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Shahnameh (Classics Deluxe Edition): The Persian Book of Kings (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Feb 27 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (Feb. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143104934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143104933
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 4.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 939 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Composed more than a thousand years ago, this national epic of Persia tells the story of Iran from the first "lord of the world," Kayumars, through the seventh-century Arab/Islamic conquest of the Sassanid dynasty. With a foreword by Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, and illustrated with Persian lithographs, Davis's translation of this epic poem is an accessible combination of poetry and prose.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This immense volume translates into clear, accessible prose the bedrock work of Iranian literature. Compiled and cast into verse by a tenth-century bard, Shahnameh contains the stories of the kings of ancient Iran before Islam overwhelmed the land in the seventh century. The first half deals primarily with mythical and semimythical figures, chief among them the great hero Rostam, while the latter half, beginning with the conquest of Sekandar--that is, Alexander the Great--records historical persons and events. In the concise, informative introduction, Davis calls attention to the entire book's recurrent themes of father-son conflict and contrast between kings and heroes, the latter of whom are nobler in character than the former; indeed, so noble that they invariably decline the throne when it is proffered to them. Davis encourages viewing both themes as reflections of a detached and critical attitude toward formal power and markers of a humane spirit that has allowed the epic to persist as the supreme classic of its nation. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have bought from Amazon. To me, it's a marvellous sense of nostalgia, because my father was reading Shahnameh with his interpretations as my bedtime stories once I was 4-5-year-old. I know many of the original lines in Persian from school and my dad's voice, and now it's interesting to read it from another perspective as an English reader. Though the translator omitted the splendid Ferdowsi's creation myth at the beginning, and many modern translators did the same, but I think he really did a great job describing the Book of Kings! I think Indian epics are akin to Shahnameh, though I didn't read them yet, probably I'll try sometime.
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Format: Paperback
Davis's translation is clear, dramatic, and well condensed, with a smattering of brief summaries for the less important segments. The story is absolutely enormous -- rivaling the Bible or the Mahabharata in scale and length. And like the Bible, it is full of surprises for those expecting orthodox traditionalism. One surprise is the number of powerful women. Another is the celebration of free and rebellious love affairs. A third is the open disdain for the Arab conquerors who brought Islam. But the thing that most surprised me is how this ode to heroic kings turns into an orgy of battles for power, until the whole notion of kingship starts to seem repulsive. It's a national epic with lots for future generations to draw on.
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Format: Hardcover
Any admirer of Iran must read the Shahnameh. Davis has done a good job at translating this epic. Very long and at times redundant. Must be a lover of stories.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book papers quality was not good at all. Most papers was stick together and I am not happy of this purchase.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great quality
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