- Sep 2017
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Paperback | Sep 2017 | XOUM | 9781925143751 | 480pp | 210x135mm | Forthcoming | GEN | AUD$24.99, NZD$29.99
It is nearly twenty years since Scheherazade spun her tales for a thousand and one nights; the tales that saved her life and immortalised the city that she had never seen – until now.
Scheherazade and her husband, King Shahriyar, arrive in Baghdad to a rapturous welcome from the Caliph and his people, but within hours the Queen is kidnapped from her bathhouse. An ancient prophecy leads the Caliph to despatch a motley crew of sailors on a rescue mission.
As the seven unlikely saviours venture deeper into the unforgiving desert, losing camels, supplies, and all sense of direction, Scheherazade must face her abductors alone. And once again she begins to spin a tale to save her life ...
Praise for Scheherazade by Anthony O'Neill
‘O’Neill writes with authority, blending fact, fiction and fable in this brilliant debut ... a spirited and linguistic satire ... I enjoyed this book immensely. It is so alive you can almost smell the air. O’Neill spins his own fantastic tales to match the original stories, packing his pages with vivid imagery, woven together with wit, philosophy, poetry, eroticism and memorable characters.’ The Independent on Sunday
‘The many twists and turns propel the story in a manner worthy of the novel’s eponymous heroine; there are enough cliff-hangers here to satisfy the most jaded of readers ... O’Neill absorbs his research into a novel of over 500 pages that never flaunts its learning. Scenes set in the teeming streets of Baghdad or during the sailors’ punishing trek through the desert are especially vivid ... This is a rousing read, and anything but pale.’ The Good Book Guide, UK
‘This is a remarkable and mysterious first novel, elegantly written and vividly characterised. Riffing on the Arabian Nights has been done before, but never with as much aplomb as here. As well as being a considerable piece of storytelling, this is a striking testament to the power of the imagination.’ Publishing News, UK
‘Mastery of storytelling is its hallmark. He relates a thrilling, complicated quest. O’Neill is boldly and rightly convinced of his power to engross us, and cheeky enough to add to Scheherazade’s tally of 1001 tales.’ The Herald Sun
‘Like his heroine, O’Neill knows how to tell a story.’ The Times
‘O’Neill’s lovingly crafted debut novel stands head and shoulders above the current run of ancient historical novels.’ The Age
‘Story is all in this novel, and at two different levels: at the visceral level of the seductive, suspenseful plot and at the theoretical level where the role and function and operation of the story are demonstrated and discussed … A prodigious and most enjoyable feat of the imagination.’ The Adelaide Advertiser
‘O’Neill mixes fact, fiction and fable into an exuberant, witty tale about magic, vengeance and the nature of storytelling.’ The Sydney Morning Herald
‘Clever, entertaining and stimulating.’ Vogue