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Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories

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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 of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its ...
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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.

The author of The Satanic Verses returns with his most humorous and accessible novel yet. This is the story of Haroun, a 12-year-old boy whose father Rashid is the greatest storyteller in a city so sad that it has forgotten its name. When the gift of gab suddenly deserts Rashid, Haroun sets out on an adventure to rescue his print.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571196937
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.01 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2003

    About haroun.....

    Exquisite book. Filled with beautiful and happy things.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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