Context: Picked this up from a certain university library and finished it while babysitting for my sister.
Read Midnight’s Children a long time ago and thought it was fantastic, so I was looking forward to this a lot. It didn’t disappoint. Then again, it didn’t live up to all my expectations.
There’s a lot more magic realism in this than in Midnight’s Children and that put me off from time to time as I had flashbacks of my Famished Road nightmare. But the book is sublimely written and very cleverly takes apart Islamic history with a razor sharp blade of insight.
But this isn’t, as we know, to everyone’s taste and quite why Rushdie, who was quoted as saying he didn’t expect the Muslim backlash he received, didn’t expect that backlash seems a bit strange to me. I mean, a man who can write a book of this stature isn’t an idiot is he? Either he’s naive beyond his IQ or he’s telling fibs.
The novel’s much bigger than this issue though and anyone who focusses on the Muslim issue exclusively probably hasn’t read it. The novel deals with issues of identity, fame, ethnic relations, emmigration and also gives you a glimpse into what life must be like for anyone who has issues with paranoid schizophrenia.
‘To be born again,’ sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, ‘first you have to die.’
India; it jumbled things up.
a hard fate to be an American abroad and not to suspect why you were so disliked.
‘I’m coming,’ he answered her, and turned away from the view.
terrible > poor > mediocre > okay > good > very good > excellent > superb