Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

I listened to the audio book of  Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang this morning.  One of the things I like about audio books is that I can read while doing other things.  Listening to a good story makes chores much more enjoyable.  I was familiar with the premise of the tales and most of the four stories included in this collection, but I had never read them for myself.  This collection included four of the stories that saved the life of the beautiful and clever Scheherazade from her murderous husband (who married a virgin every night only to kill her in the morning).

  • Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp:  This version is nothing like the Disney movie.  Even though Aladdin is lazy and refuses to take up a trade, he outwits the magician to get a magic ring and lamp.  These genies aren’t limited to just three wishes, and Aladdin takes full advantage of their services to increase his wealth and win the Sultan’s daughter.
  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves:  Ali Baba is poor, but doesn’t let his newfound wealth go to his head when he discovers the secret cave filled with riches.  Thankfully, his brother’s slave is clever enough to outwit the thieves when they return.
  • Sinbad the Sailor:  I must say Sinbad is one lucky sailor.  He manages to escape every danger even when his comrades are drowned, eaten by snakes, devoured by monkeys, or various other tragedies.  He not just survives his seven journeys, he also thrives from them, coming back richer than he started.  I am still not sure why he took in the poor Sinbad the Porter, who came every night to listen to his stories.
  • The Story of the Blind Baba-Abdallah:  This fellow had it all–wealth beyond measure–but let greed blind him until he literally could see no longer.

I downloaded this audio book, narrated by Toby Stephens, from the Sync YA website.  If you haven’t checked it out already, head over there to see what books are still coming up for free downloads all summer long.  Each week they pair a classic title with a contemporary YA novel.  This week, Tales from the Arabian Nights is paired with Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Amarkand.  I can’t wait to listen to this contemporary fantasy that has been on my TBR pile for quite some time.

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