Customer Reviews for

Joseph Anton: A Memoir

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Moments ago, I turned the last page of Salman Rushdie's memoir,

Moments ago, I turned the last page of Salman Rushdie's memoir, Joseph Anton. I started it around September 20th and it took me until December 17th, to finish (investing, on average, about an hour-and-a-half of reading per day). Some will consider this a long book (656 ...
Moments ago, I turned the last page of Salman Rushdie's memoir, Joseph Anton. I started it around September 20th and it took me until December 17th, to finish (investing, on average, about an hour-and-a-half of reading per day). Some will consider this a long book (656 pages), but at no point in my journey did it seem overwritten or garrulous. Some memoirs tend to indulge in dull personal matters or mundane reminiscences, but not this one (Martin Amis wrote a particularly boring memoir that I found hard to finish; it turned out to be an 'experience' I could have done without). By the very nature of his circumstances, Rushdie's is a harrowing and riveting tale, and this made it all the more exciting to read.

Please ignore the low-starred reviewers below; I doubt they have the ability to read any long book. Most people also seem to forget the purpose of a memoir when they describe its author as name-dropping, self-aggrandizing solipsists. In a memoir, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO NAME NAMES. I want to know about Rushdie's literary friends, the movie stars he dated (Meg Ryan), and the places he has been to. What else do you expect? It's a memoir! At no point did Rushdie sound overly self-serving or whiny. He went through absolute hell for more than ten years of his life, all for writing a book that was perceived to be an insult to a ghastly and tyrannical religion. I think he has a right to complain a bit about the way he was treated by both the extremists abroad and the feeble British government at home. Despite this, he gives great credit to his protectors, the members of A Squad, and to all those to reached out to help during these troubling times. But he also shines a bright light on the toadies who attempted to cast him as a despicable devil in this whole ordeal. The British Press, Cat Stevens, John le Carre, Penguin Group; all of their positions were given a fair review and presented so that the reader can reach his/her own conclusions about who was in the wrong. Rushdie does not shy away from his own personal failings, nor does he try to sugarcoat anything. He reveals his personal faults that led to the end of his four marriages, but he also presents his side of the story effectively.

If you don't want to hear about personal stories, literary jet-set circles, or someone's opinions on various issues, than don't read their memoir. If you are looking to learn more about one of the greatest authors of the 20th and 21 centuries, than check out Joseph Anton.

posted by Isles on December 18, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Too long and self-indulgent

Rushdie's book is too long by at least one third. Do we really need to read the guest list at every party he attended, especially since most of the folks he mentions are from England and hardly known in this country. Too much repetition about the security that helped h...
Rushdie's book is too long by at least one third. Do we really need to read the guest list at every party he attended, especially since most of the folks he mentions are from England and hardly known in this country. Too much repetition about the security that helped him survive. Not enough information about his marriages, which is perhaps the only really interesting material in the book.
It is also seriously marred by his use of the third person rather than the first person.
This is a good book to skim so you can skip the considerable uninteresting portions. .

posted by 3706922 on October 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Recommended

    This lengthy book varies from engrossing to tedious at times. Its message, that freedom of speech and writing is important and should be more important than fear of offending, is compelling.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Over long but well worth the read

    An inspiring and at times reflective and indulgent memoir.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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