Edgar Allen Poe is the closest I’ve come to reading anything that can be called horror. The Tell-Tale Heart, Raven and Fall of the House of Usher are all Poe classics that always give me goose bumps when I read them. I’ve also read, and with much more relish, his mysteries featuring Auguste Dupin, the big daddy of all gentleman detectives. But I had no idea Poe could do humour and that he could do it so well.
This short story starts where the Arabian Nights tale leaves off. Scheherazade has regaled the king for a thousand and one nights thereby escaping the noose. By now she’s grown quite proud of her storytelling skills and doesn’t want to stop. So she brings back her favourite character Sindbad from literary retirement and decides to spin another adventure for him. Initially the king is excited and all ears but Sindbad’s tale starts to go all awry. Scheherazade takes the story into strange and amazing lands and each episode gets more fantastic and the king can no longer suspend his disbelief. The footnotes to this tale tell us that some of Scheherazade’s tales may not be entirely fantasy after all.
It’s difficult to believe that the same pen that wrote the Raven could write this too. The satire flows so naturally and lightly that you would think the writer a full time funny man. Sample this: but the king, having been sufficiently pinched, at length ceased snoring, and finally said, "hum!" and then "hoo!" when the queen, understanding these words (which are no doubt Arabic) to signify that he was all attention, and would do his best not to snore any more
I intend to read more of his funny stories like The Angel of the Odd, The Spectacles and Never Bet the Devil Your Head. Meanwhile you can find The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade here.
Image of poe http://wilcoxandjudkins.wordpress.com/page/2/