Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Haroun and the Sea of Stories

4.2 44
by Salman Rushdie
     
 

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Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Salman Rushdie's classic children's novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as Gulliver's Travels, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. In this captivating adaptation for the stage, Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source…  See more details below

Overview

Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Salman Rushdie's classic children's novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as Gulliver's Travels, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. In this captivating adaptation for the stage, Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following the unprecedented controversy generated by The Satanic Verses , Rushdie offers as eloquent a defense of art as any Renaissance treatise. Supposedly begun as a bedtime story for Rushdie's son, Haroun concerns a supremely talented storyteller named Rashid whose wife is lured away by the same saturnine neighbor who poisons Rashid's son Haroun's thoughts. ``What's the use of stories that aren't even true?'' Haroun demands, parroting the neighbor and thus unintentionally paralyzing Rashid's imagination. The clocks freeze: time literally stops when the ability to narrate its passing is lost. Repentant, Haroun quests through a fantastic realm in order to restore his father's gift for storytelling. Saturated with the hyperreal color of such classic fantasies as the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland , Rushdie's fabulous landscape operates by P2C2Es (Processes Too Complicated To Explain), features a court where all the attendant Pages are numbered, and unfurls a riotous display of verbal pranks (one defiant character chants ``You can chop suey, but / You can't chop me!''; elsewhere, from another character: `` `Gogogol,' he gurgled. `` `Kafkafka,' he coughed''). But although the pyrotechnics here are entertaining in and of themselves, the irresistible force of the novel rests in Rushdie's wholehearted embrace of the fable--its form as well as its significance. It's almost as if Rushdie has invented a new form, the meta-fable. Rather than retreating under the famous death threats, Rushdie reiterates the importance of literature, stressing not just the good of stories ``that aren't even true'' but persuading us that these stories convey the truth. As Haroun realizes, ``He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real.'' (Jan.)
Library Journal
Rashid Khalifa, a renowned storyteller, has lost his touch. Once an ``Ocean of Notions,'' he is now ``The Shah of Blahs.'' Haroun, Rashid's son, embarks on an epic quest to restore his father's creativity. One of the problems is environmental: the pollutants of modern civilization have clouded the once-clear streams of story. Another is conspiratorial: the Union of Tight Lips, minions of the evil Khattam-Shud, confound communication by switching on rows of ``darkbulbs.'' Rushdie's first book since the controversial Satanic Verses ( LJ 12/88) is more a postmodern fairy tale in the style of Angela Carter or John Barth than a traditional novel. The story is allegorical rather than realistic, the characters emblematic and two-dimensional. Poignant parallels between Rashid's predicament and Rushdie's own situation are what hold the reader's interest. An amusing but lightweight entertainment. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/90.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch . , Los Angeles
Alison Lurie
Though there is darkness and silence at the center of Chup, most of Haroun and the Sea of Stories is full of comic energy and lively verbal invention. . . .Though [the book] is sure to be enjoyed by children, it also contains amusements for adults. -- The New York Times
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books

Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award

Praise for Haroun and the Sea of Stories:

"This is, simply put, a book for anyone who loves a good story. It's also a work of literary genius."—Stephen King

"I enjoyed this adventure story.…It involves you at once and keeps you reading, and so it should, for it’s from the same magic land as Sinbad, The Thousand and One Nights, The Golden Fleece."—Doris Lessing

"Fantastical, funny, whooping through drama and comedy, good and evil, introducing creatures delightful or frightening, this joyous and tender book is a whole Arabian Nights entertainment."
—Nadine Gordimer, The Times Literary Supplement

"A lively, wonderfully inventive comic tale . . . [Rushdie's] own Sea of Stories from which he drew this entertaining and moving book continues to flow as clear and brilliant as ever."
—Alison Lurie, The New York Times Book Review

Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:

"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
Fast Company

“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times

"Drool-inducing."
Flavorwire

"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."
Redbook

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140157376
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/1991
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
67,946
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.58(d)
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
15 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Salman Rushdie is the author of eleven 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, and Luka and the Fire of Life—and one collection of short stories: East, West. He has also published three works of nonfiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981–1991, and Step Across This Line, coedited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008, and published Joseph Anton: A Memoir. His numerous literary prizes include the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children and the Whitbread Prize for The Satanic Verses.

Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazine’s "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany & Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
June 19, 1947
Place of Birth:
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Education:
M.A. in History, King's College, University of Cambridge

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Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We read this book in my Literature of India and the Pacific class and I loved it! The fantasy aspects of the entire novel make it possible to be a children's book, but the underlying theme of censorship also makes it a novel for adults. An awesome book and I would recommend it to anyone! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book 7 + years ago as a high school Jr. and I still consider it one of my favorite books. Because this is a beautifull narrative of the challenges and achievements that life has to offer, I encourage any adult or child I encounter to read this story. You will remember this book and cherish the time you spent with these characters for years to come. Like all that have read this book, you will recommend.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I love this book so much! You HAVE to read to it!
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An amazing book!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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A beautiful story filled with many undertones and play on words; it easily lends itself to whatever the reader's situation may be and can be pure entertainment or enlightenment.
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Isolepis More than 1 year ago
This is a story with a child as a central figure. It can be read as a children's story, but it is much more. I believe it is Salman Rushdie's defense of his earlier fiction, especially that condemned by Islamic fundamentalists. It does not say anything specific about any religion. Religions simply exist in the background, like the ground, people or ideas.
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