Customer Review

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can finally read the stories of my childhood, April 19, 2006
This review is from: The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings (Hardcover)
I was born in the US to Iranian parents, so I grew up listening to the stories from the Shahnameh, told to me in Persian by my parents and grandparents. But since I couldn't read the stories in the original Persian, I was never able to pick up a book and follow the stories from start to finish, or really put them in context. When I heard that the Shahnameh was finally available in English I rushed to get a copy. And all the stories and characters I'd learned in childhood are here! The legends of Zal, Rostam, Sohrab, Eskandar, Bahram, Mazdak, Khosrow, and Anoushirvan, and even more that I never knew were part of the Shahnameh. Reading this book as an adult, I can see the Shahnameh not just as fable but what it really is: an epic poem, a mix of myth and history, and a still-living story of a people. Dick Davis is a genius for having translated this incredibly long poem so evenly and clearly. The drama, humor, and pathos of Ferdowsi is never lost in his translation. Reading this book, there is still the sense of excitement and of having gained some kind of wisdom as when I first heard the stories of the Shahnameh as a child.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 3, 2012 9:50:05 PM PDT
hello. I have just ordered the book and I would like to know if your parents think the translated poetry is just as beautiful as the one in original language...
And if not, which addition they would recomment.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2014 6:11:20 PM PST
James Kenney says:
This book is not translated as poetry. Occasionally poetry is used as a kind of gloss or highlight, but the bulk of the book is prose...very well written prose, but still prose.
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