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“A mixture of science fiction and folktale, past and future, primitive and present-day . . . Thunderous and touching.”
After drinking an elixir that bestows immortality upon him, a young Indian named Flapping Eagle spends the next seven hundred years sailing the seas with the blessing–and ultimately the burden–of living forever. Eventually, weary of the sameness of life, he journeys to the mountainous Calf Island to regain his mortality. There he meets other immortals obsessed with their own stasis and sets out to scale the island’s peak, from which the mysterious and corrosive Grimus Effect emits. Through a series of thrilling quests and encounters, Flapping Eagle comes face-to-face with the island’s creator and unwinds the mysteries of his own humanity. Salman Rushdie’s celebrated debut novel remains as powerful and as haunting as when it was first published more than thirty years ago.
“A book to be read twice . . . [Grimus] is literate, it is fun, it is meaningful, and perhaps most important, it pushes the boundaries of the form outward.”
–Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Sir SALMAN RUSHDIE is the multi-award winning author of eleven previous novels--Luka and the Fire of Life, Grimus, Midnight's Children (which won the Booker Prize, 1981, and the Best of the Booker Prize, 2008), Shame,The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown and The Enchantress of Florence--and one collection of short stories, East, West. He has also published three works of non-fiction: The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 and Step Across This Line, and coedited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. His memoir, Joseph Anton, published in 2012, became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. It was praised as "the finest memoir...in many a year" (The Washington Post). His books have been translated into over forty languages. He is a former president of American PEN
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
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "Grimus"
Copyright © 2003 Salman Rushdie.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
1. Why does Flapping Eagle drink the elixir that makes him immortal? What are the consequences of living forever?
2. How would you describe the world of Rushdie’s novel? What does it remind you of? What elements make it otherworldly?
3. In the epigraph Rushdie quotes T. S. Eliot: “Go, go, go, said the bird; human kind/Cannot bear very much reality.” What does this tell you about the novel and about Flapping Eagle?
4. Grimus has been described as a quest novel. What is Flapping Eagle seeking? Does he find it?
5. What are the roles of Virgil Jones and Dolores O’Toole? What kind of guides do they make?
6. As Flapping Eagle makes his way up the mountain of Calf Island, what does he learn about Grimus and the Grimus Effect? Who is Grimus?
7. At the novel's end, how would you describe Flapping Eagle's achievements?
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