The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses

3.7 (58,097 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Just before dawn one winter’s morning, a hijacked aeroplane blows apart high above the English Channel and two figures tumble, clutched in an embrace, towards the sea: Gibreel Farishta, India’s legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 560 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 35mm | 383g
  • London, United States
  • English
  • 0
  • 0963270702
  • 9780963270702
  • 6,692

Review Text

This controversial novel, banned in India for its alleged blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, is a surreal hallucinatory feast. Rushdie (Midnight's Children; Shame, etc.), long a magical realist, turns finally to Islam for his jumping, off point, and his inventiveness never flags. Satan, according to an epigraph by Defoe, has no fixed place to settle, and the difficulty of telling good from evil, the way that one reincarnates into the other, is the theme of this epic tale - which contains stories within stories, dreams within dreams. It begins with the explosion of a hijacked jumbo jet; Gibreel Farishta, a Bombay movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, an exile who lives in Britain, survive their free fall from the plane. Gibreel then presides over the dream/stow worlds of his `arehangelic other self` after he and Saladin are transformed into angelic or satanic opponents. (They are never certain which is which.) The central story concerns Mahound, the Prophet of Jahilia who founds the religion of `those who submit,` which parallels Islam; another is about Ayesha, a contemporary visionary who leads a group of villagers to the sea, where she promises that the waves will part before them (they all drown, of course); yet another dream-story involves the Imam, a sort of grim Ayatollah. Such a summary does the book a disservice, however, because all of these stories and many others besides are woven together with cross-references, psychic communications, brisk farces and satires, and interconnected picaresque. Rushdie does for Islam what Mark Helprin did (a little less successfully) for New York in his Winter's Tale: peoples it with fantastic figures that always seem close to some ineffable imaginative truth - even as Rushdie fast-cuts to the next scene in his phantasmagoric dream-time world. Whether it all finally holds together or not is almost beside the point: this is an entertainment in the highest sense of that much-exploited word. (Kirkus Reviews)
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About Salman Rushdie

Rushdie, Salman
Salman Rushdie is the author of fourteen novels - Grimus, Midnight's Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, Luka and the Fire of Life, Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights, The Golden House and Quichotte (which was shortlisted for hte Booker Prize) - and one collection of short stories: East, West. He has also published four works of non-fiction - Joseph Anton, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and Step Across This Line - and co-edited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.
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Rating details

58,097 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 28% (16,492)
4 34% (19,669)
3 23% (13,356)
2 9% (5,418)
1 5% (3,162)
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