 100% batshit insane Any retelling I read after this will be boring by comparison except for Shadow Spinner, obviously, which I put on hold at the library so I can read it again The big TL DR for this book Everyone sighed in relief that the night, so nearly at an end, had concluded without imprisonment or death.Hanan Al Shaykh has chosen a set of 19 tales to translate and order into h [...]


    3. This is the fourth Arabian Nights translation I ve read and is without doubt the best It really makes a difference when the translator is also a skilled novelist.One Thousand and One Nights is of a re telling although Al Shaykh s own assessment is that it is a reimagining.Some of the original tales have been or less translated directly, but they have been embellished and changed so that they all flow into one continuous tale Other tales appeared new to me The tales have been selected to match [...]

    4. A retelling of the classic Arabian Nights In some places, it sticks close enough to the original to qualify as a translation or straight adaptation But in others, it drifts pretty far afield The prose is good enough that I d give that it 4 stars, but I had some issues with the compilation as a whole and that drops it down to 3.I think my biggest issue is that the wonderful Shahrazad Scheherazade really gets lost in all of this It starts out traditionally with her story but it never returns to he [...]

    5. The events of this evening resemble life itself filled with harmony, the sublime, and with great contradictions hate and love, tyranny and freedom, bliss and torment, loyalty and betrayal Can you imagine the contradictions of fingers which play the oud and others which clutch the whip Nights of music and melodies and others filled with sobbing and wailing That about sums it up.

    6. All the stories were magical, sad and full of poetry, except Zumurrud and Nor Al Din tale which had the happiest end in the whole book 19 stories starting from Shahryar s and ending with the Shopper s tale But I didn t like the sexual parts from the stories, I thought they would be better without them, And the story about Haroon Al Rashid, why would Hanan Al Shaykh write a story like that about him I mean he s one of the greatest Muslim leaders and you described him as an unfair person

    7. I really liked these stories, they were really enchanting, but sometime also rather gruesome.I also got confused with all the Arab names.

    8. In this version of The Arabian Nights, Al Shaykh both translates from the original while at the same time mixing in her own Arabian Nights esque tales At least, I think they re her own variations, as some of the tales aren t in the two other versions I ve read not that I remember, anyway.This is my third Arabian Nights translation, and while the writing is strong, I still prefer the Haddawy translation Haddawy combines ease of reading with the feel of an oral text, whereas this version feels des [...]


    9. One Thousand and One Nights A Retelling by Hanan Al Shaykh retells 19 stories from the original tales that circulated in the Arab world as long ago as the 14th Century The work is a delightful, bawdy, rollicking piece of fun in which we are lead by a thread from one story to another The stories are woven together in an intricate pattern of twists and turns, reminiscent of an elaborate Persian rug, bold and splashed with color If one thread is pulled out, the whole pattern unravels and the tales [...]

    10. This started out as an interesting read but eventually it became very repetitive Most stories involved people falling in love instantly, a whole lot of women and men weeping, women being murdered by their husband, and of course very humorous descriptions of sexual acts I loved the premise of the book but could have done without a few of the stories.

    11. O, I am bored to tears.If the pretty princess were here telling me these tales, she d be dead in the morning.

    12. I loved this book of Arabian tales for grownups The stories begin when King Shahrayar is cheated on by his wife He vows to defeat the treachery of women by marrying a virgin every night, deflowering her, and killing her in the morning Shahrazad, the daughter of the King s Vizier has a plan to end the bloodshed and she asks her father to marry her to the king Every night after they copulate Shahrazad tells the King a story that is so fantastic that he decides not to kill her in the morning so he [...]

    13. Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا says:
      I ve been obsessed with since my mom started retelling the stories to us as children, and the books were so popular back then, many movies and tv series adapted the story of King Shahrayar and his Shahrazad I loved the fairy tale aspect of it, jinn stories, princes and princesses, curses and dreams, the story within a story of it all, when I became in my teenage years, I bought the four books and devoured them I have favorite stories but they are all magical.So when I saw this book back home and [...]

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    15. This is a bilingual review , , , , , , This started out as a somewhat pleasant read, but, alas, the stories got very repetitive I can definitely see the author s attempt to create a modern, somewhat feminist, retelling of the stories, but at some point it got sexier than expected Honestly, I hadn t done any research about the book had I known that it would be a sexy retelling of Shahrazad s stories, I wouldn t have bothered at all.Still, the author has done very well when it comes to the sim [...]

    16. I read the translation by Hanan Al Shaykh and it was wonderful She manages to be quite lyrical in her translation, which is an impressive feat This version does not include all the stories, but the selection was well thought out and cohesive Each of the stories is short and mostly centers around events rather than character development They re the perfect length to ride on the train One of the things that amazes me was how circular the stories are how stories are nested in stories and timelines [...]

    17. While this book was a cover buy, I was really hoping I would love it But, unfortunately, I was disappointed for the most part It is a collection of stories set in Persia, China, India and the Arab Empire, exploring the relationships between men and women While there were a couple of standout stories with a touch of magic, mostly they were stories including deception, lust, orgies, violence, deep love turned to utter hate, killing and death The answer to every problem was to maim or kill I was di [...]

    18. 1.5 I was around page 250 when I gave up.Mythic short tales They don t really have interesting character development, and this is the biggest problem for me The characters have names like, the first dervish, and they are relegated to mythic roles instead of being fully fledged people Characters fall in love quickly in order to expand the plot, and it s difficult to care about relationships when they were formed so quickly and haphazardly There are lots of graphic humorous sex scenes, but they re [...]

    19. Not that the book was abdominable, but that it wasn t the right book for me to read currently DNF at 20%


    20. It is quite a nice novel I really enjoyed reading it.

    21. Note This is the first version retelling, translation, etc that I have read of One Thousand and One Nights Before reading this I knew It revolves around a woman named Shahrazad To escape death she tells a new story every night A lot of classic stories came from this Bugs Bunny did an episode about this a long long time agoThat s it How does it end I don t know What are the stories Aladdin Sinbad Some other smaller ones basically, I was in the dark I decided to read this as part of a group read h [...]

    22. It reads like a translation Unfortunately, it was very laborious though the language was simple enough I believe if a book is read in its original language or context, one would be able to appreciate it It had a promising start A very long middle And no end I did however enjoy one or two stories, namely The Mistress of the house and Budur And Qamal To its credit, the tales are somewhat different from the usual i.e Ali Baba and the forty thieves.As explicit as the original might have been, the m [...]

    23. Charmed, Bedazzled, and BewilderedCharmed, Bedazzled, and BewilderedThe stories flow like water in a brook, slowly moving but with a musical touch over rocks and smooth ground as well The picture of women who are easily overcome by lust and men who fall in love in an instant based only on the beauty they see reflect the radical Islamic viewpoint The violence upon whim and petty impulse is still a part of the culture today Add great trading adventures and wealth shown by jewelry, gorgeous fabrics [...]


    24. This retelling of the Arabian Nights is an engaging, entertaining read If, like me, you know this stories from a children s book, you might be surprised by the sexuality and violence in these otherwise familiar stories For the most part the stories unspool in a dreamlike way, weaving into and out of eachother in surprising ways as the storytelling reaches a fever pitch Only occasionally are there words or phrases so modern that you are jarred out of an ancient Persian reverie where Baghdad was t [...]

    25. This is a marvelous and rather ribald re telling of the classic tales of Shahrazad There are a dozen and a half tales in this compendium, and they are told, by our re teller, Hanan Al Shaykh, in such a way as to bring out very clearly a feminist slant that, in other versions, is not always so evident The female characters are strong, powerful, smart, wily, resourceful, and able to fend for themselves, and they often best the men.The tales are witty, bawdy, and delightful and full of magic, wonde [...]

    26. A collection of stories told and retold throughout the years Sometimes stories get added, and other times taken away for reasons known only to the storyteller Even the title, the banner these stories gather beneath changes One thing that doesn t change is the setting, a vast mystical, magical, and romantic land called Arabia With so many versions under so many titles, it s hard to say which is correct and true to the original In 2013 s One Thousand and One Nights, Lebanese author Hanan al Shaykh [...]

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