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Unfortunately, quite a few people abandon Satanic Verses in book form as being "incomprehensible" and strangely "flat." The problem is that although "Verses" is a difficult book, rightly compared with the complexity of Joyce's "Ulysses," it's not "impossible" by any means. It simply needs to be read aloud.
Each of the very memorable characters has a unique accent, coming as they do from different parts of India, the U.K., and even (for one brief moment) the U.S. To try to read these without an accent takes away much of the joy of this book.
Actor Sam Dastor is probably the world's expert on Indian accents and from the first minutes of the audiobook (definitely listen to the sample!) you know you'll be in for a treat.
Yes, the novel is complex. Yes, you may need to check the plot outline on wiki, or even consider a study guide (not needed but probably would add a lot). However, as Satanic Verses progresses and characters transmogrify into angels and goats, and a goddess with her butterlies guide a devoted village to a very wet redemption, you'll also see how this novel offended every fundamentalist Muslim on the planet and remains banned in every Muslim country except the secular Turkey.
If you were once put off by this very important book, by all means download the audiobook and prepare yourself for a good time
49 of 49 people found this review helpful
A near perfect novel. I loved the writing. I loved the characters. I loved how Rushdie was able to master Heaven and Hell, saint and sinner, the welkin and earth in this dreamlike exploration of what it means to be an immigrant, an angel, a saint and a sinner. At times he writes like a post-modern satirist cum Pynchon, then suddenly he melts into his best post-colonial Achebe, and then off again on his magical realist, literary carpet à la Gabriel García Márquez. Rushdie's writing is a mountain you don't climb down, you fly off.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful
When a novel causes international political turmoil, we have to read it. Purely as a literary work, it was a treat. There was a great rythme and poetry to the novel. It examined the boundary of sanity, caused by internal brain chemistry and also by external tramatic experience. It also examined religion with all its results. The political fallout, I can see the catylist, assumming you are an extremist who thinks any non orthodox views are worthy of death.
The two main characters where a mixure of Indian resident in Britain and an Indian visitor to Britain. The extra flavour of the story told from their perspective was what made the worth the second read!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful