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)
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.
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