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Whether the stories of Nasrudin are studied for their humour alone, or for their hidden wisdom, they ...
Whether the stories of Nasrudin are studied for their humour alone, or for their hidden wisdom, they help us to understand our world and ourselves.
Posted March 7, 2004
At 450 pages this one volume of short, pithy and dissonant Nasrudin stories beats all three previous titles put together by 23 pages. Nasrudin fans who have read the three previous volumes must have felt as I did that this posthumos book (Idries Shah died in 1996) would be redundant, but nothing could be further from the truth. Nasrudin stories rarely take up even a full page, although Shah has almost always devoted a page of its own for each one. So, although I haven't counted them, this new collection must contain at least 450 Nasrudin stories never before seen in print. Each tale is as surprising for its creativity and poignancy as those of the earlier three books. For example: 'News came to Nasrudin's village that the judge had died while trying a case in the neighboring settlement. 'How extraordinary, that he should choose to drop dead in front of complete strangers,' mused the Mulla, 'when he could have done so here among those on his own side.'' And another example: 'Nasrudin was walking along the riverbank when he saw a goblet floating in the water. Scooping it up, he looked inside, and found that it was half-filled with water. One the surface shimmered a man's face. 'I'm sorry,' he said to his reflection, 'I did not realize that the goblet was yours,' and he hastily returned it to the river.' Idries Shah has been called the Sufi 'Teacher of the Age'. The publisher informs us that this will be the last of his 34 books to be published. Each one piques the brain to wake up lobes that had either never been used, or, at least, not since childhood. With each new opening comes new understandings and abilities. Legend has it that seven Nasrudin tales must be heard in succession before their full impact is accomplished. I have provided only two. The rest you'll have to get from the book itself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.