There are always classic novels that you come across often but never get around to read. For me, A Thousand and One Nights is one of those novels that I forced myself to finally sit down and read one day. And I enjoyed the stories that it contained.
A Thousand and One Nights: Summary
The story revolves around Shahryar, who is a king who rules his kingdom that is in India and China. The king learns that his brother’s wife is unfaithful and questions his own wife’s faithfulness. As he learns that his wife has is also unfaithful, he has her killed. And now he believes all women are the same. After this, he marries a virgin every day and has them executed the next morning before she can be unfaithful.
This goes on for a while until the Vizier (his job is find the king virgins to marry) cannot find any more virgins. The Vizier’s daughter Scheherazade offers to be the king’s next bride. Knowing that the women are killed the next day, the Vizier doesn’t like the idea but is talked into it.
After the King and Scheherazade are married and in bed, Scheherazade tells the king a story but doesn’t reach the conclusion. The king wants to know the ending so he doesn’t kill her the next day. As night arrives, Scheherazade continues her story and reaches the conclusion but her story drifts into another story. This goes on for a thousand and one nights as the title says.
It may not seem like it but many of the stories in this novel were collected over many centuries by many different people. A lot went into making a Thousand and One Nights what it is now. We take for granted now how readily we can pick up a book. But it wasn’t that long ago when books were divided by language and geography.
To read this novel is to travel back in time. It isn’t a life changing read but the history behind it makes it worth reading. To read various novels is to take many different adventures. Some of my favorite novels have been ones that I read on a whim. And took me to a new fantasy world that I never would have known about otherwise. With that said, I would definitely recommend this novel.