Inextricably linked with the fatwa called against its author in the wake of the novel’s publication, The Satanic Verses is, beyond that, a rich showcase for Salman Rushdie’s comic sensibilities, cultural observations, and unparalleled mastery of language. The tale of an Indian film star and a Bombay expatriate, Rushdie’s masterpiece was deservedly honored with the Whitbread Prize.
The story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.
©1988 Salman Rushdie (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
"No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable." (Amazon.com review)
"A rollercoaster ride over a vast landscape of the imagination." (The Guardian)
"A masterpiece." (The Sunday Times, London)
The reader did an amazing job with accents from all over the globe. Even so, I just found that I couldn't keep track of what was going on and eventually gave up. It's a really long book. After a while, it felt like I was just slogging through, not really paying attention. I have a feeling that if I had seen the names of people from India/Pakistan instead of hearing them, I might have had an easier time keeping track of them. Maybe one day I'll try again and update my evaluation.
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 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.
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.
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