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The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: the complete Burton Translation with the Complete Burton Notes, the Terminal Index, Volumes 3 & 4, within Volume 2 of 3

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31 review for The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: the complete Burton Translation with the Complete Burton Notes, the Terminal Index, Volumes 3 & 4, within Volume 2 of 3

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Whew!! I finally finished these books. The description says there are 2650 pages, but that is wrong. It comes to almost 4 thousand pages! Holy Arabian Nights, Batman! Anyway, I made it through all three volumes and I can tell you that it ain't Disney. There is a lot of sex and violence. In the beginning the King Shahryar goes to his brother, King Shah Zaman to find out why his health is failing. He finds out that his brother witnessed Shahryar's wife with another man and he was afraid to tell Whew!! I finally finished these books. The description says there are 2650 pages, but that is wrong. It comes to almost 4 thousand pages! Holy Arabian Nights, Batman! Anyway, I made it through all three volumes and I can tell you that it ain't Disney. There is a lot of sex and violence. In the beginning the King Shahryar goes to his brother, King Shah Zaman to find out why his health is failing. He finds out that his brother witnessed Shahryar's wife with another man and he was afraid to tell him. In his anger Shahryar had his wife and her lover killed, along with all her handmaidens. Then he vowed, "that whatever wife he married he would abate her maidenhead at night and slay her next morning to make sure of his honor." This went on for three years until people started to get pissed. One day the King called for a virgin, but they were all gone. The Wazir was nervous cause he figured if he didn't bring back a girl for the King he would kill him. He had two daughters, Shahrazad and Dunyazad. Shahrazad volunteered to go. So after the King and she are finished with their "toying" she asked him to let her see her little sister one last time, since she knew she would die the next morning. He agreed not knowing that was part of her plan. Her sister was to ask her about a story. So she began 'The Tale of the Trader and the Jinni.' Each night she would leave it with a cliff hanger at dawn. And each dawn the King would stay her execution until he could hear the rest of the story. Three years later they have three sons and she asks him to save her life so his children won't lose their mother. He tells her that before the birth of the first child he had already decided to keep her. So they marry. We also find out at the end that his brother had also been sleeping with women and killing them the next morning. But, alas he was tired of it. He wants to settle down with one woman and raise a family. He would also like to stop being King since his people kinda hate him. So, Shah Zaman marries Dunyazad, gives up his kingdom and moves in with King Shahryar and Shahrazad. The King gives his brother's kingdom to the Wazir. Then the two brothers took turns ruling one kingdom. King Shahryar had the stories his wife told him written down into thirty volumes and he put them in his treasury. The two couples lived happily until "the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of Societies" ended it. The Kingdoms passed down the generations with these stories being passed around until this guy Burton decided to translate it. He also included a ton of footnotes that explained things almost too well. These were very interesting stories. Some funny, some not so much, but very entertaining.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Arukiyomi

    "...everything from the comic, to adventure, romance, religion, war, political intrigue, history, mysticism, fantasy, tragedy ... there really was no predictability Right, first off, if you're going to read this, you should do it unabridged. Let's face it, if you don't, you've not read the 1001 nights but 648, or 385, or whatever the editor decided to trim off this masterpiece. If Sheherezade can tell 1001 stories to keep herself alive, give the woman's effort some respect and read all the tales "...everything from the comic, to adventure, romance, religion, war, political intrigue, history, mysticism, fantasy, tragedy ... there really was no predictability Right, first off, if you're going to read this, you should do it unabridged. Let's face it, if you don't, you've not read the 1001 nights but 648, or 385, or whatever the editor decided to trim off this masterpiece. If Sheherezade can tell 1001 stories to keep herself alive, give the woman's effort some respect and read all the tales she tells. It's only by doing so that you can really fully appreciate this vast collection and its influence on, not only the literature of Persia and Arabia, but huge aspects of its culture too. There's no better way to accomplish this task than by picking up the 6 volume boxed set of the 1962 Heritage Press edition of Richard Burton's translation with his vast collection of footnotes and 1001 beautifully simple illustrations by Valenti Angelo. This made reading it a delight for me. There's nothing better than picking up a book that people have taken such care to create. I was privileged to be able to borrow this edition from a friend who hadn't read it himself and who, I think, fully expected me never to actually complete the task. It took me over a year, but complete it I did. This is not a book you read cover to cover. Instead, you bite off small, masticable pieces and chew them over slowly. While many of the stories do involve males smitten by females they have only momentarily caught a glimpse of, I was very impressed by the sheer range of storytelling. We have everything from the comic, to adventure, romance, religion, war, political intrigue, history, mysticism, fantasy, tragedy ... there really was no predictability to it at all, and I enjoyed that very much. And while the stories themselves are enough, for the most part, to keep you occupied, if you are at all interested in the culture and / or history of this area of the world, like me you will find this edition a rich treasure-trove of knowledge. Having lived in the Middle East for over a decade of my life and for the last five years, finding out that virtually every cultural point that Burton makes in his footnotes is still part of life here was very revealing. It seems that not much has changed since he plodded around the Arabian peninsula 200 years ago nor, in fact, since the original stories were first told. Remarkable. Now, while it is a masterpiece, this fell a tad short of entering Arukiyomi's very sparsely populated Hall of Fame. Why so? Well, as the radar review below reveals, while the legacy and achievement of the collection cannot be questioned, it fails somewhat when it comes to characterisation and readability. Apart from a very few characters (the historical Harun Al Rashid, for example) who either appear repeatedly or have very long tales focussed on them, most characters are simple caricatures. This is because the tales they feature in need little more than a single characteristic to make them work. That's fine for this genre, but you are not going to come away moved to any extent by a character as you do at the end of, say, the equivalently epic  Les Miserables or even the diminutive Silk . While my readability score is high, this is heavily skewed by the fact that I read it in a beautiful edition that was simply a joy to hold in my hands (yes, I do take that into account). Had I been reading any old paperback edition, I think this would have come in somewhere around the 55% mark simply because the frame story device and the repetitive nature of some of the tales can get a tad tedious. In fact, Burton comments himself when tales contain repetitions of others. Hey, if I had to keep you amused with tales every night for three years, I'd probably repeat myself too. Some of them were pretty long winded as well. There are a couple that are over 200 pages long each and could stand as novels in themselves. I have to say I rejoiced at the end of those. Another factor that impacted readability is the often monotonous overtones of Allahu akbar. This is an Islamic compilation, of that there is no doubt. And while the Qur'an is actually fairly lenient to the "people of the book", i.e. Christians and Jews, this seems to have passed the storyteller by. Anyone who isn't muslim is depicted as base until they are either killed or embrace Islam. If the latter, then they finally become worthy human beings. At least the infidels fare better than the Africans who, one and all, are lower than the low, perpetrators of hideous acts and best off dead. While you can forgive this for being a product of its time, as I said above, I was struck by how little has changed in this region since these tales were first told. Nuffsed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    A really enjoyable read. It's a great combination of styles between the oral tradition and Burton's extreme self-confidence of a unique nineteenth-century style. A really enjoyable read. It's a great combination of styles between the oral tradition and Burton's extreme self-confidence of a unique nineteenth-century style.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    I'm just sad that Marc has never once compared my face to the moon or my breasts to pomegranates. Does he even love me? I'm just sad that Marc has never once compared my face to the moon or my breasts to pomegranates. Does he even love me?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mike Gurney

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mildred Christi

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elena

  9. 4 out of 5

    Torsten

  10. 4 out of 5

    Arissteides

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eric Flood

  12. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scott Campbell

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

  16. 5 out of 5

    James

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joe Pettit Jr.

  18. 5 out of 5

    William

  19. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fred

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Turner

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janet Jay

  23. 5 out of 5

    Yachukatx

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Bonny

  25. 5 out of 5

    Candy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Genna

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott N.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mandel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nedeljković Dalibor

  30. 5 out of 5

    DHRUV DILIPKUMAR PRAJAPATI

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

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