The writing style is superb. The delivery is superb. The only problem is in the "plot"; a weird mixture of history and fantasy. Also, it goes on for too long in a number of places. But it is a real pleasure to listen to, and I could not imagine a better verbal rendition of it.
The narrator put a spin on this book that I think may have taken away from it's impact. I listened to sections and then reflected on them and decided that if I had just read them my self I would have put a different emphasis on things and it would have had a far greater impact. So I stopped listening at a little over half way through.
I noticed that passages that should have been funny, weren't. Wrong pace, wrong emphasis?
I can't say as I haven't finished it.
The characters are very well written, something the narrator couldn't take away from. I have high hopes for this book.
It is a profound story of India. Rushdie's use of language is poetic and magnificent.
Having read and listened to Salman Rushdie, I would only choose to read his work and I have read many. The mixture of fact and fantasy is not for everyone but I enjoy his work thoroughly.
I have reviewed this book as an audible. Now I will go back and read it.
Make sure you have long periods to listen, uninterrupted.
My commute to work used to be over an hour; now, it is 25 minutes which is too short a time for the richness and complexity of Rushdie's literary style.
Compelling Magical Realism
Although this story is set in the very real history of India and Pakistan, I most enjoyed the fantasy aspects that drove the story onward.
The size of this volume is daunting. I would never have been able to pick up and plow through this book. To hear Gregory read it to me got me through it. It took me a few minutes to adjust my ear to his accent, but once I got it, he was easy to listen to. In following along with the book, my wife did find a couple reading errors, but only one changed the meaning of the sentence.
These were characters I enjoyed reading about, but would not want to associate with. They all seemed very foreign and eccentric to me.
Rushdie has written a marvelous story that keeps you going throughout the book. I knew nothing of the history that is the setting for this story, so that was interesting. As much as I enjoyed the fantasy throughout the book, I found his images of the wars a bit disturbing, which just shows what a powerful writer he is. The book is definitely worth the time, and now I look forward to seeing the movie.
I would - and do - wholeheartedly recommend it!
There are SOOOO many simply fabulous, unique, entertaining characters, but, as it is told from the perspective of Saleem, and he is funny, smart, clever, confused, curious and every other appealing adjective you can think of, he wins my deepest affection.
No, but you can bet I will now! He performs this book as if he were channeling it - as if he were creating it. His different voices are wonderful. I really can't say enough about how terrific he is, so I won't even try.
Again, Saleem. Though, again, the 'pages' are peopled with such rich, fleshy, funny, sad characters that one could easily compile a list.
I really cannot recommend this highly enough. It is a world to get lost in - a world that often feels more real than the real world. I had heard so much about Rushdie's masterful writing, but I could not have imagined just how worthy he is of that praise. This book will last forever and I know I will listen again and again. Don't pass it up!
This man is one of the best narrators I've heard. He has a good dramatic voice and an understanding of English AND the Indian "varieties." His portrayal of women is as good as that of men, and he gave the different characters their own distinct voices.
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.