The Arabian Nights

  • by Sir Richard Burton
  • Narrated by Philip Madoc
  • 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Though The Arabian Nights are generally known as stories for children, they were originally tales for adults full of adventure, sexuality, violence, and the supernatural. They certainly inspired the imagination of Sir Richard Burton, the 19th century explorer, linguist, and erotologist who brought all his worldly experience and superbly expressive prose style to bear on the tales of Sindbad the Seaman and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Scheherazade must keep her king entertained with stories if she is to avoid the promised sentence of death.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent, But Too Short

What does Philip Madoc bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Madoc's narration is quite good with a very well delivered combination of cadence, intonation, emotion, etc.


If you could take any character from The Arabian Nights out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Harun al-Rashid of course. He was the fifth Arab Abbasid Caliph. He ruled from 786 to 809. His reign make well have been the apogee of the Islamic Golden Age. He promoted Islamic art and music along with science and commerce.


Any additional comments?

This audio book is an excellent narration of a small part of Burton's famous translation. It is very true to Burton and to the original tales that Burton translated. Burton retained the substantial sexual content of the stories along with the violence and bloodshed. He was much condemned for this at the time (Victorian England) but he chose authenticity over censorship. Burton also translated the pervasive Islamic character of all (almost all) of the characters and places in the stories.

The key problem with this audiobook is length. It is only 3 hours and 42 minutes long. A narration of this quality, covering more of the tales would be highly desirable.

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- Amazon Customer "Peter Schaeffer"

The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard Burton

I loved listening to this audible book. The music was awesome and the narrator was superb. I probably would not have enjoyed this as much if I was reading it and really appreciate the story telling.
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- Shirley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-26-2000
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks