This book is fascinating at times but you better have wikipedia ready and, more so, a knowledge of world religions. Especially, as a listen, where you can't really (or at least on my little ipod shuffle) stop and linger over confusing passages, this book is very difficult to comprehend. For example, after the plane crash, when he shifts right to Jahilia, I thought I had literally lost my place in the novel.
I really loved the twang of the various dialects. Rushdie is a genius of language and Dastor reads amazingly.
I loved the way Jabril spoke to Saladin.
If there was a movie of this book it would start world war three!
My incredible, life long educator, fiercely agnostic, grandmother, since past, was a great admirer of Rushdie. I wanted to try him out. For now I have no plans to go on reading him. I need folks like Franzen, Irving, TC Boyle, and Eugenedes. Maybe when I've reached a more scholarly level I'll get more out of the work of this brave and masterful writer.
Yes sir! The story is fantastic, the writing is majestic and the narration is flawless. So why I heck wouldn't I?
The beautiful mixture of fancy and reality. It's like the spicy Chinese noodles with a touch of vodka ...Delicious! Leaves you wondering what was real and what was not. Throw in the typical Salman Rushdie sense of humor and you've got a classic in your hands.
It was my first book on Audible and only after completing the novel did I realize that all voices were done by a solitary person and I was taken aback. Sam Dastor is that good! Indian accent, British accent, American accent, Persian accent, females, children, old people - he does it all incredibly well and smooth.
If I had to choose one character though it'll be Gibreel Farishta, his accent is pretty humorous.
Zeeny Vakil sounds hot! I wouldn't mind Allie, Pamela, Ayesha or even Gibreel and Saladin - they're all extremely interesting characters.
Knowledge of India and Islam is crucial or you'll miss out on a lot of jokes and references.
I haven't read the text version but can only imagine imagine that the print version is far more superior.
The book was very deeply layered and complex and can't say one particular moment stood out.
Sam Dastor's performance was great for every single character and made the book possible for me to read. For me it was so complex that reading it on my own I would have taken weeks to finish.
After hearing Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie & narrated by Sam Dastor, I felt I HAD to listen to this book and see what all the fuss was about. I remember the hubhub about the book when it first came out, but I never gave it a thought to pick it up and read it. Good thing I didn't back then, I would never have finished it. The names, I would have constantly stumbled over them. But maybe the story line would have been easier to understand in print?? The listen was extemely hard to follow. As best as I can tell, it follows the main characters through several of their "other lives" & how they are interwined through eternity?? I am just not sure. But Sam Dastor made the listen interesting. It was fun hearing him spout off all those Indian names like he lived there and then change accents to fit the characters. It was also very interesting to hear how Indians talk to each other. My only experience has been the overly polite version on the other line when you call tech support or at the gas station (sorry...do not mean to offend.)
I listened through the entire thing, hoping for understanding. But it was confusing. I have to confess I just did not get the book. Nor do I get what all the drama was surrounding the book. It is just a book about ficticious characters. Whatever evil slams there were against Islam probably just went over the heads of most readers (as it did mine). So what was the big deal?
Because parts of this were quite fascinating, while still confusing the heck out of me, I do hope this is made into a movie. Maybe seeing what is going on will help to understand it. The book is a part of history, whether you agree with it or not. It is important to read & understand, then appreciate all that Mr. Rushdie endured to get it published. Kudos to him for sticking it out! I don't know that I would have had the fortitude.
I realized I had never experienced a book that was not only positively reviewed but created a world-wide controversy. This book didn't generate any excitement for me. Perhaps it's me.
I wonder if everyone loved it.
the premise of this story is interesting but the author delivers it with too many asides and flashbacks making it hard to follow. the narrator does a excellent job of differentiating the various characters. I suspect that the many seeming mispronounced proper names was the doing of the producers but not having read the print version cannot say for certain.
You know the type, they are the loudest critics and yet have never even seen the movie or read the book which they are lambasting. I am ashamed to say that I vaguely remember condemning Salman Rushdie and this book without reading it in 1989, thinking he should have known better than to offend the Ayatollah. I wish I had been wise enough to condemn the fatwā which called for Rushdie's death. I wish I had been courageous enough to stand up for freedom of speech. Well now I have read The Satanic Verses and I loved it. No wonder Rushdie and Christopher Hitchens were friends. Rushdie and write! This is a bizarre story no doubt but so entertaining. There are a few good lessons buried in there too. I highly recommend the book. I'll be reading more of Rushdie's work. And I will be reading the books and watching the movies before passing judgment on them in the future.
Humorous, tragic and poignant. Superbly written, exceptional narration. I would recommend this to anyone who respects satire and does not view religion too seriously.
I'm no genius, nor am I a fool. However, this is a tough book to take on, whether in paper format or audio book. It's hard to make out which bits are supposed to be "reality", which bits "dreams" and which bits mental illness or just social comment. The writer has a complicated and at times almost impenetrable writing style which I found very difficult to get my head around. I'd recommend you ask the author which of the dozen or so works he called upon to create this epistle, and which you should read first, before embarking on this roller coaster of a book.
There's a lot of good comedy in this book, which breaks up the tougher bits. But, undeniably, you need to read about the author, his background, and influences before you take this on. He expects you to know everything he knows, or you'll have no chance at all of getting much out of it.
So, maybe a book for literary experts. Certainly not for the faint hearted, and not to be consumed in isolation, without some fairly deep background reading.
The storyline is somewhat difficult to follow, but the lyrical narration and a colorful conceptual pastiche of British and Indian life makes it as enjoyable as it is thought provoking. What eventually came out as controversial is really more so about implications and dog whistles, not so much any deliberate provocation on Rushdie's part. There is no moral lesson, religious or anti-religious (unlike Sarmago, for instance). Anyone with an interest in religious studies, Indian colonial history, or the tensions between West and Middle-East should check it out. I am an infrequent dabbler in fiction, but the historical significance of Rushdie's life is undeniable. In terms of style, one might say it blends the philosophical potency of Dostoevsky with the surrealism of Spanish fiction, to explore areas of culture and religion that are as rich and fertile as ever, but avoided because of interwoven taboos.