Good satire of Islam and Muhammad but the other 16 hours or so is confusing and uninteresting. If you're interested in why this book caused so much controversy like I was, just YouTube "Christopher Hitchens Islam." His 30 minute lesson will save you money and time.
Story: Very odd story. The mixing of a current day South Asian actor and the Prophet in his times. I see why Iranian leaders placed a price on his head for irreverent humor. I think the strongest element in the book is the imagery and imagination. I do not know the source of his inspiration and I never knew where he was going. I glad I read it finally and it was exploration of his South Asian - British world. I am not sure I would read it again and I doubt they will make it into a movie ... for a while.
Reader: Very good.
Production: Very good.
First, Rushdie has great command of the language and can paint pictures with words in a masterly way. Unfortunately, while word painting may sustain a 3-hour book, a 21-hour slog requires some kind of coherent plot, and that's patently missing from this book. There are characters, in fact way too many of them; and there are stories, quite a few of them too. You never know which of them are dreams, which are imagined, which are real, which are delusions of the mentally deranged. In the end all you're left with are the verbal images, and no meaning or purpose at all.
Second, the reader Dastor is tremendous. He does the Indian voices superbly, even the Indian-as-he-attempts-to-assimilate-to-British, with such nuance and razor-sharp clarity, it's a joy to listen to. He really allows Rushdie's florid language to come to life, and he does a great job distinguishing those far-too-common lengthy parenthetical clauses from the sentence which they interrupt.
I really wonder if this book would have even been a blip on the radar if not for the Ayatollah's decree against Rushdie. I literally forced myself to push to the end because I expected at some point there would be an explanation, a clarification, but none was ever presented and I ended up just as befogged as ever. I will not attempt any more of Rushdie's books (this was my second).
I cannot express how much I loved this audiobook. the narration was versatile, crisp, well paced, dynamic, and wonderfully performed. the text itself is imaginative, compelling, deft, and in turns hilarious, irreverent, awe filled, and tragic. will definitely listen to again.
I've been wanting to read this novel for a long time. It's complex and reader be warned, do not read if you are not educated in Islam or if you do not like post modern works! I loved it but it's a very difficult book to read. It helps if you have studied Islam or the Middle East (just a suggestion). Rushdie is an incredible writer and truly unique.
I am not familiar enough with the Muslim religion to understand what all the controversy about this book was about but I thought I'd give it a try to see why it would bring a Fatwa (death threat) to the author. Having waded through the book, I still don't know.
The whole thing is like a very long, very confusing dream which is both hard to follow and hard to understand and I often lost interest.
The one thing about the book that is outstanding is Rushdie's use of the English language, although it may be a bit too scholastic.
The narration is also excellent considering the difficulty of the text. The only flaw is that, although his other accents are really good, Sam Dastor's American accent is a bit laughable...
Rich and complex, a dazzling and sometimes dizzying network of stories.
Incredible performance as well. Voice and voices being such a crucial instrument of the characterizations and plotlines, the reader breathes additional life into the prose.
Remember to read this book in defiance of those who would have murdered its author and who would deprive you of the right to read and think what you will.
most of the book was very beautifully written and very profound. However, it was much longer than it needed to be. There were times I wish it had focused more on the main characters than on so many other side stories. I feel like the book needed a lot of editing. Also, Sam Dastor's narration could be a little silly at times which ruined several emotional scenes. Good book overall but realize you're in for a long ride.