Reviews

The Times

When Ramsay Wood retells a story he makes a proper job of it: not for him those pale imitations of a nobel original which is what your average reteller palms off on his readers.

Boston Globe

A beautiful book full of mirth and human interest and unsentimental wisdom and vigorous writing.

Michael Wood, author & broadcaster of The Story of India

Jewels of story-writing, narrated with the psychological insight, subtle rhythms and changes of pace of a veteran. Playful, allusive, richly ambiguous, teasing in their narrative complexity and yet deceptively clear in their resolutions: immersing oneself in the world of this trickster is to savour the pleasure of reading at its most intense. . . .What...

San Francisco Chronicle

Unique retelling… may well jolt literary sensibilities tuned to the solemnity or quaintness of our best known versions of animal fables.

Robert Irwin, author of The Arabian Nights: a Companion

Kalila wa Dimnais, like The Arabian Nights , an engine room of stories – and stories within stories. It is also one of the undoubted masterpieces of world literature. Its tales mingle entertainment and wisdom. The limpidity of Ramsay Wood’s prose echoes that of the Indian original.

Gore Vidal (The New York Review of Books)

Mr Ramsay Wood… has that authentic Silly Seventies ring…. This is all very Eastern. We have had nothing like it in the West (Side of New York) since back in the Fifties when it was observed of a fond but demented couple that the rocks in his head fit the holes in hers.

Times Educational Supplement

Ramsay Wood has cast his selection in the form of a novel . . . .his prose is often sophisticated (“Your megalomania appears to be approaching clinical proportions.”)…. vivid and rapid and often witty….The material is not particularly exotic – but then, nor is morality. “Classics”, after all, are supposed to transcend boundaries.

Times Literary Supplement

Wood has produced a vigorous modern version of Bidpai… overlaid with a racy personal idiom, a witty mixture of archaic grandiloquence, modern slang, and (in some passages) the jargon of sociology, television and local government… his version will certainly be much more attractive to modern readers than the older translations, with their drier narratives and...

Journal of the Scottish Storytelling Centre

Wood aims for nothing less than a re-working for our twenty-first century times, restoring their inheritance to storytellers and his sources to the status of truly adult entertainment. The result is beguiling, unstuffy, irreverent, and a delight to read or hear. Anyone who cares about storytelling now needs to dip into Wood.

Carlos Fuentes

Wood’s superb stories should be set alongside Italo Calvino’s retelling of the folk tales of Italy. No higher praise is necessary.

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize for Literature 2007

This fresh creation follows the more than two thousand year old precedent of adapting, collating and arranging the material in any way that suits present purposes. It is contemporary, racy, vigorous, full of zest. It is also very funny. I defy anyone to sit down with it and not finish it at a sitting. Ramsay...

Publishers Weekly

One almost forgets these are animals, speaking and acting. Adults interested in the history of folklore should be joined by children in reading these colourful tales

Lisa Alther

This cycle of ancient Indian and Persian animal fables, largely unknown, unavailable, and inaccessible until now, has been retold by Ramsay Wood in a lively modern prose that is earthy and wry, with flashes of insight that verge on wisdom. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the masterpieces of world literature – or...

William Dalrymple

An intricately woven web of some of the world’s oldest and greatest stories, sweetly and humourously retold, and begging to be read aloud to a new generation of listeners.