Because I've never been a baseball fan, I'd been putting this novel off for, yes, decades. When I uncovered my now yellowed and unopened paperback, I thought, "Do I really want to read this?" Then I figured I'd check to see if it was an audiobook and promptly ordered it.
The book itself is not up with the dozen or so "classic Roth" that merit him a long overdue Nobel Prize but certainly should not be overlooked. And, right upfront, you will never, but never, encounter a performance like that of James Daniels. You could never deign to call it a "reading." Daniels virtually becomes each character, dozens of voices, accents, styles. I really didn't want it to end and it was Daniels, more than Roth, that made me feel this way
The topic is marvelous and the lecturer superb. All that stuff you wish you'd paid more attention to when you were younger: key writers like James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Proust; art movements from post Impressionism onward; philosophers, cultural anthropologists, psychologists (Freud, Jung); up through the post Modernists. Professor Kramer finally explained Derrida and Lacan and worth, as they say, the entire price of admission
Highly highly recommended
Unfortunately, quite a few people abandon Satanic Verses in book form as being "incomprehensible" and strangely "flat." The problem is that although "Verses" is a difficult book, rightly compared with the complexity of Joyce's "Ulysses," it's not "impossible" by any means. It simply needs to be read aloud.
Each of the very memorable characters has a unique accent, coming as they do from different parts of India, the U.K., and even (for one brief moment) the U.S. To try to read these without an accent takes away much of the joy of this book.
Actor Sam Dastor is probably the world's expert on Indian accents and from the first minutes of the audiobook (definitely listen to the sample!) you know you'll be in for a treat.
Yes, the novel is complex. Yes, you may need to check the plot outline on wiki, or even consider a study guide (not needed but probably would add a lot). However, as Satanic Verses progresses and characters transmogrify into angels and goats, and a goddess with her butterlies guide a devoted village to a very wet redemption, you'll also see how this novel offended every fundamentalist Muslim on the planet and remains banned in every Muslim country except the secular Turkey.
If you were once put off by this very important book, by all means download the audiobook and prepare yourself for a good time
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