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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    398
  • 4 Stars
    237
  • 3 Stars
    198
  • 2 Stars
    99
  • 1 Stars
    75

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    480
  • 4 Stars
    213
  • 3 Stars
    111
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    48

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    344
  • 4 Stars
    191
  • 3 Stars
    190
  • 2 Stars
    79
  • 1 Stars
    73
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DWR
  • Minnesota, USA
  • 12-10-15

Had a hard time getting through this one...

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...

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

40 hours of pain

it was very difficult to make it all the way through this confusing and tedious survey of mental health.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a lyrical thicket of narrative

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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

good but bloated

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth All the Hype

Huge, sprawling, and at times confusing, I absolutely adored this book. Mr. Dastor brought it masterfully to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautifully written, and read, book.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. I was swept up with the fantastical story. Will definitely recommend this.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Scatterbrain

I don't see what all the fuss is about.
Too much jumping around for me. There is no problem but problem!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Such a good performance.

This book is very beautifully written book, and so clever. The reader though, makes it really come alive as well, he's seriously perfectly suited to this book. I've listened to a whole lot of audiobooks, and this is one of the best readings I've ever heard.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anthony
  • Norwalk, CA, United States
  • 02-10-15

I wouldn't listen to it again

The Satanic Verses is a book that I can say would have not been noticed had it been ignored by those who were offended by the material at the time.

Because of my lack of knowledge, I cannot really say that I understand the complete controversy. But, what I can say is that I probably wouldn’t re-read the book again. The story is fiction. But, it’s not that interesting to me to warrant re-reading it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

What did you love best about The Satanic Verses?

The narration is beautiful, it really makes the story come alive.

What did you like best about this story?

It's complexity and characters.

Have you listened to any of Sam Dastor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first.

If you could rename The Satanic Verses, what would you call it?

Voyage.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend it.