Sunday, July 26, 2015

Arabian Nights and Days

Arabian Nights and Days, by Nahguib Mahfouz

After Shahrzad succeeds in telling her story for three years, and gives birth to a son, and stops the sultan from killing a new bride every morning...what happens then?

In chapter-long episodes, we follow the fortunes of the sultan's city and people, who frequently come under supernatural influence.  A pious man is beset by a genie, who orders him to kill the corrupt chief of police.  Two evil spirits produce a wedding night for a young couple and then separate them.  A man is given a cap of invisibility, but ordered not to obey his conscience in using it.  A man is beheaded for corruption, but deposited into a new body.  Finally the sultan himself sees amazing wonders.

It's written in a style very much like the 1001 Nights, and many of the characters have a strong tendency to speak in aphorisms and proverbs--sometimes for entire conversations.

I liked this quite a bit more than my previous Mahfouz attempt, but I don't plan to read any more by him.  I am not grabbed.  I'll be counting this as my Classics Club title instead of the Cairo Trilogy, which I can't quite face, but hey--I read two Mahfouz novels, that counts for something.

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Hey, I'm going on a roadtrip!  I'm very excited to go down, see some old friends, and have a nice time before school starts back up.  It's been a busy summer and I do not feel prepared for school at all!  Maybe a day or two at the beach will help.  I've scheduled one post for a few days from now, but otherwise you'll have to get along without me for a little while.

2 comments:

cleopatra said...

Have a great time, Jean! I'm on vacation now too and it's lovely! I've actually read today ..... amazing! We'll be waiting for you when you return!

R.T. said...

Enjoy your trip. And thanks for the candid review of the book; it sounds like a book that I can afford to ignore. Ah, so many books and so little time. Yeah, trite but true. Again, enjoy your vacation.