Saturday, January 24, 2009

Book Review #2- Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie-Best of the Booker Prize Winner
Pages: 533 (someone asked me about this so I'd thought I'd add it to the review)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction

Wow! Rushdie did an amazing job of weaving this story together with threads of fantasy intertwined with history. It is about a boy born on the midnight that marks India's independence. The Prime Minister sends a letter to the family talking of how this boy's life will reflect the life of the country. (Talk about pressure to be successful!) It is told from the main character's,Saleem Sinai, point of view as he reflects on his life and the saga of his family and his country. Rushdie somehow goes back and forth from the past to the present without missing a beat, sometimes in the same paragraph. One critic says "Rushdie's prose snaps into playback and flash-forward..." His writing is very descriptive, yet fast paced. His punctuation, or lack of, is not distracting and adds to the pace and energy of the story.

A few of my favorite passages:

"Things-even people-have a way of leaking into each other," I explain, "like flavors when you cook. Ilse Lubin's suicide, for example, leaked into old Aadam and sat there in a puddle until he saw God. Likewise...the past has dripped into me."

She had become a prematurely old, wide woman...she lived within an invisible fortress of her own making, an ironclad citadel of traditions and certainties.

What remnants of guilt fear shame, pickled by time in Mary's intestines, led her willingly? unwillingly? to provoke the aged bearer in a dozen different ways-...

What tiny grain of grit, in the sea of old age now washing over the old bearer, lodged between his lips to fatten into the dark pearl of hatred-...

I have become, it seems to me, the apex of an isosceles triangle, supported equally by twin deities, the wild god of memory and the lotus-goddess of the present...but must I now become reconciled to the narrow one-dimensionality of a straight line?

I could have marked and dog eared just about every page. Long, but definitely worth the read.

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