An academic who listens to novels on runs and commutes to campus.
Though Midnight's Children won the Booker of Bookers, this text is less engaging and, I believe, less successful than The Satanic Verses. While MC tells the story of one particularly magical child, Saleem Sinai, who is writing this story for the purpose of telling his young child, who perhaps retains some magical qualities of his parents. The story is also the narrative of India and Pakistan, and the tensions that have existed since their twin births. While the story of Saleem Sinai takes many turns, the narrative takes its most significant turn when Rushdie unleashes a scathing critique of Indiria Ghandi's leadership during "The Emergency." Rushdie, as he explains in the Preface, was sued for libel over one particular sentence that Ghandi found offensive, regarding her relationship with her son and her role in her husband's demise. While Rushdie removed the offending sentence, this incident proves that his takedown of Ghandi was, in fact, accurate over her power grab. This book demonstrates the necessity of literature, both in how narrative allows for someone to make sense of events and the power of literature as social critique. For anyone interested in serious literature, this book should be engaged with for both the pleasure of literature and the power of literature.
I have only listened to one other Rushdie book (Shalimar the Clown - Fantastic!) so I was looking forward to hearing more from this esteemed author. It helps to know that this is Rushdie's first major work and I got the sense that it was intended to trumpet to the world that a new literary lion had stepped onto the world stage. Like a graduate student trying too hard to impress a mentor, however, Rushdie seemed to be trying too hard to impress the reader. For a listener - as opposed to a reader - this can be especially challenging since each paragraph was so dense with information, plot development, and literary flourishes that it was hard to follow it all. Similarly, he introduced (and then discarded) so many characters - and goes back and forth from the past to the present - that I had a hard time putting it down and then remembering (or figuring out) what was going on when I resumed listening (especially if more than a day had lapsed). So - over time I lost interest and ultimately didn't finish the book. Maybe one day I will return to it.
I want to be clear, however, this is a beautifully written book and no one tells such intricate, multi-generational stories that help shed so much light on the India/Pakistan history - and the sorrow associated with the partition of India.
The narration was a plus - an outstanding job.
I was once charmed by the lilting narratives of Salman Rushdie???s "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" read out loud to me with background music by a rather talented boyfriend. It is not among Rushdie???s more famous works, so it???s surprising that, given how much I loved that other work, it???s taken me this long to get to another.
And again I am charmed. And overwhelmed. Charmed by the language and rhythm of "Midnight???s Children", by the vastness of the story, of the magical realism which I normally dislike. Overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all, the multiple stories, some historical, some so fantastical that they make "One Hundred Years of Solitude" look like non-fiction. I???ve just finished it and already can???t remember parts of it because my brain simply won???t hold it all.
"Midnight???s Children" is predominantly the biography of Saleem Sinai, born in the first minute of India???s independence from Britain. The story traces his life and simultaneously that of the new India through optimism and growth, partition and war, and emergency and corruption. Coincidence builds on coincidence until the stories begin to spiral upwards to stretch plausibility and then, rather than losing control, culminate in a sunburst of magical fantasy in which Saleem disappears from being entirely at one point. While the story winds in at the end, the language keeps rushing towards the final page leaving you at the conclusion ever so slightly out of breath. It will take you a moment to realize that you are actually sitting still.
I am not usually a fan of magical realism such as the aforementioned "One Hundred Years of Solitude". Maybe this works for me here because I expect India to be a place of bright, outlandishness. (That extraordinary lotus pink is, after all, the navy blue of India.) It is a place so distant to me that it???s easier for me to suspend belief perhaps. But it???s also Rushdie???s ability to make words dance and to mesmerize sentences like a snake charmer.
Winner of both the Booker Prize and the Booker-of-Bookers, it is considered to be one of the best books of the 20th century. Rushdie certainly deserves all this high praise: It???s a great work and he manages to sustain it over thousands of pages. I don???t know that I consider it the best book ever, and I confess it could have been a smidge shorter: There are a few points when you wish he would linger less. Still, absolutely worth the time and effort.
Lyndham Gregory is amazing here giving perfect pace to the words and handling dozens of different characters and voices. A slight weakness on the females, but not especially noticeable. I???ll be looking for other work of his.
The narrator has been criticized as overdramatic by some other reviewers. I find that his dramatic style is well matched to the style of the writing.
Salman Rushdie has managed quite a feat with Midnight's Children.
He has written the most beautiful, exquisitely prosed yet boring story I have ever read / listened to. The writing is gorgeous, lush, vibrant and captivating. The story which is stitched together with this glorious writing however is a tedious bore!
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
"Midnight’s Children" is about God and the snake. Written by Salman Rushdie, it is a story about religion and knowledge. It raises issues about God, Allah, Shiva, Buddha and many fundamental religious beliefs. In "Midnight’s Children", Rushdie uses a satiric pen to tell the story of India’s independence and the role of religion in Indian/Pakistani society.
"Midnight’s Children" is a “coming of age” saga about one child born at the strike-of-midnight August 15, 1947, the day India became an independent nation-state. Rushdie demythologizes religion and promotes humanism by telling a story of India and Pakistan’s history. He infers the prime mover of life is human nature; not God.
Rushdie uses the snake as a symbol of knowledge; knowledge that contains both good and evil. Rushdie writes that snake venom kills and heals; i.e. it kills when there is too much; heals when used in correct proportion. Saleem, as a young boy, survives early death with administration of the right proportion of venom; i.e. the right amount of knowledge.
Prominence of a nose is a recurrent theme in Rusdie’s story. At times, Rushdie’s writing is laugh-out-loud funny, like when he describes the prominence of a big nose. Though the clairvoyant quality of Saleem’s life is lost when his nose is operated on, the nose offers other extraordinary powers. A listener is inclined to believe, as Saleem matures, that a nose knows about life and living in the Middle East and other regions of a troubled world.
A sweeping novel of Mid 20th Century India told with fantasy and humor. Rushdie is a brilliant writer who shows the history of India through the eyes of Salim, one of the children born on the stroke of midnight that heralded India's independence from Britain. This book is not an easy listen - one that you can listen to while doing other things. There are multiple characters and for someone not real familiar with Indian names, it is difficult to remember who everyone is, especially when you hear but not see the written names of people and places. I would recommend reading this instead of only listening to get the most out of the novel and if you are not familiar with post-independence Indian history, then you should check out some other sources. I have a cursory knowledge, but found myself not knowing who the author was referencing at times. I will probably get the book to read as this is a novel that can be read many times.
I liked the narrator very much, although I understand that he is using more a British than Indian accent. His voice was pleasant to listen to and his female voices were good.
I am a dancer, health professional, meditator and avid reader. I listen to audio books while driving, working out and doing chores. I listen to non-fiction more than fiction, but enjoy both. I like books I can learn from or be inspired by. I post my favorites on Pintrest.
I have listened to a lot of books, it is among the best.
I learned the story of India from the revolution on through an amazing story that allows you be a part of that history. The rhythym and timing of storytelling is amazing.
Awesome! The indian accent and the rolling voice was like music. I laughed many times as well and every other emotion.
Every emothion is felt reading this book.
I would not have read this book. The only thing that kept me interested was the fact that I was listening to it.
Less style more story
Well read. His voice was clear and he used variety in the characters.
The style elements often overtook the story telling. If I was reading this I probably would have stopped, but as an audiobook, it was good.