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.
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.