Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Salman Rushdie, Illustrated by Paul Birkbeck

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  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 196mm x 15mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 25 March 1993
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140366504
  • ISBN 13: 9780140366501
  • Sales rank: 6,513

Product description

Haroun's father is the greatest of all storytellers. His magical stories bring laughter to the sad city of Alifbay. But one day something goes wrong and his father runs out of stories to tell. Haroun is determined to return the storyteller's gift to his father. So he flies off on the back of the Hoopie bird to the Sea of Stories - and a fantastic adventure begins.

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Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 16 Jul 2013 5

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is Salman Rushdie's fifth fiction book, and his first children's novel. He dedicated this book to his 10-year-old son Zafar, from whom he had been separated for some time. The story concerns Haroun, the son of storyteller, Rashid Khalifa. Rashid is described as the Ocean of Notions, the Shah of Blah. When a tragic event stops the flow of his father's stories, Haroun sets out to rectify the situation. In a journey that involves mechanical birds and blue-bearded Water Genies, Plentimaw Fish and Floating Gardeners, a King, Prince and Princess, Pages and Shadow Warriors, heroes and nasty villains, Haroun is faced with numerous challenges and learns much. This is a charming children's story that has much to offer adults. As an allegorical tale, it appears to comment on bureaucracy: "...a skinny, scrawny, snivelling, drivelling, mingy, stingy, measly, weaselly clerk...."; and "....P2C2E, a Process Too Complicated To Explain...". Coming not long after the publication of The Satanic Verses and the ensuing fatwa, it comments, too, on freedom of speech, independent thought and imagination, and censorship. Finally, it is a story about the love between a father and son, this being reflected in the dedication to Zafar. There are poems and puns to bring a smile to the lips; wordplay and pleasing repetitions that will have readers of every age chuckling. Delightful allusions to works as varied as Alice in Wonderland, The Beatles' songs and the Tales of a Thousand and One nights abound. I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it more than any other Rushdie book I have read so far, and I look forward to his next children's book, Luka and the Fire of Life.

Editorial reviews

A professional storyteller, the Shah of Blah, loses his gift of the gab and his son sets out to restore it to him. This is a delightful fairy tale that both comments on the writer's extraordinary circumstances and provides a child's insight into the nature of art. (Kirkus UK)