- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"I was raised neither a Catholic nor a Jew. I was both and nothing: a jewholic-anonymous, a cathjew nut, a stewpot, a mongrel cur. I was -- what's the word these days? atomized. Yessir: a real Bombay mix." So says Moraes Zogioby, known as Moor, the narrator of The Moor's Last Sigh. Salman Rushdie's first novel in seven years is his best work since 1980's brilliant Midnight's Children. Moor, who has a disorder that causes him to age at twice the normal speed, is the last surviving member of a crazy clan of wealthy South Indian spice merchants. He tells their insane, incestuous, violent domestic saga, which spans four generations. It centers on his beautiful mother, Aurora da Gama, a stubborn, passionate, Christian artist who, at 15, falls in love with the handsome Abraham Zogioby, a penniless, 35-year-old Jewish employee of her family. They marry and have four children: Ina, Minnie, Mynah and Moor. Betrayal, murder, and mayhem ensue.
Rushdie, the author of nine previous books -- including The Satanic Verses, which prompted Ayatollah Khomeini to issue his death sentence in 1989 -- alludes often to his own exile, the story of modern India and the dangers of art. At first the hyperbole, didactic asides, verbal puns, lyrical and lewd jokes, and slapstick routines seem a bit much, but if you stick with it, a cumulative magic takes hold. Rushdie's satiric, hysterically funny, political family tragedy is a masterpiece. -- Salon