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Author Topic: PC216: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Part 1  (Read 3284 times)
Talia
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« on: July 10, 2012, 09:44:23 PM »

PodCastle 216: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Part 1

Authorship uncertain.

Translated by Sir Richard Burton.

Read by Steve Anderson (of SGAcreative).


And when he came to the aforesaid rock and to the tree whereon Ali Baba had hidden himself, and he had made sure of the door he cried in great joy, “Open, Sesame!” The portal yawned wide at once and Kasim went within and saw the piles of jewels and treasures lying ranged all around, and as soon as he stood amongst them the door shut after him, as wont to do. He walked about in ecstasy marveling at the treasures, and when weary of admiration, he gathered together bags of ashrafis, a sufficient load for his ten mules, and placed them by the entrance in readiness to he carried outside and set upon the beasts. But by the will of Allah Almighty he had clean forgotten the cabalistic words, and cried out, “Open, Barley!” Whereat the door refused to move. Astonished and confused beyond measure, he named the names of all manner of grains save sesame, which had slipped from his memory as though he had never heard the word, whereat in his dire distress he heeded not the ashrafis that lay heaped at the entrance, and paced to and fro, backward and forward, within the cave, sorely puzzled and perplexed. The wealth whose sight had erewhile filled his heart with joy and gladness was now the cause of bitter grief and sadness.

Rated PG.


Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 07:38:44 AM by Talia » Logged
InfiniteMonkey
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Clearly, I need more typewriters....


« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 09:18:55 PM »

My only concern so far was that the Captain of the Thieves sounded a bit like a Pirate. But Steve has built up a store of goodwill with me, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 08:51:34 AM »

haha, loved that I was mentioned in the intro as Hater of Giants.

If it makes you feel any better, it's not that I hate Podcastle Giants in particular, but novellas/novelettes in general.  Occasionally I come across one I like, but most of them seem to combine the least desirable qualities of a short story  with the least desirable qualities of a novel to make something that is worse in every respect than either category alone.   Grin  To me they're basically short stories that don't know how to get to the point nor when to quit.

Haven't finished listening to this yet, will be back when I have.   Smiley
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 08:53:13 AM by Unblinking » Logged
DKT
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 09:09:11 AM »

haha, loved that I was mentioned in the intro as Hater of Giants.

If it makes you feel any better, it's not that I hate Podcastle Giants in particular, but novellas/novelettes in general.  Occasionally I come across one I like, but most of them seem to combine the least desirable qualities of a short story  with the least desirable qualities of a novel to make something that is worse in every respect than either category alone.   Grin  To me they're basically short stories that don't know how to get to the point nor when to quit.

Actually (and I think I've told you this before) I'm always so amused by your self-proclaimed frustration with our Giants, because I remember several Giants we've run you've started your post with something like, "Usually, I don't like longer episodes, BUT..."

 Grin
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 10:46:54 AM »

Actually (and I think I've told you this before) I'm always so amused by your self-proclaimed frustration with our Giants, because I remember several Giants we've run you've started your post with something like, "Usually, I don't like longer episodes, BUT..."

 Grin

Haha, true.  The good Giants are particularly remarkable to me because they overcome my prejudice against the format.  If I can spend 2.5 commutes listening to the same story, and feel like that was worthwhile, then that is very noteworthy to me.  Smiley  It doesn't just have to be good, it has to be good enough to overcome my skepticism.

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LaughingNaiad
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 01:57:51 PM »

This story is like comfort food, familiar and cozy.  And it made me laugh out loud a couple of times (I'd forgotten "open barley!"). 

As for splitting a long episode into two or not, I'll be happy to listen to as much as you guys put out, whatever the length.  At their best, it feels like the giant episodes have more time to develop rich characters.  But if it comes to a choice of splitting a long episode into two, or releasing it as a whole but then skipping a week, I would prefer to feed my weekly addiction.
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olivaw
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 03:27:24 AM »

The break point was a bit abrupt. Did the reader know we were pausing there?

I'm intrigued, though, because part one covered all the elements of the story that I remember, so part two should all be new to me.

Loving the strange formal tone.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 08:59:03 AM »

I'm pretty sure I read this in some form as a kid, though I suspect that it may have been a somewhat condensed form for a children's compilation.  I don't remember at all what happened after the breakpoint in the story so maybe the version I've read had only the first half.

Anyway, I like to read a good classic story that has passed into semi-common knowledge.  I like to see the difference in perspective of the people portrayed in the story, as well as the implied tastes in fiction that can shift so drastically over time.  I remembered all the major details, but the funeral-related details were interesting in and of themselves.

"Open Barley!"

For some reason, the relationship between the two families in this one makes me think of "Why the Sea is Salt", another mythical type story I really liked as a kid.  I wonder if I still have that one in a book somewhere in my basement.  Some of the morals seem kind of similar too, though the end result is very different.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 11:07:45 PM »

I just have to join in the chorus of "Open Barley!" You know, until that line I had NEVER connected the phrase 'open sesame" and the sesame seed together, so it took me completely by surprise. Cheesy

Steve's narration was great, and my familiarity with the story gave me space to ponder how the word "an" used to mean "if", how "wherefore" means "why" and other fun word/consonant changes that have taken place over the decades. Smiley

Like others, I remembered a lot of the events in the first half and have no idea what is coming next, so that's exciting. As for the two-part vs long episode discussion, I really don't mind either way. A number of my fiction podcasts split up longer stories so I'm already used to having to wait a week to find out how a story ends.
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danooli
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 06:47:41 AM »

I'm also used to the split stories, I split them up daily for commutes and Cast of Wonders does it occasionally too, so I don't mind at all.  It seems that the break was at the perfect spot and that makes all of the difference. Smiley  Just extends the anticipation a bit for me.

So far, so good.  I will echo the sentiments of nearly all that posted above me.  I recollected bits of the first part, as it's been a very long time since the first and only time I heard this story.  I don't think I ever read it.  So, I am unaware of what is to come.  I am also a fan of "open barley" and may just make that a password when playing with my nephews.

Steve Anderson has done a bang up job on this narration so far!
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acpracht
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 04:00:52 PM »

After hearing the second half, I think I see why that portion might have been "redacted" from children's versions.... Smiley
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coke
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 12:42:21 PM »

I like the split up stories. I'd be happy to see Giants broken up in this way where the story lent itself.

Thanks for all the great content.
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