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Tales of Kalila and Dimna: Classic Fables from India Paperback – March 1, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Kalila and Dimna Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a beautiful book full of mirth and human interest and unsentimental wisdom."
(Boston Globe)

"A salutary exercise of intellect and spirit for both kings and commoners." (Ursula Le Guin)

"Contemporary, racy, vigorous, full of zest. It is also very funny. I defy anyone to sit down with it and not finish it at a sitting." (Doris Lessing )

"This book is not merely for entertainment - the guidance and honesty weaved into the tales makes this book shine. It is perfect for both younger and adult readers and is highly recommended by this writer. A must-have for any library!"
(The Chicago Firefly, Dec. 2000)

"Wise and vigorous, sly and funny tales . . . They are contemporary; they are eternal . . . No higher praise is necessary."
(Carlos Fuentes)

From the Publisher

In his retelling of 'Kalila and Dimna', Ramsay Wood deftly knits several oral storytelling traditions into a captivating literary style. This version from all major ancient texts is the first new compendium in English since 1570. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892818166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892818167
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are timeless teaching stories. Teaching stories from a culture are always fascinating. The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit are in fact African teaching stories. Pancatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom (Oxford World's Classics) is another example of teaching stories, as is The Monkey King: A Superhero Tale of China, Retold from The Journey to the West (Ancient Fantasy), and Our Stories Remember: American Indian History, Culture, and Values through Storytelling. Next question: how do you use stories, to effect change? My Voice Will Go with You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson tells one way. Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert is a sort of cultural mirror, in which we see our lives, cut up into meaning. Or in Dilbert's case, lack of meaning. Kalila wa Dimna is also a cultural mirror, in the same way. Stories cut experience up into meaning. Analysis- is cutting up, just as synthesis is joining. This is a fun mirror, at least, I like these stories better than those of Aesop. Another example of fascinating teaching stories is of courseThe Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin / The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin Nasrudin, and these come from the same culture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever thought people at the office were animals? After reading this book you'll be able to name exactly which ones. The animals in these stories behave with perfect logic - for themselves - and surprising and touching outcomes. Even if you know the ancient tales, the retelling here is succinct and poignant with a rich vocabulary and just the right turn of phrase. Wolf, Rat, Mice, Turtle, Bedbug - all come to life in ways you will recognize - from your fellow humans. Bring the book and a blanket to the park and enjoy your afternoon among the critters.
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These tales are indeed timeless, and more than that, of universal application. On a recent trip to the airport my cabbie referred to the wisdom in these stories while commenting on a current political event that was sweeping the news. I recommend this book for all those looking for a wondrous reading experience.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book nearly 30 years ago, when it first appeared. I reread it just prior to reading Volume 2. In both Volumes Ramsay Wood's writing style is informal and colloquial, but his insight into the meaning of these fables is evident in the way he recounts them. The author's writing style makes it possible to read these tales to a child, but his insight makes these tales interesting reading for adults. Highly recommended for all ages.

KALILA AND DIMNA, Vol. 2: - Fables of Conflict and Intrigue from the Panchatantra, Jatakas, Bidpai, Kalila and Dimnah and Lights of Canopus
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Format: Kindle Edition
A matrushka doll of fables nestled in allegories nested in a frame story. Wisdom tales without the pithy moral at the end.they work a magic. I loved it,and not just 'coz it tells stories like my mom used to- usually starting with the creation of the world. Which reminds me of the story about . . .
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This refreshed edition of Kalila and Dimna is "smashing." Ramsay breathes life into the stories with unexpected and often hilarious phrasing and great timing. The stories are obviously a labor of love for him and make a great impact-- they are carried in a way where the quips and temporal slips create a pace, moments, and mnemonics that only a great storyteller can facilitate. This collection is highly recommended and will form a great continuum of night time reading with the rumored release of more Dr. Bidpai in 2009.
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Format: Paperback
Delightful, better than Aesop--but in the same vein. Very relaxing to read and so much fun. Not as magical as Narnia or Lord of the Rings. Stories are not too complex and have their messages all over the place. If you want symbolism and subtlety, this is one way to go. If you just want a fun bunch of stories, go here, too. Don't expect to learn much about Indian culture/ways of life here. One could put these stories into almost amy culture and the themes would come through.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a beautiful book with a message appropriate for any time and people of any age. It is wonderfully complex and yet basic. I found myself rereading sections frequently and getting a different take on the message each time. If you want to read something both evocative and uplifting, give this book a try. You will not be disappointed.
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