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The History of Caliph Vathek

by William Beckford

A story that paints neither man nor outward nature as they are, but reproduces with happy vivacity the luxuriant imagery and wild incidents of an Arabian tale. There is a ghost of a moral in the story of a sensual Caliph going to the bad, as represented by his final introduction to the Halls of Eblis. But the enjoyment given by the book reflects the real enjoyment that the author had in writing it--enjoyment great enough to cause it to be written at a heat, in one long sitting, without flagging power.

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