The central core of the stories concerns a Persian king and his new bride. The king has a brother who is a vizier in faraway Samarcand, and he invites him to come to the palace for a visit. Just before his departure, the vizier is shocked to discover his wife's infidelity. Enraged, he kills her. Full of pain and grief, the vizier continues on to the court of his brother, the king. But, once arrived at his brother's palace, the vizier soon discovers the king's wife is also involved in an even more flagrant infidelity, which he reluctantly reports to him.
The maddened king, Shahryar, then kills his wife, too. The distrustful king next decides to marry an endless succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning before she has a chance to dishonor him. Weeks go by. Eventually, Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride. She is convinced she knows how to stop the slaughter. Her father reluctantly agrees to the marriage.
On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again. And so it goes on for 1,001 nights....
Listen as the fabulous tales of Alladin, Sindbad the Sailor, Ali Baba, and many others sweep you away to the Golden Age of Islam.
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Includes stories absent from other versions
The reading may be on the speedy side, which does mean you need to pay closer attention than normal, but you get used to it.
The good news is that the longer duration and faster reading means a greater number of stories than other versions available on audible.com (including some not present in the original Arabian Nights such as Aladdin and Ali Baba). I'm happy to deal with a swift reading in exchange for extra stories, and apart from the swiftness the reading is excellent.
My only complaint is that the translation seems to abridge things a bit more than some versions.
- D. Fearon