The Ground Beneath Her Feet

The Ground Beneath Her Feet

3.76 (9,379 ratings by Goodreads)
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Vina Apsara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earthquake and never seen again. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks and again finds her, over and over, throughout his own extraordinary life in music. Set in the inspiring, vain, fabulous world of rock'n'roll, this is the story of a love that stretches across continents, across Vina and Ormus's whole lives, and even beyond more

Product details

  • Paperback | 592 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 40mm | 381.02g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099766019
  • 9780099766018
  • 94,230

Review Text

The blessings and curses of fame, the seismic character of sociopolitical change, and the dream of transcending our earthbound natures are the commanding - though scarcely only - themes of this brilliant epic reimagining of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, by the internationally acclaimed and reviled author of The Satanic Verses. Photojournalist (and "event junkie") Umeed, a.k.a. "Rai" Merchant relates in a stunningly flexible, observant, and wry narrative voice the story of the volatile enduring love binding two Indian-born musical superstars: coloratura rock singer Vina Apsara and composer-performer Orpheus Cama. That story begins in the late 1980s when Vina perishes in an earthquake (one of this novel's recurring symbolic events); backtracks to describe, in luscious comic detail, Vina's violence-haunted American childhood, Orpheus's youth among a prominent Parsi family ruled by his Anglophilic scholar-athlete father "Sir Darius" (a magnificently drawn character) and shaped by the contrary fates of two sets of twin sons (one of whom becomes a notorious mass murderer), and Rai's own confused relations with them both. The narrative then surges forward to 1995, after Vina's apparent "reincarnation" has ironically confirmed Orpheus's messianic conviction that "There is a world other than ours and it's bursting through our own continuum's flimsy defences," and, in a way Rai could not have foreseen, this Orpheus and Eurydice are reunited. No brief summary can accurately convey this astonishingly rich novel's historical, religious, mythological - and, not least, pop-musical - range of reference, or the exhilaration of Rushdie's mischievous transliterations of world history (Oswald's gun jammed; Borges's Pierre Menard really did write Don Quixote). It's a brash polyglot symphony of colliding and cross-pollinating "worlds"; a vision of internationalism that echoes and amplifies the plea for obliterating our differences so prominent in Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh (1996). An unparalleled demonstration of a great writer at the peak of his powers. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

"A ground-breaking work... Rushdie turns our century of celebrity and atrocity inside out. He makes you see the world in a new light" Time Out "The first great rock 'n' roll novel in the English language" The Times "Uniquely exhilarating...Salman Rushdie once more proves his mastery... His sheer linguistic energy is a delight" Sunday Telegraph "A carnival of words...a triumphant hymn to the transforming power of love" The Timesshow more

About Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of eleven novels, one collection of short stories, three works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the Best of the Booker, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its forty year history. The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des more

Rating details

9,379 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 28% (2,614)
4 35% (3,292)
3 26% (2,412)
2 8% (796)
1 3% (265)
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