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Editorial Reviews

This is a gorgeous introduction for young listeners to fine literature, a vastly different time and culture, and enchanting music. Narrator Toby Stephens is dazzling as he presents three of the best-known tales: "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp," "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," and "The Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor." He skillfully renders the text - be it stupendous description, cunning adversaries, or wide-ranging emotion - as he spins Scheherazade's stories. At times, Stephens's accent has a modern sound that should appeal to a contemporary audience. Rimsky-Korsakov's stirring music adds vastly to the rich emotion generated by the exotic tales. Listeners of all ages will be enthralled.

Publisher's Summary

Toby Stephens takes us back to the world of cunning, adventure, mishap, and fun. Sheherezade, night after night, weaves her tales, and Aladdin and his Magic Lamp, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and other tales come alive. The unforgettable music of Rimsky-Korsakov sets the scene perfectly. A delightful treat for young listeners.

© and (P)2004 NAXOS AudioBooks

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I AM SINBAD THE SAILOR

OPEN SESAME
This should be read by everyone, just for the culture and history. The more we learn about other peoples and their histories, I believe the more we will understand them and get along with them.

A MAN'S FATE IS ALWAYS A MYSTERY
I recognize these stories, but did not remember all the details. At first this is fairly entertaining, but the stories basically repeat themselves. You never want to be a shipmate of Sinbad, as in most of his voyages, he is the only one to survive. He is constantly getting rich, losing his riches and then getting his riches back. There are other stories included, but the bulk of the stories, are the seven voyages of Sinbad.

The narrator and the production are top quality

AND THEY LIVED IN HARMONY UNTIL THIER END

62 of 70 people found this review helpful

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  • Knucklebones
  • 08-10-14

A joined-up version of the nightly tales

A child-friendly introduction to a few of the most famous tales from the 1001 Nights, read with a fair amount of vigour and drama by Toby Stephens. After a brief scene-setting of how Scheherazade became the latest bride of the king and of her wily plan to evade her deadly fate in the morning, the story launches into the tales. These are: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp; Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor; and The Story of Blind Baba-Abdalla.

It's fairly well-written but I was disappointed that the author has chosen to join up each story into an uninterrupted whole. His approach completely ignores the wiliness of the original tales, wherein Scheherazade cunningly stops her story mid-action as dawn breaks each day, thus perpetuating her life. This version loses a lot of the flavour of the storyteller's art and becomes just a retelling of some rather well-known Persian stories.

The stirring music from 'Sheherezade' by Rimsky-Korsakov is fine although the sweeping violins are generally at odds with the stories. I'd have preferred some arabian-sourced music more in keeping with the atmosphere of the tales.

This audiobook is accompanied by a short PDF file which gives timings of the audio sections plus an informative 3-page article by Nicolas Soames.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful