The Arabian Nights Like Never Before
A non-stop flow of hilarity which veers far from the original. It lampoons life and makes you realise there are more laughable things under the sky than are dreamed of in your philosophy. It's all about a cuckolded king whose grief turns him nuts ... from pistachio to macadamia to cashew ... until he is saved from his own madness by the machinations of a highly ingenious lass ... More
This hilarious re-telling of an ageless yarn is designed to tickle you, the reader, every single step of the way. It's non-stop madness, insanity that's meant to keep you sane in your daily whirl of hassle and hustle. You might say picking up this book is a more viable option than popping a pill in your mouth for generating some light moments in the head.
The text reads much like the transcript of a stand-up comedy show where the audience does not merely listen passively but are made to involve themselves. They are posed questions, made fun of and forced willy-nilly to contribute towards the show's success. So are the readers of this book. They are not permitted to peruse the text impartially. They are literally forced into participation by being made to consider certain "issues". At the same time gibes are flung at the readers, but in a totally innocuous and inoffensive way.
The special feature of this book are the notorious "asides" which poke fun at facets of everyday life and sundry societal groups. World leaders, our boys in the army, mystical godmen and ancient Chinese emperors are among those who are made part and parcel of the fun. Even well-known figures, those who are still around and those who have bidden us aloha-oe, are dragged in – Oprah, Bill Gates, Obama, Bush, Loren, Monroe, Taylor, Elvis, the Pope and the Dalai Lama being some of them. The author himself comes in for his share of ragging but he gets it worse than anyone else.
Unlike the original version, there are no magical or supernatural elements in this one. This rendition veers far from the one that Sir Richard Burton popularised among English readers. The only elements that are retained from the original are four characters -- the king, the beguiling storyteller, the grand vizier and the adulterous queen. The other minor characters spring from the author's crazed imagination!
The synopsis is one all are familiar with. The king of Persia is cuckolded by his queen and turns into an incorrigible woman-hater. Determining to take his revenge on all women in general, he goes on a "marry-'em-and-slaughter-'em" rampage. Things come to a head when the populace contemplate rebellion and the mad king's castration as punishment! At the timely hour, a saviour steps into the scene. She is the peerless granddaughter of the Grand Vizier. She insists on becoming the next "queen for a night and a corpse by morn". However, this highly imaginative lass does not resort to the expedient of telling tales to the king for the duration of a thousand and one nights to put off her execution indefinitely. How she saves her own life and cures the king of his misogyny is the innovative twist the author brings to his re-telling of the tale.
The best way to describe this book is "a non-stop flow of hilarity". You are made to laugh at life, yourself and your co-occupants of this planet who, like youself, are participating in this sometimes exasperating but often rewarding experience called living. And, most of all, you are reminded that laughter is one of the greatest joys anyone can ever know.