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The Satanic Versesby Salman Rushdie
Synopses & Reviews
Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two figures, Gibreel Farishta, the biggest star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years, plummet from the sky, washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, and proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations.
The Satanic Verses is a wonderfully erudite study of the evil and good entwined within the hearts of women and men, an epic journey of tears and laughter, served up by a writer at the height of his powers.
"Salman Rushdie may never equal the brilliance of his second novel, Midnight's Children, but in this, his fourth novel, he comes close. The Satanic Verses has all the excellences that made the earlier novel a publishing event: an epic sweep and feel for the larger currents of history reminiscent of Tolstoy, a comic genius for idiosyncratic characterization in polyphonic voices worthy of Dickens, together with the imaginative freedom of fabulation characteristic of Latin American fiction and its magical realism. The Satanic Verses may lack the organizing power of the central conceit of Midnight's Children, but it is if anything a wider ranging novel. Not since Gravity's Rainbow has any novel so successfully captured the cosmopolitan texture of modern life. Using two movie stars as his central characters, Rushdie also manages to convey the way in which the media permeate every aspect of 20th-century existence. Finally, The Satanic Verses confronts the problem of religion and modern life in such a direct and profound way that it has been banned in India, Pakistan, South Africa, and all the Arab countries. But this book is much more than the Islamic equivalent of Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ. If you want to find out why Rushdie is arguably the most talented and significant author writing in the English language today, by all means read this book." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"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." New York Times Book Review
"A glittering novelist — one with startling imagination and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling." V.S. Pritchett, The New Yorker
"A staggering achievement, brilliantly enjoyable." Nadine Gordimer
"A masterpiece." Sunday Times
"[A] splendid feast." Publishers Weekly
"[T]his invites comparison with the miracle-laden narratives of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"There is a fine story somewhere in this volume...but it doesn't take 500-plus pages to tell." The New York Times
Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two figures, Gibreel Farishta, the biggest star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years, plummet from the sky, washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, and proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams, and revelations.
About the Author
Salman Rushdie is the author of six novels: Grimus, Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, and one work of short stories titled East, West. He has also published four works of nonfiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz, and Mirrorwork (co-edited with Elizabeth West).
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