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. Find out why you should give this classic novel a read!
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.
Not many books stand the test of time but this one passes the test. It is interesting and mysterious and it makes you want to keep reading to find out what story you will hear next. It is not formatted like most modern novels and by reading it, you can tell that it is more of an oral story. And yet, it is still a great read nonetheless.
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.
8 thoughts on “A Thousand and One Nights: Book Review”
I read this particular story from Tales from The Arabian Nights. ❤❤❤
I like to agree with you. It happens that am reading it now in an English translation. It is truly a travelling back in time. You are thrown back into a different world and culture where magic djinns and miracles are part of life. I grew up on stories of Scheherazade, Aladdin and Alibaba told by my aunt (after having sanitized them.
yea its a great novel and definitely worth a read here and there.
Nice summary of the classic collection that has inspired so many books, movies and songs. In case you’re not familiar with Naguib Mahfouz, he was an Egyptian Nobel prize-winner who wrote a delightful, colorful and thoroughly entertaining collection called “Arabian Nights and Days” (first published in 1979) inspired by 1001 Nights. I picked it up almost by accident while roaming through old Cairo and it has now inspired me to spin my own “Arabian Nights-style” yarns that have a beginning, middle…but no end.
Thanks for the information. I’ll definitely check it out!
I got several copies from the library and read parts to my Adult GED and Literacy students: to my delight, many of them adored the stories, and one student told me that she’d taken her grandson to the library to find a suitable copy for him, as well!