From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.
In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub-Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor's office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.
Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.
Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia's children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights - or two years, eight months, and 28 nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.
Inspired by the traditional "wonder tales" of the East, Salman Rushdie's novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today's world. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.
©2015 Salman Rushdie (P)2015 Random House Audio
"In his latest novel, [Salman] Rushdie invents his own cultural narrative - one that blends elements of One Thousand and One Nights, Homeric epics, and sci-fi and action/adventure comic books...." (Publishers Weekly)
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
"This is a story from our past, from a time so remote we argue, sometimes, about wither we should call it history or mythology. Some of us call it a fairy tale. But on this we agree: that to tell a story about the past is to tell a story about the present. To recount a fantasy, a story of the imaginary, is also a way of recounting a tale about the actual. If this were not true then the deed would be pointless, and we try in our daily lives to eschew pointlessness whenever possible."
- Salman Rushdie, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.
"In the end, rage, no matter how profoundly justified, destroys the enraged. Just as we are created anew by what we love, so we are reduced and unmade by what we hate."
- Salman Rushdie, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.
Probably 3.5 stars. Don't misunderstand me. I liked the book. I liked its playfulness. The mixture of high and low, of jinn and man, of future telling its past. I loved how it streaks across 1001 days (or nights), a strange myth of the time of strangeness told 1001 years later. How it mixes Harry Potter with Henry James. I loved the cartoon versions of Obama, al-Qæda, etc.
So, yes, it really was a fun read and if these 290 magical realist, baggy, non-linear pages were birthed by some freshman IEL writer just out of some MFA lamp, I would probably call it a great 4-star book, but this is Rushdie dammit. This is the guy who wrote Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses. You will always be graded by your progeny and against your siblings. Rushdie and his books are no exception. His standard is set and the standard is pretty damn high, so three dark stars for this book, and perhaps one star trapped in some blue bottle somewhere.
It's easy to get carried away in the stream-of-conscious flow of writing while it is being narrated to, but It would have been nice to able to go back and forth recalling the many names of characters in this book.
I did finish it in two sittings.
This is definitely going to be a book I will listen to again. There is so much philosophy being mixed into a clever "fantasy" novel. This is my first book by Rushdie and I know I will be checking out the Satanic Verses.
Just another twenty-something who listens to books instead of interacting with the outside world.
This was my first Salman Rushdie book, and after reading it I purchased Satanic Verses and The midnight children with my own money. I never do that, I blew my book budget for the month because I just had to hear more from him. They way he weaves a tale is mind blowing, it's truly incredible. My only problem is that sometimes I had to rewind because I had missed something, which shows how much I love this book because I HAD to understand what was going on at all times. It's not the kind of book that you can listen to while doing other things, you have to immerse yourself in the strange and wonderful world to get the full effect, a good book for a long car ride. I really cannot praise this book enough.
Say something about yourself!
Beautifully written, imaginative story but overly-inflected narration in a broad American accent distracts from the story and the style. My advice: skip the audio and buy the book.
Great book. Unlike Rushdie's usual books in that it's not depressing and is optimistic for a better world. A bit too long though.
However, the narration leaves much to be desired. The broad American accent takes away from the intended experience and atmosphere of the book. And the God-awful (and quite racist) faux-Indian accent that begins the third chapter almost made me return the book.
The idea is brilliant but it goes on and on and on. Without the perfect performance I wouldn't have endured half of it.
I was expecting better for the hype this book generated. I made it through and to be truthful Mr. Rushdie's writing style is brilliant at times but I was underwhelmed.
Sure, but not for the reasons I'd expected to when I first read the premise of the book. I've heard of Rushdie, of course, and had expected great things from this novel, even though I'd read a few reviews describing it as "middle of the road".
Where once I had imagined I'd be recommending a fascinating tale by a notoriously well-respected author, I would now recommend it as an interesting worldbuilding exercise.
The tone of the book, for better or worse, is fairly detached and clinical. If there'd been more emotional investment in either the story or the characters, it might have gripped me more.
I haven't heard any of Mr. Slade's other works, unfortunately.
Bottle Up Your Fears...
Hated: The pretentious philosophizing, disjointed story-within-a-story-(sometimes within yet ANOTHER story)-telling, flat (and sparse) dialogue, utterly complete lack of connection with even one character, and the disgusted feeling of having wasted money and hours of my life on this sorry excuse for a novel. Liked: finally being done and over with it. (Just to be clear, I love fantasy novels, so it was not the ludicrous nature of the plot that was a problem for me.)
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