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The Arabian Nights

by Richard Francis Burton

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About Book

From AudioFile
The romantic strains of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade introduce and end each segment of this lush, nineteenth-century translation. The exotic music is seamlessly married to Burton's erotic adventures and Madoc's mellifluous voice. Though Madoc's theatrical training is obvious, his renderings are never stagy. He reads with dash and elan but doesn't turn this into a performance by adopting accents. Madoc allows the literature to speak for itself, occasionally underscoring a passage with the seduction of sibilant speech or the slight swell of anger. Please note that Burton's tales, filled with violence and sexuality, are meant for adult ears. R.O.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

"[A] book...that captivates in childhood, and still delights in age."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Book Description
Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever.

This volume reproduces the 1932 Modern Library edition, for which Bennett A. Cerf chose the most famous and representative stories from Sir Richard F. Burton's multivolume translation, and includes Burton's extensive and acclaimed explanatory notes. These tales, including Alaeddin; or, the Wonderful Lamp, Sinbad the Seaman and Sinbad the Landsman, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, have entered into the popular imagination, demonstrating that Shahrazad's spell remains unbroken.

Language Notes
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Arabic

Download Description
The Complete Arabian Nights in a single edition

Inside Flap Copy
Full of mischief and valor, ribaldry and romance, The Arabian Nights is a work that has enthralled readers for centuries. The text presented here is that of the 1932 Modern Library edition for which Bennett A. Cerf chose the "most famous and representative" of the stories from the multivolume translation of Richard F. Burton.

   The origins of The Arabian Nights are obscure. About a thousand years ago a vast number of stories in Arabic from various countries began to be brought together; only much later was the collection called The Arabian Nights or the Thousand and One Nights. All the stories are told by Shahrazad (Scheherazade), who entertains her husband, King Shahryar, whose custom it was to execute his wives after a single night. Shahrazad begins a story each night but withholds the ending until the following night, thus postponing her execution.

   This selection includes many of the stories that are universally known though seldom read in this authentic form:
"Alaeddin; or, the Wonderful Lamp," "Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman," and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." These, and the tales that accompany them, make delightful reading, demonstrating, as the Modern Library noted in 1932, that Shahrazad's spell remains unbroken.

From the Back Cover
"[A] book...that captivates in childhood, and still delights in age."

About the Author
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.



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