“Lions regularly team up with asses. There’s a fox somewhere too…”
Genre: Fantasy, Classic, Animals, Age: All
Do you ever think that some stories are familiar, but you can’t pinpoint where you’ve read them before? Reading Aesop’s Fables is like stumbling into that experience over and over again.
(The Crow and the Pitcher)
Of course, as the book’s introduction is quick to point out, Aesop didn’t really *write* these stories, he merely collected them. This version from Wordsworth contains around 250 short tales, which feature anthropomorphic characters and situations that make them cross paths. Each story is a quick read, taking roughly three minutes to read at most, and I found myself finishing the book in a couple of days, since I was using it for light reading before bedtime.
There’s nothing amazingly complex about the experience, since each story starts and finishes with few plot-points. For someone used to reading long, epic fantasy books, this was such a refreshing experience and almost a mental cleanse; I could stay with the characters for a few minutes, and then abandon them, and only take the central message forward.
Posted by timeoftheday on August 9, 2014
“Schrehrezade, Schrehzade, let down your hair..! Oh wait, wrong story!”
I’ve been reading this for about two weeks, which is quite long for me. The book is actually fairly short, about 341 pages long, and it should be fairly easy for a determined reader to finish it in a couple of days. In my case, I’d mainly been reading it for an hour before bedtime, which dragged it for a while.
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Age: YA+
These stories are sometimes referred to as One Thousand and One Nights. There are various stories that have included in this heavily edited collection. It’s been completely… re-mastered, shall we say, to remove all explicit material and references to sexual content. Because so many stories have been missed out, the collection left over is very fragmented and pretty much standalone. By the time you get into the 10th page, the reference to Schrezade have been removed and the stories just play themselves out without being referenced.
Posted by timeoftheday on May 23, 2012
“Yes, it’s Sindbad, not Sinbad!”
I’ve just passed through the Seven Voyages of Sindbad in the Arabian Nights. I was never enthralled with Sindbad, but his stories were really interesting. The story structure is interesting, where he tells about his voyages in chronological order; each of his stories manage to get better than the last. Good stuff.
I really like how he finds loads of treasure and random luck that always kills everyone near him. If I didn’t know better I would say it’s a conspiracy…
It also reminded me of the old TV show, which was probably the origin of the wonky name. The Opening Theme in in English, the rest is… another language, I have no idea what.
Posted by timeoftheday on May 14, 2012
“What have they got in common?”
Well, I was thinking of purchasing a selection of stories of them; similiar to the The Arabian Nights selected tales that I’m currently reading.
Most particularly, I’m interested in Shakespeare and Greek Mythology because the format is very different to current writing structure. Shakespeare is written in middle-English and Greek Mythology is just plain difficult poetry! I’m interested in the story, but I don’t want to struggle through the words.
Posted by timeoftheday on May 13, 2012
“Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves not present, sir!”
This is an edited version of the original stories. I think the main difference is that it’s edited for younger children (and possibly for public reading). The original version, which I read many, many years ago was very explicit, even though it was in the children’s section. I’m looking forward to re-reading the stories, particularly Aladdin, which is an old favourite.
Author: Anonymous, Edited by Andrew Lang
Genre: Fantasy, Politics, Adventure, Age: YA+
Posted by timeoftheday on May 8, 2012