No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta ("for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies") and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie's powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.
From Publishers Weekly
Banned in India before publication, this immense novel by Booker Prize-winner Rushdie ( Midnight's Children ) pits Good against Evil in a whimsical and fantastic tale. Two actors from India, "prancing" Gibreel Farishta and "buttony, pursed" Saladin Chamcha, are flying across the English Channel when the first of many implausible events occurs: the jet explodes. As the two men plummet to the earth, "like titbits of tobacco from a broken old cigar," they argue, sing and are transformed. When they are found on an English beach, the only survivors of the blast, Gibreel has sprouted a halo while Saladin has developed hooves, hairy legs and the beginnings of what seem like horns. What follows is a series of allegorical tales that challenges assumptions about both human and divine nature. Rushdie's fanciful language is as concentrated and overwhelming as a paisley pattern. Angels are demonic and demons are angelic as we are propelled through one illuminating episode after another. The narrative is somewhat burdened by self-consciousness that borders on preciosity, but for Rushdie fans this is a splendid feast.
"A glittering novelist – one with startling imagination and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling." – V.S. Pritchett,
"Abundant in enchanting narratives and amazingly peopled, is both a philosophy and an Arabian nights entertainment. What wit, what real warmth in Rushdie’s thousand-eyed perceptions of the inferno within us and the vainglory of our aspirations! His ambitions are huge, and his creativity triumphantly matches them...A staggering achievement, brilliantly enjoyable." – Nadine Gordimer
"A masterpiece." – Bill Bruford,
"Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Voltaire's Candide, Sterne's Tristam Shandy.... Salman Rushdie, it seems to me, is very much a latter day member of their company." –
"Further evidence of Rushdie’s stature as one of the most original, imaginative, perplexing, and important writers of our time." –
"A novel of metamorphoses, hauntings, hallucinations, revelations, advertising jingles jokes… Rushdie has the power of description, and we succumb." – Victoria Glendinning,
"An exhilarating… populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary contemporary novel… a roller coaster ride over a vast majority of the imagination" – Angela Carter,
"A truly original novel…sustained at headlong pace by the author whose powers of invention and construction, command of every variety of English and Anglo-Indian idiom, sense of desperate comedy, and within of intellectual reference have been well-exercised before, but neber on such a scale." – Hyam Maccoby,
In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub — Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.
Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.
Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights — or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, where beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.
“I did not go to Nicaragua intending to write a book, or, indeed, to write at all: but my encounter with the place affected me so deeply that in the end I had no choice.” So notes Salman Rushdie in his first work of nonfiction, a book as imaginative and meaningful as his acclaimed novels. In , Rushdie paints a brilliantly sharp and haunting portrait of the people, the politics, the terrain, and the poetry of “a country in which the ancient, opposing forces of creation and destruction were in violent collision.” Recounting his travels there in 1986, in the midst of America’s behind-the-scenes war against the Sandinistas, Rushdie reveals a nation resounding to the clashes between government and individuals, history and morality.
The Man Booker Prize (nominee)
Whitbread Prize (nominee)
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards (nominee)
Los Angeles, 1991. Ambassador Maximilian Ophuls, one of the makers of the modern world, is murdered in broad daylight on his illegitimate daughter India's doorstep, slaughtered by a knife wielded by his Kashmiri Muslim driver, a myscerious figure who calls himself Shalimar the clown. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidable intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former US ambassador to India and subsequently America's counter-terrorism chief. The murder looks at first like a political assassination, but turns out to be passionately personal. This is the story of Max, his killer, and his daughter – and of a fourth character, the woman who links them, whose story finally explains them all. It is an epic narrative that moves from California to Kashmir, France and England, and back to California again. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their homes by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil. There is kindness and magic, capable of producing miracles, but there is also war, ugly, unavoidable, and seemingly interminable. And there is always love, gained and lost, uncommonly beautiful and mortally dangerous. Everything is unsettled. Everything is connected. Lives are uprooted, names keep changing – nothing is permanent. The story of anywhere is also the story of everywhere else. Spanning the globe and darting through history, Rushdie's narrative captures the heart of the reader and the spirit of a troubled age.
Flapping Eagle, a young Indian, receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid. Tiring of the burden of eternal life, he sets out on a monumental search for the mystical Calf Island, where he can rejoin the human race. His journey is peopled with strange characters.
A dazzling story told for the love of story by the greatest of storytellers gives us a novel of wisdom and pleasure for all ages, in which a young boy must battle his way through a dangerous world in order to save his father.
On a beautiful starry night in the city of Kahani in the land of Alifbay, a terrible thing happened: twelve-year-old Luka's storyteller father, Rashid, fell suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one could rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through The Magic World, encountering a slew of phantasmagorical obstacles along the way, to steal the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly dangerous task.
Rushdie proved that he is one of the best contemporary writers with Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990). While Haroun was written as a gift for his first son, Luka and the Fire of Life, the story of Haroun's younger brother, is a gift for Salman's second son on the occasion of his twelfth birthday. Lyrically crafted and filled with frolicking wordplay, this is Salman Rushdie at his best.