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Publisher's Summary

Few writers living or dead have received the monumental acclaim that has been accorded to Salman Rushdie for his richly textured, superbly crafted works. The Enchantress of Florence once again demonstrates the author's unparalleled mastery of his craft.

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Rich and haunting

This book is a feast of language. Textured, intense, and lyrical, especially as read by this narrator, the prose resonates. The characters are certainly memorable and their stories capture the imagination, but it is the depth of the language that brings this book repeatedly to my mind at odd moments and makes me want to read or listen to every other novel Rushdie has ever written.

There are "easier" books out there. If you're looking for an action yarn or a bit of romantic fluff, look elsewhere. If however you want something that enriches you, that is worth the time you spend with it, and that will keep you sitting out in the car just to hear a little more of the magic, consider listening to this.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An absolute delight

This book is more accessible to a Western audience than many of Rushdie's. And the satire is less bitter than some of his more famous works (Midnight's Children and the Satanic Verses). The story line will be of particular interest to those fascinated with late 15th and early 16th Century (global) history.

It is not his best book. My personal favorites are Shalimar the Clown and Fury. But it is his most delightful -- enchanting in fact.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Enchantress of Florence ... Why?!

So much writing talent devoted to such highly embellished and extremely well written meaninglessness. Way too much pointless detail, unending sentences (phrased to death), and mountains of fully spelled out Florentine and Hindustani names. With full respect for Rushdie's phenomenal abilities, I nevertheless suggest that there is too much talent thrown at too little substance. A real disappointment, and unending!

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sally
  • Orcas, WA, USA
  • 07-12-08

Trying too Hard

While this is a reasonably good listen, it struck me again and again that Rushdie is simply trying too hard. One person's art may be another's pretention, but this struck me as the latter. The uneven production and narration didn't help.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Linda
  • chicago, IL, USA
  • 02-28-10

Bad Narration

This is a difficult book to follow. It is not helped by a narrator who makes every sentence a declarative statement with awkward pauses. His style reminds me of grade school when we had to sit through each kid reading a paragraph out loud.
I've attempted to listen to this a few times over the last 6 months. It's too annoying. I make sure I listen to the sound samples very carefully now.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Erica
  • Princeton Junction, NJ, USA
  • 01-17-10

A delight to the senses

I listened to this book while driving over the drab Pennsylvania turnpike, and Rushdie's attention to detail, his sparkling vision of Hindustan, gave me a vision of splendor as I crossed the state. When reading the Enchantress of Florence you smell what the characters smell, see what the characters see, and feel what they feel. A beautiful, sad, journey back to a different age where you cross a continent and delight in the colors and scents of different cultures in a different time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book is mesmerizing. The language, the story, and the characters kept me fascinated throughout. Beautifully told and magical throughout.


9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Teresa
  • 07-30-08

Wish I could get my money back

This book covers some of my main areas of interest, so I was very surprised that I couldn't get into listening to it. I've started it several times, but can't stay engaged. I listen to many audio books each month and usually complete them and listen to the more entertaining ones again, but this one just didn't pull me in. Perhaps it is the writer's elaborate style. If you are similar to me and like fact filled, straight forward historical fiction with an intriguing plot, you might want to look elsewhere.

12 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Rushdie: GGMarquez Wannabe

What a lame load of signature male fantasy! More or less like Marquez, Rushdie goes far to demonstrate how deeply the fantasy of a silent, obedient, sexually available automaton is the sine qua non of his imagination. This basic datum is moved from one exotic locale through time and space, but never progresses to anything worth reading. Pathological.

13 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Really disappointed.

I have not read any Rushdie's books. I know one of his books was banned in the 80's by certain Muslims. Death threats were made and he was under police protection in England at one time. This book in my opinion was not readable. I wished I had read some of his other books before being introduced to his writing with this book. I probably wound read any of his other works. I did respect and admire his prose at times, but the tale is...not to my taste or interest. I had trouble following the story or caring about most of the characters. Even the historical figures. I couldn't finish. I read to chapter 12 and gave up.