I was sent this book through NetGalley and W. W. Norton & Company – thanks to them for sending me a copy! Aladdin is one of my favourite stories so I was super grateful to be able to get a copy.
Title: Aladdin (A new translation)
Author: Yasmine Seale (translated by), Paulo Lemos Horta ( edited by)
Genre: General Fiction, Multicultural Interest
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Liveright
Publication Date: 27th November 2018
Long defined by popular film adaptations that have reductively portrayed Aladdin as a simplistic rags-to-riches story for children, this work of dazzling imagination—and occasionally dark themes—finally comes to vibrant new life.
“In the capital of one of China’s vast and wealthy kingdoms,” begins Shahrazad— the tale’s imperiled-yet-ingenious storyteller—there lived Aladdin, a rebellious fifteen-year-old who falls prey to a double-crossing sorcerer and is ultimately saved by the ruse of a princess. One of the best-loved folktales of all time, Aladdin has been capturing the imagination of readers, illustrators, and filmmakers since an eighteenth-century French publication first added the tale to The Arabian Nights.
Yet, modern English translators have elided the story’s enchanting whimsy and mesmerizing rhythms. Now, translator Yasmine Seale and literary scholar Paulo Lemos Horta offer an elegant, eminently readable rendition of Aladdin in what is destined to be a classic for decades to come.
- Aladdin is one of my favourite stories from One Thousand and One Nights and I also love the Disney version so I loved being able to read a version of the story which I’d never heard of before. There are quite a few elements which differ from the story most readers would be familiar with so it had lots of new material.
- Seales version of Aladdin reveals a lot more about Aladdins back story and offers a different take on his origin story. The book is a lot darker than the Disney version, so it’s more suited to a Teen or Adult audience.
- The writing style is so beautiful honestly, and poetic in a way which really suits the story. You can picture Scheherazade spinning this magical tale, with such rich description and plenty of twists and turns.
Overall, the story was both engaging and offered a unique retelling of Aladdin, I think there’s something for new and old fans alike.
Do you enjoy the story of Aladdin? If so, would this retelling be something you’re interested in? Would love to chat in the comments!
Until next time,