In the imperial capital of the Mughal Empire, a traveler arrives at the court of Emperor Akbar. The traveler, Mogor dell'Amore, has a tale to tell, and as the words flow out of him, the tale's rich tapestry of power and desire begins to take on a life of its own. Fueled by the urgency of his narrative and its growing effect on his audience, the traveler paints a vivid portrait of faraway Florence, a beautiful enchantress, and the infamous figure of Niccolò Machiavelli.
Winner of the Booker Prize, Rushdie delights all those who revel in literature of sublime achievement. Narrator Firdous Bamji matches the author's exquisite prose with a reading that conveys the full breadth of this lovingly detailed novel.
©2008 Salman Rushdie; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
“This is ‘history’ jubilantly mixed with postmodernist magic realism.” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books)
“A romance of beauty and power from Italy to India . . . so delightful an homage to Renaissance magic and wonder.” (Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World)
"Ingenious...[a] sparkling return to form." (Publishers Weekly)
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
It would be best to describe The Enchantress of Florence as a historical fantasy set during the time of the Italian Renaissance and the Mughal rule in India. I won???t mention many of the real people and events that appear in Rushdie???s history so that you can have the fun of discovering them for yourself, but we meet a diverse cast of characters who seem unlikely to belong in the same story (e.g., Elizabeth I and Vlad Dracula).
The narrator almost made me give up in the first couple of chapters, but I stuck with it and it smoothed out enough that I mostly enjoyed the story. Or perhaps I should say that I enjoyed the story telling. As for the plot itself, it was loose and unfocused and often gave the impression that its goal was to encompass multiple obscure historical events and personages ??? and to incorporate them into Rushdie???s themes ??? rather than to tell a tightly crafted tale.
But I liked Rushdie???s style, so I pressed on. And then the end came??? and I absolutely hated the ending. It was rushed, bizarre, and unsatisfying ??? like the story got away and required more than Herculean efforts to bring it back in line, so Rushdie just slit its throat and let it die quickly, gurgling and wheezing as it went.
Overall I suppose I enjoyed 80% of Salman Rushdie???s The Enchantress of Florence so, to misrepresent the philosophy of one our main characters, I???ll say that perhaps the means justifies the end. This novel contains much insight, humor, and artistry, and this alone ??? not the plot or its conclusion ??? made the journey worthwhile.
When I finally made it to the end I asked myself why. I still have no idea why I did not give up sooner. Too many names, places, repeated names and repeated places. On and on...
So wordy and delivered in a pretentious monotone! I am thoroughly disappointed in this book. It is expensive too! I wish I had never downloaded it. What a wasted credit.
The book is ok. It isn't one that I would chose as a favorite. It has a lot of bad language and the storyline wasn't what I thought it was going to be base summary.I'm not saying it is a bad book it just isn't my type of book.
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