Luka and the Fire of Life

  • by Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by Lyndam Gregory
  • 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Honored with almost every conceivable award for literary merit, Salman Rushdie penned this richly imagined fable for his son—and for book lovers the world over. From Rashid’s fertile intellect spring bedazzling tales his son Luka devours with a child’s earnestness. But when Rashid succumbs to an unending sleep, Luka must enter a magical world ruled by video-game logic.


What the Critics Say

A celebration of storytelling, a possible prequel to the book Rushdie is said to be writing about his own enforced “slumber,” and a colorful, kick-up-your-heels delight." (Kirkus Review, starred review)
"Luka and the Fire of Life is a beautiful book. Well-written (obviously), imaginative (astonishingly so) and wonderful in the way it builds heartfelt magical fiction for kids who love video games: It's like a bridge, built between generations, fabulous and strange and from the heart." (Neil Gaiman)
"A book that can reach out to meet and move and touch a reader at any time of the reader's life, from childhood to middle age and beyond, is a rare and magical book, and Salman Rushdie is a rare and magical writer." (Michael Chabon)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An artful fantasy/mythology/video game mashup

I wish I could read this as a twelve year-old. It would send me scurrying to find the myriad sources of the storyteller's material, filling a summer with wonder and delight. Rushdie's literary fantasy video game seems capable of seducing a kid away from XBox or PSP and enriching a young imagination as it explores the treasure trove(s) from which the writer has conjured teasing glimpses and succulently baited hooks. Amerindian demigods; deities from every age and corner of the globe; named natural powers of wind and sea and fire; all play their parts in an extraordinary embroidery of tale and myth. As a child, I would have tracked them all down in their original settings and then reread Luka's adventure with deep satisfaction and pleasure.

For an adult reader the tale is perhaps a trifle overwrought. I could not help but wonder at the amazingly comprehensive cast of characters. Still, I found the narration, which is quite in keeping with the world of the twelve year-old auditor, a bit too wide-eyed and breathless for an adult listener, and the cavalcade of mythical beings became a little wearisome by the end. This even while under the influence of Rushdie's superb prose style.

I suspect, however, that I will find myself reading this book to a grandchild in bedtime installments sometime in the future. So three stars boosted to four in anticipation of that greater pleasure yet to come.

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- David "Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike."

Magical & Haunting

The reading was so interactive and enthusiastic that I found myself wanting to continue listening far into the night, even after I found myself being dragged into exhausted sleep. Well done, all!
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- Kamilah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-24-2010
  • Publisher: Recorded Books