Scorpion Soup

Scorpion Soup Inspired by a book his grandfather wrote eighty years ago master storyteller and author Tahir Shah set about creating SCORPION SOUP an intense experience of interlinked and overlapping tales Having

  • Title: Scorpion Soup
  • Author: Tahir Shah
  • ISBN: 9781783010301
  • Page: 469
  • Format: ebook
  • Inspired by a book his grandfather wrote eighty years ago, master storyteller and author Tahir Shah set about creating SCORPION SOUP, an intense experience of interlinked and overlapping tales Having been raised on stories from both East and West, Shah believes that tales work on numerous levels, subtly influencing the way we see the world, and the way we learn from it MInspired by a book his grandfather wrote eighty years ago, master storyteller and author Tahir Shah set about creating SCORPION SOUP, an intense experience of interlinked and overlapping tales Having been raised on stories from both East and West, Shah believes that tales work on numerous levels, subtly influencing the way we see the world, and the way we learn from it Magical instruments, and secret machineries in their own right, stories are within us all And, the way we appreciate them, from the cradle is, Shah believes, part of the default setting of Mankind Introduced in early childhood to the wonders of A Thousand and One Nights, Shah learned to receive and appreciate complex structures and storytelling devices These have been used throughout history to pass on ideas, cultural values and information, as well as, of course, to entertain Having been inspired by The Nights, especially in the way that one story leads into another, and yet another, Shah used this technique known as the frame story in SCORPION SOUP An interwoven and intoxicating collection of tales, the book descends down through many layers, as one story progresses into the next, and eventually brings us back to the first There is the tale of the Capilongo, a sophisticated bird like creature that lives in the jungle with sloth servants, who invites his would be assassin to dine before allowing himself to be killed And there is the tale of the Clockmaker who harnesses the soul of a Jinn, in the guise of a hoopoe, and uses it to travel back in time to the realm of Harun Al Rachid There is the cautionary tale, too, of the Man Whose Arms Grew Branches, and the story of the Fish s Dream Unlike anything that has been published in the Occidental world before, SCORPION SOUP is a rich and diverse feast for the senses, and a book that instructs as much as it does entertain.

    One thought on “Scorpion Soup”

    1. An innocent man finds himself incarcerated in a grim prison cell and knows he may never leave it alive. He also knows that, although his body is confined, his spirit is not bounded by time or place, and his imagination is not confined to the physical forms of the familiar world. To survive he tells himself stories, each linked to the next; and, when the last story has been told, he starts again.Through his stories the prisoner travels to places as distant as Senegal, Iceland and China. But, a st [...]

    2. Scorpion Soup: Dancing to a different drumTahir Shah has been steeped in traditional storytelling, folklore, legend and creative mythology from an early age and he was brought up in a family gifted in the art and possessing vivid creative imagination. This shines through in the interlinked short stories which comprise Scorpion Soup: A story in a story, which was inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights.As each tale is recounted and segues into the next -- as if hinting at and mimicking the wo [...]

    3. I absolutely loved Scorpion Soup. It's a wonderful collection of eighteen nested stories, each one seamlessly leading into the next. In this work, the author's background from a family rich in storytelling tradition shines. It has all the magic of In Arabian Nights, and yet is so much richer. It's a book that I've already recommended to friends, and I will continue to do so. As another reviewer commented, Scorpion Soup is a feast for the mind and for the soul. I'd be at a loss if I had to choose [...]

    4. The first thing to be said is that Scorpion Soup is very funny. (I will count myself lucky if I laugh as deeply in the rest of the month as I did at certain junctures in these stories.) Not scorpion soup itself, I hasten to add: 'funny' would not be the right word for such a soup as that. (What would the right word be for the taste of such an until-now unheard-of soup?) I downloaded the book this morning, early, and finished it just as the twelve o'clock signal sounded out from downtown Vancouve [...]

    5. What a book! What a journey! In the tradition of the Arabian Nights and the great storytellers that the Shah surname has crafted, Tahir Shah, once again, surprises me with an invention worthy of the 1001 Nights. Of course, not THAT long but nevertheless as imaginative and full of wisdom and secret hints that show us that always, the connection with other realms is here, now, in everything and everybody. When I was reading such feast for the mind and the soul, I felt that this Soup has all the in [...]

    6. A magical tale told majestically by a consummate teller of tales. The sort of story that enriches the reader and enables them to reconnect with their imagination. Highly recommended.

    7. A true masterpiece is what Tahir Shah has given us with this masterful tour-de-force of the human story. In these tales-within-tales Tahir has woven nothing less than the essentials of life. Part of the mastery of what he has accomplished is that the reader doesn't even have to have a clue that anything important is contained within the story. It is sufficient unto itself in that it is immensely entertaining to read and experience - similar to a white-water rapids ride that is perilously close t [...]

    8. Read Scorpion Soup and enter a waking dreamwondrous and horrendous with a magical non-linear quality that takes you on your journey through the stories-within-stories all the way toe end? As always, the author's writing is energized and full of vivid color, wide-ranging dynamics, and fascinating imagery. Absorbing and delightful reading, with the added enchantment of being like a 'dream' you can go back and experience again.d againd again.

    9. Scorpion Soup: A story in a storyI was wondering how Tahir Shah would follow Travels with Myself and he switched direction and produced Timbuctoo. Now another switch, a book that he himself describes as " a hymn to The Thousand and One Nights". It is much shorter than that classic , around 33,000 words but it is so rich and multi-layered that it feels so much longer. A hymn yes, but a choir of angels,grotesques, hermits, princesses, children and all sorts of magical creatures to sing it.Here we [...]

    10. A brilliant multilayered and spiralling reading experience. In the tradition of the Arabian Nights and of Kalila and Dimna. I read the nested stories in one evening and will read it many times more. The stories transport you out of the everyday and must reawaken even the most jaded imagination. Tahir Shah has always produced excellent work and this book maintains his very high level art of storytelling. I look forward to the hard copy version later this year.

    11. A story within a story within story. I never wanted to put it down. It is such a fascinating way to explore the world. As a teacher I read stories for children daily, but these Eastern style stories are so much more. Beautifully written, and an original idea that can be a light read or a deep exploration of the fundamentals of being human. I really enjoyed reading this book.

    12. These stories come alive in a way that makes it difficult to put the book down! Tahir Shah is a master storyteller. Much wisdom to be found in these pages.

    13. Like a string of pearls- no, no, that's an imprecise description. Like matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls), each tale within Scorpion Soup draws itself into another, leading the reader further and further down the rabbit hole until you find that you've been looped back to the beginning, where the first story took off. (Not unlike how some say time itself may behave.) Rich and lush, ensnaring the entire range of the human senses through Shah's skillful descriptions, Scorpion Soup invites you to si [...]

    14. Märchenerzähler – gibt es das noch? Sie sind rar geworden, und vielleicht lassen sich die Menschen nicht mehr ganz so leicht verzaubern, oft übersättigt mit Events und Terminen, mit GeTwitter und dem Strom der SMS- und Facebook-Nachrichten…Und doch! Es gibt noch Erzähler von Märchen, die es vermögen, uns tausend Nächte und noch eine mit wundersamen Gedanken und Vorstellungen füllen können und uns zum Zuhören oder Mitlesen verlocken. Wie ein blanker Kieselstein, der in einen spiege [...]

    15. I received a package today from London, only to open it and find one of the most stunning books I have ever seen! I won this book from the First Reads giveaway, and I am so glad that I did. My son (14) and I couldn't stop turning the pages. Thank you Tahir Shah for writing this amazing, beautiful, stunning, thrilling book! You are a master story teller, one for the ages. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Now I need to try and get this book back from my son, and put it [...]

    16. I enjoyed all the tales in this book and the lessons they taught. Definitely something I will be reading again.~EDIT~Just received my signed copy of Scorpion Soup in the mail today! It is beautiful <3 I would like to thank the author Tahir Shah for sending me this lovely book. The maps in it help bring the stories to life.

    17. This book reminds me of why I love reading and takes me back to fairy tails and myths I read when I was young. A story within a story within a story. Fantastical far away lands. Magic and wonder. Over way too soon.

    18. I wish that Western culture had the tradition of stories that the East has. I guess then it wouldn't be the West, would it? But it's hard for me to read books like the Arabian Nights and the ones that Tahir Shah writes and not wish I had grown up with that tradition. There is poetry in the language that doesn't exist in the West. Words flow together in a tapestry, rich with color and meaning, and the meanings need to be teased out of the warp and woof. No straight forward morals - don't mess aro [...]

    19. This isn't the kind of story that you need to read front to back. It's exactly what the title says - a story in a story. Before one of the short tales ends, Shah begins another, thoroughly whirlpooling you through a web of ideas. In some ways: I loved it. It was a way to experience a lot of stories and ideas in a little amount of time. It's something to unwrap and discover. It's a book to keep on your shelf and look at again and again. And it's unique - it's a fresh take on something old; a book [...]

    20. I WAS Theseus entering into the maze without my ball of thread, that what I felt while reading this, but the only difference was instead of the Minotaur, I faced an EPIC,BRILLIANT ENDINGis is the 2nd book I read for Tahir Shah, the first was "In Arbian Nights", and I can say out loud thatthis man is bringing the traditional story-telling back to life, If I ever was in a Caravan and setting by the fire in the harsh cold of the desert,I would want Tahir Shah to be our companion to listen to his ma [...]

    21. Alas, I finished this book too quickly! I really tried to take my time, trying to read each story and savor it before moving on to the next but that was almost impossible. What a great book. Most stories make you think yet they are wildly entertaining. I'm glad I decided to purchase the book instead of borrowing it from the library. I actually got it for 2 bucks for my kindle. These are the type of stories I want to read to my kid when he gets older. One story leads to the next so, as though by [...]

    22. The book is not only a good read, but much can be obtained from it on different levels.The story features recurrent themes that run through the book – one story is tied to the next rather like the flow of life itself.The story is cyclic in nature – the end is also the beginning. Not onlywas the story sequential in the forward direction, but the cause of the sequence of events can be read in reverse too, meaning we can deduce what led up to the next story from the previous one. I found that t [...]

    23. Tahir Shah has become one of my favorite authors. This story-within-a-story is wonderfully structured--faithful to 1001 Nights, but innovative in its approach. I was immersed in each portion--a delightful read!

    24. Scorpion Soup: A Story in a Story is a book of short stories published in January of 2013 by author Tahir Shah. It becomes clear into the first few stories that Mr. Shah it quite the masterful storyteller who's inspiration comes from A Thousand and One Nights. You may recognize Tahir Shah through some of his other titles such as, Casablanca Blues (which I hope to review at a later date), In Arabian Nights (another work I'd love to review), and Eye Spy (a book I will be reviewing soon).First and [...]

    25. 'My form may have changed once, and then again, but I contain the wisdom of all Men.'This book is a story with a story and then in that story comes another story and so forth.The author says that these short stories are a small hymn to the Thousand and One Nights. From all the short stories I enjoyed the most: The Shop That Sold Truth, Frogland, The Book of Pure Thoughts, The Most Foolish of Men (this one was funny), The Man Whose Arms Grew Branches, and The Singing Serpents.

    26. O.M.G. This book blew me away. It was so good I had to give away two copies, (not mine - they will need to rip my copy out of my cold dead hands if someone wants it). This book is amazingly beautiful. It is a book that makes a wonderful present. It is a book that if you leave it on your table your guest will have to pick it up. And they will not want to put it down. Spread throughout the book are maps. I delighted as much in these beautifully drawn maps as the stories. The stories. *insert huge [...]

    27. Scorpion Soup: A story in a story was released earlier this year by travel writer and novelist Tahir Shah. It is a marvelous collection of intricate tales, each one serving as the nest for the next, and the next, until they come around to – but read the book and you’ll see. The stories are magical, practical, full of suffering yet vivifying, gentle yet strong. They remind me of mosaic tiles, each one carefully made, and all carefully combined to make a pattern. Or a number of patterns. The t [...]

    28. As this is an homage to The Thousand and One Nights, perhaps I would have been better off if I'd read that first. However, even without that background I was prepared for a rabbit hole of stories, and that's exactly what I got. One story leads into another leads into another, and they all have morals to them or are somehow instructive. I do admire Shah's inventiveness, because it can't be easy to come up with stories that meet all the requirements - interlocking/overlapping, morals, and last but [...]

    29. The story begins with a man who has been captured by pirates. The captives are not allowed to talk otherwise they will have their heads dismembered. One of the neighbouring slaves whispers to another "I want to tell you a story" And from there begins a story that leads to another and another. Each tale intermingles with the last making it a well thought out book. It's a great short read with twists and turns around every corner, making the author a very talented writer. A world away from Eye Spy [...]

    30. Everyone who loves a good story – and who doesn’t? – is sure to find SCORPION SOUP to be an utter delight, because it’s chock-full of them. In fact, it’s a veritable cornucopia of good stories, presented in the story-within-a-story style of The Thousand and One Nights. Coming one right after another like the shifting images of a kaleidoscope, the tales in SCORPION SOUP are charming, amusing, entertaining and, at times, thought-provoking. They took me on a magic carpet ride that was so [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *