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Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults by Clive Johnson.
Published October 2016

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Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults
by Clive Johnson

325 pages, ISBN 978-0993202964.
Available as paperback, Kindle and Audible versions.

Magic carpets and flying horses, caverns glittering with gold, unexpected plotlines following the fortunes of heroes and villains – who can fail to be enthralled by the magic and wonder of the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights?

This most celebrated collections of tales feature shape-shifting and instant transportation across continents, powerful jinn who rise like smoke from simple jars, giant, man-carrying birds, and dreams that unravel the secrets of the subconscious. The backdrops move from barren deserts to spectacular cities, from the boundaries of the known world to the inner sanctuaries of mighty rulers. Kings and paupers, benevolent sages and devious magicians, worthy princesses and unscrupulous harlots – all play their part in teaching important truths and provoking lively debate.

This innovative book offers retellings of a selection of tales that have captured the imaginations of countless people over many centuries. Accompanying each is a contemporary short story that reframes the messages and teachings of the original, specifically written for an adult audience.

Here are stories of betrayal and murder, exploitation and sibling rivalry, soul-searching and discovery. The modern parallel tales swap the busy alleyways of old Baghdad for the horror of Saddam's prisons, move from following caravans in the Sahara to trekking with modern day pilgrims on the Camino of northern Spain. Baptist ministers, adulterous accountants, and eco-warrior backpackers follow in the footsteps of the no-less colourful characters that feature in the original tales.

Each pair of stories is accompanied by a commentary on how they might be interpreted. The result is a gripping collection of tales that may continue to bring the mystery and magic of the Nights to life.

Please note: The traditional tales that are included in this title (and having familiar titles) are generally suitable for older children, although parental guidance is advised. Each new, parallel tale is intended for an adult audience.



Praise for Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights

“Offers much food for thought and refreshing new perspectives on how the messages of the original stories can be applied to modern times.”
– Midwest Book Review

“The ideal readers of this collection will be teens through adults who will find the contemporary counterpart stories (crafted with adults in mind) to be especially enlightening windows into the relevance and visions of the originals.”
– Midwest Book Review

“Especially enlightening windows into the relevance and visions of the originals.”
– Midwest Book Review

“High school to college-level classes studying the One Thousand and One Nights would be good audiences for this collection, which also lends to classroom debate and discussions of each tale's connection to the moral, ethical and social dilemmas of modern times.”
– Midwest Book Review

“Especially recommended for those who would view the original classics with a new eye to their lasting relevance to modern times.”
– Midwest Book Review

“Inventive author Clive Johnson brings to life [the age-old cultural icons] once again—with a cool modern twist.”
– BlueInk Review

“It’s a clever idea, handsomely executed in impeccable prose.”
– BlueInk Review

“All in all, this is a delightful collection.”
– BlueInk Review

“[Johnson’s] passion for these stories, as well as the modern retellings, comes through clearly and it drew me in. Seven stories featuring everyday people dealing with astonishing circumstances.”
– N. N. Light

“If you loved reading about Sinbad the Sailor or Aladdin as a kid, you’ll love these retellings as an adult. A great way to escape for a few hours and a must read!”
– N. N. Light

“The narrative throughout the book flows effortlessly.”
– San Francisco Book Review

“Spinning modern tales that capture the motifs of ancient ones is a worthy literary endeavor.”
– San Francisco Book Review

“A worthy literary endeavor.”
– San Francisco Book Review



Selected excerpts from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights

Arabian nights "There are some beautiful vignettes in this story, such as Abou Neeut’s gratitude for receiving the crumbs thrown out by the servant of the rich merchant. We are reminded that material wealth does not matter; only the attitude that a person demonstrates in the differing circumstances that they might find themselves in."
– The History of Abou Neeut and Abou Neeuteen

– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "Alnaschar falls into the trap that deceives many fantasists – expecting every action, every dialogue, every response of others to pan out exactly in the way that he imagines. He cannot anticipate alternative outcomes; he inhabits and scripts his fantasy so fully, that it becomes for him all but real."
– The Story of the Barber’s Fifth Brother



– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "Solomon travels through the air, where he has a complete picture of what has happened, is happening, and goes before him below – a big picture that, in a sense, defies the familiar rules of time and space".
– The City of Brass

– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "Exposure is threatening, but when the absurdity of the pretension that we play out in life is put under the spotlight, we can do little but to smile at our fragility. Revealing ourselves, or – as in this tale – being revealed, can be liberating."
– The Tale of the Young Woman and her Five Lovers

– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "A romantic and a fantasist he may be, but the sailor’s generosity toward the porter can't be explained alone by unselfish giving. By giving alms and receiving the porter into his home, Sinbad the Sailor attempts to make amends with his God."
– Sinbad The Porter and The Fourth Voyage of Sinbad The Sailor

– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "The old woman sees through the supposed attractions of the material world, knowing that what she holds in her heart is far more precious than to live in a city that claims to offer everything."
– The Pilgrim and the Old Woman Who Dwelt in the Desert



– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "Who is Scheherazade? This is a question that has vexed many commentators of the Nights. For some, she is a prototypical feminist; for others, a cunning femme fatale. Then again, she is a survivor, telling stories to prolong her life – in much the same way that life itself is sustained through narrative."
– Scheherazade's Story

– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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Arabian nights "Aladdin isn't totally without virtue. When he learns the lamp’s secret, he does not insist that he is given everything he wants right away. He looks after the interests of his mother, and he gives generously to the poor. We are told that he is gracious before the emperor, is a brave warrior, and is one who stays faithful to his wife. Those whom he kills have done him wrong, and to grant them the right to continue their trickery would be to invite probable destruction for himself and for the good works that he had established."
– Aladdin And The Wonderful Lamp

– Excerpt from Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional tales from a thousand and one nights, Contemporary tales for adults  by Clive Johnson.

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ARABIAN NIGHTS & ARABIAN NIGHTS
TRADITIONAL TALES FROM A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, CONTEMPORARY TALES FOR ADULTS
By Clive Johnson

 Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights

Book Title: ARABIAN NIGHTS & ARABIAN NIGHTS.
TRADITIONAL TALES FROM A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS,
CONTEMPORARY TALES FOR ADULTS
Author: CLIVE JOHNSON Genre: SHORT STORIES (CLASSIC/CONTEMPORARY)
Paperback edition: ISBN 978-0-9932029-6-4 $13.95 330 pages
Kindle edition: 978-0-9932029-7-1 $3.92
Release Date: October 11, 2016

ADD TO GOODREADS

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights
OVERVIEW

Classic tales from the Arabian Nights, retold alongside modern interpretations-including Sinbad finding himself wrongly imprisoned in Saddam's Baghdad, Aladdin navigating the Hong Kong underworld, and Scheherazade riding high on the Brighton comedy circuit. A gripping collection that promises to bring the enduring magic of the Nights to life.

“A clever idea, handsomely executed in impeccable prose.” – BlueInk Review

“Especially recommended for those who would view the original classics with a new eye to their lasting relevance to modern times.” – Midwest Book Review

EXCERPT

A journalist had picked up on the news of Todd’s arrest, and by some means had been able to identify him as a Baptist pastor. Soon, the news of my husband’s escapade with the prostitute had made not only the front page of the Louisville Courier-Journal, but had carried across the state to Lexington too. I dreaded to think what the decent people of our church would say when they saw the photograph of their pastor being paraded in front of a police identification plate.

When we returned to Lexington, most people seemed to want to avoid mentioning the topic. It was obvious to me that they had been deeply unsettled by Todd's indiscretion, but to our faces at least, they promised their love, assuring us that ours is a God of love, able to forgive every sinner–even a wayward minister.

Todd was not afraid to show his contrition before his flock. Were Oscars awarded for emotional outpouring by those in church ministry, Todd would surely be nominated for an award. Whether or not his tears were genuine I do not know, but he certainly gave a powerful example of how to show repentance when he took his place on the dais.

“O my Father, how I have failed you! How I have let these, my beloved brothers and sisters, down! Forgive me, for I am the worse among sinners!”

His cries and wailing knew no limit. Kneeling before the congregation, Todd accepted the prayers and blessings of the people. Two of the deacons laid hands on him, commanding the demons that were in him to depart.

Perhaps this display was good for our community. Other men in the congregation came forward to confess their infidelity, and to receive the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus and those of us who serve Him. In fact, I don't think that our church had for a long time felt so overcome by the love and warmth of The Holy Spirit.

The experience had certainly been a shock for Todd. He knew that his position as a pastor would be under threat were he to backslide again. More than anything, I think that he was genuinely aware that he’d been unfaithful to his Lord. He had been unfaithful to me too, and privately I went through a period of hurt and suffering. But the fast pace of events, and Todd’s apparent regret for his actions, kept me focused on supporting my husband.

TEASERS

 Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights
 Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights
 Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights

MEET THE AUTHOR

 Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights is Clive Johnson’s seventh book, and the second in the series that takes old and often familiar tales and retells them alongside modern-day versions. Taking this approach, Clive says that he aims to recapture some of the magic and important messages that can be found in traditional fairytales, stories from mythology, etc, while inspiring fresh wonder among adult readers.

His earlier books were aimed at business readers, and he’s also edited an anthology of interfaith wisdom. Recently, Clive has also started narrating and producing audible audiobooks for other authors, which is an activity that he says he particularly enjoys.

Clive spends most of his time in the UK, where he was born, although he has no fixed home. This allows him to follow his heart from place to place, often house and pet sitting for friends and others who are taking a break away. He also often takes in or hosts retreats and workshops on various themes. Many house sits introduce him to some wonderful furry friends, and provide the perfect opportunity for settling into some serious writing!

Having an autistic condition and with a strong interest in mysticism, Clive likes to approach his work with a keen curiosity. He says that he enjoys researching and imagining a story almost as much as he does writing it. Clive is an avid reader, and an ordained interfaith minister.

SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER:

The KINDLE VERSION of Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights will be FREE to download between 17 and 21 October. Visit Amazon at http://goo.gl/NhTj3f.

 Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights

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MAKE CONTACT WITH CLIVE AT:

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Clive’s blog (‘The autistic mystic’): http://goo.gl/ZcBNnD
Clive’s Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/AuthorClive

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          Website Updated January 2015 by Clive Johnson