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The Arabian Nights II: Sindbad and Other Popular Stories

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From the critically acclaimed translator of The Arabian Nights comes a volume of the four most popular later stories: ---"Sindbad the Sailor" --- "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" --- "Ala al-Din (Aladdin) and the Magic Lamp," --- "Qamar al-Zaman." Readers will discover in each a world of high flamboyance and startling beauty, humor and magic, and lessons of loyalty and lov From the critically acclaimed translator of The Arabian Nights comes a volume of the four most popular later stories: ---"Sindbad the Sailor" --- "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" --- "Ala al-Din (Aladdin) and the Magic Lamp," --- "Qamar al-Zaman." Readers will discover in each a world of high flamboyance and startling beauty, humor and magic, and lessons of loyalty and love's endurance.


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From the critically acclaimed translator of The Arabian Nights comes a volume of the four most popular later stories: ---"Sindbad the Sailor" --- "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" --- "Ala al-Din (Aladdin) and the Magic Lamp," --- "Qamar al-Zaman." Readers will discover in each a world of high flamboyance and startling beauty, humor and magic, and lessons of loyalty and lov From the critically acclaimed translator of The Arabian Nights comes a volume of the four most popular later stories: ---"Sindbad the Sailor" --- "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" --- "Ala al-Din (Aladdin) and the Magic Lamp," --- "Qamar al-Zaman." Readers will discover in each a world of high flamboyance and startling beauty, humor and magic, and lessons of loyalty and love's endurance.

30 review for The Arabian Nights II: Sindbad and Other Popular Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is a follow-up to my review of The Arabian Nights, also translated by Hassain Haddawy. This volume contains The Arabian Nights stories which are most familiar to Western audiences, like Sinbad's Seven Voyages, Sindbad and the 40 Thieves, and Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. Oddly enought, if some scholars are correct, these very same tales were forged by European writers to appear to be authentic tales from the Arabian nights. Yes, they are entertaining, but they seem to lack the full flavor of This is a follow-up to my review of The Arabian Nights, also translated by Hassain Haddawy. This volume contains The Arabian Nights stories which are most familiar to Western audiences, like Sinbad's Seven Voyages, Sindbad and the 40 Thieves, and Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. Oddly enought, if some scholars are correct, these very same tales were forged by European writers to appear to be authentic tales from the Arabian nights. Yes, they are entertaining, but they seem to lack the full flavor of the tales exhibited in the first volume. So, if you're a book snob like me, then stick with the original tales in Hassain Haddawy's first volume. If you want some fun, light hearted entertainment, this volume will do in a pinch.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Gross

    All stories except the the first do not exist in print until a Frenchman wrote them in the early 1700's, despite being much more well known than the stories contained in Haddawy's first book translation. I found Haddawy's explanation at the beginning of the book on the history of these stories and the publication very help, as I had always thought of the collection as a single, reprinted collection dating back to 900-1000. If you know you enjoy these stories and want a copy, I do recommend Hadda All stories except the the first do not exist in print until a Frenchman wrote them in the early 1700's, despite being much more well known than the stories contained in Haddawy's first book translation. I found Haddawy's explanation at the beginning of the book on the history of these stories and the publication very help, as I had always thought of the collection as a single, reprinted collection dating back to 900-1000. If you know you enjoy these stories and want a copy, I do recommend Haddawy's work. As for the stories, and my rating, I enjoyed reading them, even if they weren't the most thought provoking or shrouded in meaning. Ai Baba and the Forty Thieves was particularly memorable. All entertaining throughout, but most of the time, after finishing a story, I was left shrugging my shoulders, thinking, "So what?" If there is such a thing as a beach read from over 1000* years ago, this might be it. Sindbad is a lucky guy. I heard that Poe wrote an 8th voyage of Sindbad the Sailor, which I am now interested to check out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fahad

    A great translation. Haddawy has made a huge effort to deliver the essence of the famous stories of "Ala' Aldin and tha magic lamp", "Sindbad","Ali baba and the fourty Thieves" and "Qamar Alzaman and his two sons". The book is a pure entertainment and I recommand it to anyone who is interested in the 1001 Nights' world. My favorite of cousre is "Ala'Aldin", but I also liked the story of "Qamar Alzaman" which I was not familiar with. A great translation. Haddawy has made a huge effort to deliver the essence of the famous stories of "Ala' Aldin and tha magic lamp", "Sindbad","Ali baba and the fourty Thieves" and "Qamar Alzaman and his two sons". The book is a pure entertainment and I recommand it to anyone who is interested in the 1001 Nights' world. My favorite of cousre is "Ala'Aldin", but I also liked the story of "Qamar Alzaman" which I was not familiar with.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leah Nugent

    I find that the quality of translation makes or breaks stories like this one. Luckily, Haddawy is one of the best translators of Arabian Nights. The language flowed well and he kept the sense that these stories originated in an oral form. I appreciated the introduction as well, which compares translations and gives some historical context. A lot of translations exaggerate or downright change the message of the stories, and I am thankful that this translation attempts to remain faithful. The stori I find that the quality of translation makes or breaks stories like this one. Luckily, Haddawy is one of the best translators of Arabian Nights. The language flowed well and he kept the sense that these stories originated in an oral form. I appreciated the introduction as well, which compares translations and gives some historical context. A lot of translations exaggerate or downright change the message of the stories, and I am thankful that this translation attempts to remain faithful. The stories themselves are entertaining for the most part if stories from oral tradition are your thing. They are plot heavy and tend to rely on the wonder of increasingly fantastic magic, unusual settings, and unbelievable events. Consistency or internal logic isn't important. Characters are usually types. If you're on board for all of that, the stories can be quite charming. Warning: Some stories are slightly R rated. Additionally, there's some race and gender stereotypes that do not hold up.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Habeba

    I enjoyed getting to read some Arabic folktales & knowing a bit more about my culture. Some of the stories I found to be rather strange like Aladdin was COMPLETELY different than what I’ve grown up with. Sinbad’s voyages literally made me laugh because they were borderline ridiculous, but I had fun reading them. Like most of the reviews state there’s really no moral lesson behind half of these stories, they’re mainly for entertainment. 3 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I read children's versions of this stories and the more accurate translations feel richer and give me a better feel for the storyteller's culture. It's a pleasurable immersive experience. I read children's versions of this stories and the more accurate translations feel richer and give me a better feel for the storyteller's culture. It's a pleasurable immersive experience.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarede Switzer

    so much fun!! i especially enjoyed the 40 Thieves and the real story of Ala al-Din (AKA Aladin). Could not put it down.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This might be one of the best things I've read all year, and I have read some pretty wonderful things this year. There is so much to say about what makes these stories great that I should probably just go write a whole critical work, but I can't read Arabic and nobody would take me seriously. Instead, rhapsody en Goodreads. Sindbad, the original (ad)venture capitalist, who upsets the hero's journey with the traveler's journey, replacing a hero's virtues with the virtues of an adventurer--opportun This might be one of the best things I've read all year, and I have read some pretty wonderful things this year. There is so much to say about what makes these stories great that I should probably just go write a whole critical work, but I can't read Arabic and nobody would take me seriously. Instead, rhapsody en Goodreads. Sindbad, the original (ad)venture capitalist, who upsets the hero's journey with the traveler's journey, replacing a hero's virtues with the virtues of an adventurer--opportunism, moderation, charm and wit, a creative intelligence fed by a strong sense of self-preservation. And above all, the ability to tell a good story, which will get you out of any number of tight spots. How is this not wildly popular with modern audiences? Why do we not have a good English language film version by now? Why? And then 'Ala al-Din, the story that inspired me to bombard all my friends with texts: "Fun fact: the story of Aladdin takes place entirely in China. With Muslims." "Fun fact: the princess's real name is not Jasmine, it's Badr al-Budur, and frankly I'm gonna support Disney in their decision." "Fun fact: 'Ala al-Din gets the girl because he locks her almost-husband in a bathroom every night until the guy gives up trying to consummate the marriage." Classic. And finally Quamar al-Zaman, a story about two people who are sexy enough to persuade people who swore never to marry to change their minds. Expert sexual tension. There were definitely passages where I had to fan myself vigorously...I don't usually read that kind of thing, you understand. And then the woman in question ("her bosom is a temptation to all who see it (Glory be to him who created and finished it!)") does things like a) breaking an iron collar with her strength, b) taking her husband's place when he disappears, including c) marrying a princess and d) RULING THE KINGDOM in cahoots with the princess, who was okay with it once she was reassured that her "husband" was into men and it wasn't anything personal. There are so many great twists, so many classic lines, that I can't decide which ones to spotlight. Except: "Then all the princes came in to pay her homage, without doubting that she was a young man, and all who looked on her almost wetted their pants when they saw her surpassing beauty and grace." And then characters: the kick-ass slave girl Marjana, who shares her name with a pugnacious queen; the hapless vizier; the gay Mamluk; the magicians and doctors and merchants and fire-worshipers. The kings who spend long periods of their lives tending orchards and learning to be tailors (Sindbad, as well as being a merchant, can apparently make saddles like nobody's business). So there are some radical inconsistencies in character, plot, and style...eh, so who cares. How can you not love these people and this world where everyone constantly spouts poetry? How can you not love the surprises? If the charm of fairy tales is the speed and economy of plot, as Phillip Pullman asserts (and I thought I agreed), the charm of the Nights is priceless detail. These are fairy tales where you get it all--the motor of a highly mobile, drama-filled, fast-paced plot, laced with physical color, texture, and sensation, and the full range of human emotion from spite to terror to infatuation. I don't know what else to ask for. Subtlety, maybe? Look for the humor. And lastly, I love this translator, whose tireless dedication to these stories is the only reason I can appreciate them like this. Text scholarship is frankly a beast--a puzzle, for those who like that kind of thing. But stories, like artifacts, seem to acquire value when getting them is a story in itself. Haddawy's scrupulous attention to the spirit of storytelling as well as the tradition of literature will be hard to repay. So basically, read it, do.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lavoie

    Taught this book in a class. It was interesting but some of the stories were a bit ridiculous. The last story about Qamar al-Zaman was incredibly complex and repetitive, and it was also confusing because so much is crammed into the end of the story, so my students were not really sure what was happening. They also felt the timeframe and distances were off.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Re Álvarez Parmar

    Stories are good if one is looking for amusement, but I personally didn’t see much moral or philosophical value out of these stories. If there was a unique underlying moral lesson, I failed to deduce it. Needless to stay, the philosophy preached in the book is antiquated and might come across as offensive. There is physical abuse of all sorts (both towards humans and animals) in the stories which was not a pleasant reading experience. Some stories are so layered so deep that I had difficulty keep Stories are good if one is looking for amusement, but I personally didn’t see much moral or philosophical value out of these stories. If there was a unique underlying moral lesson, I failed to deduce it. Needless to stay, the philosophy preached in the book is antiquated and might come across as offensive. There is physical abuse of all sorts (both towards humans and animals) in the stories which was not a pleasant reading experience. Some stories are so layered so deep that I had difficulty keeping track of all that was happening (which is more of a good thing than bad) but eventually I failed to see any benefits and gave up 60% into the book. Initially, I thought I would read some of these stories to my children. Two pages into the book I realized this is not really meant to be read by or with young children. According to Wikipedia “The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques, and various forms of erotica”. And I cannot dispute it, there is a lot of mature content in here. This is a very good collection of old middle-Eastern, Indian and Northern African stories. Just don’t focus too much on the morality of the stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This book is the second part of Husain Haddawy's translation of *The Arabian Nights*. Since these familiar tales are later additions, he moved them to a second volume. This volume includes the Story of Sindbad the Sailor, the Story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the Story of Ala Al-Din (Aladdin), and the Story of Qamar al-Zaman and his Two Sons. I was a little disappointed with the stories of Sindbad, primarily because my expose to this character had come through Hollywood movies, particular This book is the second part of Husain Haddawy's translation of *The Arabian Nights*. Since these familiar tales are later additions, he moved them to a second volume. This volume includes the Story of Sindbad the Sailor, the Story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the Story of Ala Al-Din (Aladdin), and the Story of Qamar al-Zaman and his Two Sons. I was a little disappointed with the stories of Sindbad, primarily because my expose to this character had come through Hollywood movies, particularly those swashbuckling films animated by Roy Harryhausen. But in the actual tales, Sindbad is more of a hapless merchant, who despite his adventures keeps returning for more. He reminds me more of Gulliver than the Hollywood hero. I liked the stories of Aladdin best, and I was surprised how some of the elements of the actual story had found their way into the Disney animated version. I was completely unfamiliar with the story of Qamar al-Zaman, and this seemed the most foreign to me. Both these tales and the Alladin tales are set in China, even though both are full of Arabic and Islamic references.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Not nearly as good as the first volume, which seems strange as it contains some of the more famous stories. But the entire book is consumed by extremes, which renders most of characters and plotting woefully inconsistent. Characters are intelligent in one moment and stupid the next. Circumstances are terribly dire until a few pages later when the characters are given incredible wealth and power for no discernible reason. The book's final story (and the only unfamiliar one) is by far the worst in Not nearly as good as the first volume, which seems strange as it contains some of the more famous stories. But the entire book is consumed by extremes, which renders most of characters and plotting woefully inconsistent. Characters are intelligent in one moment and stupid the next. Circumstances are terribly dire until a few pages later when the characters are given incredible wealth and power for no discernible reason. The book's final story (and the only unfamiliar one) is by far the worst in this regard, and as the final cherry on the sundae, it's incredibly misogynistic to boot. To be honest, I can't help but wonder if the book's complete lack of nuance was considered desirable by its intended audience. It's clear that the book is built on an entirely different set of cultural premises than those with which I'm familiar, with vastly different ideas about what constitutes beauty, happiness, or how people should respond to fortune or misfortune. In that sense, the book was a lot more interesting, but it was far too easy to be distracted by its incessant vacillations.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Krishna

    Bleh, I was tired of the exaggerations and the interventions decreed by fate. I also found the dialogue pompous and the characters flat. I saw no flaws in the translation, and the introduction was quite educational. Who ever knew Aladdin and Ali Baba were concocted by some Frenchmen? And I liked how Haddawy compared past translations as well. There's something to be said about staying true to the text without adding trinkets or chopping some parts off (I wouldn't have enjoyed this as much without Bleh, I was tired of the exaggerations and the interventions decreed by fate. I also found the dialogue pompous and the characters flat. I saw no flaws in the translation, and the introduction was quite educational. Who ever knew Aladdin and Ali Baba were concocted by some Frenchmen? And I liked how Haddawy compared past translations as well. There's something to be said about staying true to the text without adding trinkets or chopping some parts off (I wouldn't have enjoyed this as much without the erotica not found in other translations).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    This is a rather odd collection of episodic stories full of murder, torture, slavery, magic, coincidence, and melodrama. Although it includes many of the most well-known (though not original) Arabian Nights stories such as Sinbad, Ali Baba and 40 Thieves, Aladdin (Ala al-Din) and others, they were only mildly entertaining. They reminded me of the darker Grimm Brothers stories. Life is harsh and violent, although also magical and rich. Overall, I wouldn't recommend these stories unless you are in This is a rather odd collection of episodic stories full of murder, torture, slavery, magic, coincidence, and melodrama. Although it includes many of the most well-known (though not original) Arabian Nights stories such as Sinbad, Ali Baba and 40 Thieves, Aladdin (Ala al-Din) and others, they were only mildly entertaining. They reminded me of the darker Grimm Brothers stories. Life is harsh and violent, although also magical and rich. Overall, I wouldn't recommend these stories unless you are interested in folk tales and legends.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Simmons

    Despite my penchant for liking most bits of literature that are several hundreds of years old, these tales tend to be repetitive (perhaps a result of their mostly-oral transmission originally?), peopled with unsympathetic characters confronting parades of marvels about which it is difficult to get too excited because their marvelousness seems emptied of meaning -- it's fantasy for fantasy's sake. Despite my penchant for liking most bits of literature that are several hundreds of years old, these tales tend to be repetitive (perhaps a result of their mostly-oral transmission originally?), peopled with unsympathetic characters confronting parades of marvels about which it is difficult to get too excited because their marvelousness seems emptied of meaning -- it's fantasy for fantasy's sake.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Day

    Repolished Gems Husain Haddawy's translation of the One Thousand and One Nights is from a fourteenth Century Syrian edition - the oldest manuscript of the stories to have survived. The language in his translations - sensual, sly, bawdy, satirical - reveals these famous tales-within-tales in a new light, demonstrating why they have had such a profound influence on world literature. Repolished Gems Husain Haddawy's translation of the One Thousand and One Nights is from a fourteenth Century Syrian edition - the oldest manuscript of the stories to have survived. The language in his translations - sensual, sly, bawdy, satirical - reveals these famous tales-within-tales in a new light, demonstrating why they have had such a profound influence on world literature.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rere Rhea

    Menggambarkan keajaiban-keajaiban timur tengah yang misterius. dan dengan segala kerumitan konflik dari cerita itu sendiri, yang entah bagaimana caranya sang pengarang dapat merangkainya menjadi satu kesatuan jalan cerita yang solid. Kagum dan jatuh cinta dengan penulisnya yang memang sangat jenius krn karyanya.

  18. 5 out of 5

    arafat

    This edition comprises the more 'popular' stories--like Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sindbad--that weren't quite part of the supposed 'original' corpus of the 1001 Nights. The tales in this volume are quite fascinating to read and study, but I didn't find them as enjoyable as the ('original') ones in the first volume. This edition comprises the more 'popular' stories--like Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sindbad--that weren't quite part of the supposed 'original' corpus of the 1001 Nights. The tales in this volume are quite fascinating to read and study, but I didn't find them as enjoyable as the ('original') ones in the first volume.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Srin

    Wow Disney has missed a few gory details, like sewing a dead body back together, lamb carcases,and "Alladin" being a peeping tom! Entertaining so far...Tarantino should get his hands on this one. Wow Disney has missed a few gory details, like sewing a dead body back together, lamb carcases,and "Alladin" being a peeping tom! Entertaining so far...Tarantino should get his hands on this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Taught Sindbad for the first time in Rise of the Novel and it paired extremely well with other travelogues like Gulliver.

  21. 4 out of 5

    muhammad reza

    ada yg jual buku ini ga ya..saya pgn beli ni

  22. 5 out of 5

    Salim

    The apocrypha; well-told, useful context and notes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steve Gross

    Kind of tedious because of the repetition but I guess that's how folk tales work. Kind of tedious because of the repetition but I guess that's how folk tales work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A great story book, even, or actually, ESPECIALLY for grown-ups!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aline

    Even though these stories are extraordinary to the point where they become surreal even for fantasy, one cannot help but dream of going on these big adventures.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    You have to get the Husain Haddawy translation. He keeps truest to the original stories without censoring or over-elaborating for shock.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark Singer

    Another good translation of classic tales from The Arabian Nights.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hank

    Very entertaining.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gerður

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

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