The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses

3.6 67
by Salman Rushdie
     
 

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Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two men-Gibreel Farishta, the biggest movie star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years-plummet from the sky. Washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, they proceed… See more details below

Overview

Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two men-Gibreel Farishta, the biggest movie star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years-plummet from the sky. Washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, they proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations.

The Satanic Verses is a wonderfully erudite study of the evil and good entwined within the hearts of women and men, an epic journey of tears and laughter, served up by a writer at the height of his powers.

Author Biography: Salman Rushdie is the author of seven novels: Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, and The Ground Beneath Her Feet. He has also published one work of short stories titled East, West and four works of nonfiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz, and Mirrorwork (co-edited with Elizabeth West). His books have been published in thirty-seven languages.

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Editorial Reviews

Michiko Katukani
The Satanic Verses is less concerned with history than with the broader questions of good and evil, identity and metamorphosis, race and culture. . . .There is a fine story somewhere in this volume — that of Saladin and his attempts to define a self that might embrace both the present and the past — but it doesn't take 500-plus pages to tell. — The New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Banned in India before publication, this immense novel by Booker Prize-winner Rushdie (Midnight's Children) pits Good against Evil in a whimsical and fantastic tale. Two actors from India, ``prancing'' Gibreel Farishta and ``buttony, pursed'' Saladin Chamcha, are flying across the English Channel when the first of many implausible events occurs: the jet explodes. As the two men plummet to the earth, ``like titbits of tobacco from a broken old cigar,'' they argue, sing and are transformed. When they are found on an English beach, the only survivors of the blast, Gibreel has sprouted a halo while Saladin has developed hooves, hairy legs and the beginnings of what seem like horns. What follows is a series of allegorical tales that challenges assumptions about both human and divine nature. Rushdie's fanciful language is as concentrated and overwhelming as a paisley pattern. Angels are demonic and demons are angelic as we are propelled through one illuminating episode after another.
Library Journal
When a terrorist's bomb destroys a jumbo jet high above the English Channel, two passengers fall safely to earth: Gibreel, an Indian movie actor, and Saladin, star of the controversial British television program, 'The Alien Show.' The near-death experience changes them into living symbols of good and evil -- Saladin grows horns, Gibreel a halo. From this fantastic premise Rushdie spins a huge collection of loosely related subplots that combine mythology, folklore, and TV trivia in a tour de force of magic realism that investigates the postmodern immigrant experience. (Why does an Indian expatriate feel homesick watching reruns of 'Dallas'?) Like Rushdie's award-winning novel Midnight's Children, this invites comparison with the miracle-laden narratives of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. -- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
From the Publisher
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel

"Fuelled by the author's roaring prose and negotiated via his own culturally divided self, the novel is a comedic wonder, at once silly and serious, generous and provocative.... The Satanic Verses is at large, unrepentant and unreformed, a model less of artistic liberty than of excellence. The novel is also coming to resemble more a foundational work of the 21st century than anything from an earlier time." Charles Foran, The Globe and Mail

"A glittering novelist—one with startling imagination and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling."  V.S. Pritchett, The New Yorker

“A staggering achievement, brilliantly enjoyable.” Nadine Gordimer

“A torrent of endlessly inventive prose, by turns comic and enraged, embracing life in all its contradictions. In this spectacular novel, verbal pyrotechnics barely outshine its psychological truths.” Newsday

“Rushdie is a storyteller of prodigious powers, able to conjure up whole geographies, causalities, climates, creatures, customs, out of thin air.” The New York Times Book Review

“Exhilarating, populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary...a roller-coaster ride over a vast landscape of the imagination.” The Guardian

“A novel of metamorphoses, hauntings, memories, hallucinations, revelations, advertising jingles, and jokes. Rushdie has the power of description, and we succumb.” The Times (UK)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812976717
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/11/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
561
Sales rank:
75,203
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Salman Rushdie
What is being expressed is a discomfort with plural identity...We are increasingly becoming a world of migrants, made up of bits and fragments from here, there. We are here. And we have never really left anywhere we have been.

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