Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Rushdie, Salman "Midnight's Children"


Rushdie, Salman "Midnight's Children" - 1981

I love to read books that challenge my brain. However, I found this one extremely hard to follow. Apparently, this book has been nominated the "Booker of Bookers", it's supposed to be the best Booker prize winner of the first 25 years.

What I really liked about it was that the life of our protagonist mirrored that of the Indian nation since its independence. Even though I have read several books about India and its history, there was still a lot of information in there that I hadn't heard about. The book certainly is a very peculiar mixture of historical fiction and magic realism in a way I haven't seen this before.

It is certainly worth reading but you have to take your time to take it all in. Maybe then you will be able to fully understand this quote: "Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each 'I', everyone of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world."

I also think you have to be ready for this book. It is very intense and touches so many subjects, so many parts about yourself, you can't read it in between anything else. I usually read about four or five books at a time, I couldn't with this one and even after that, I wasn't able to read for a while.

A difficult book - but very gripping, it's totally worth picking up.

From the back cover: "Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India's independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other 'midnight's children' all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem's story is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirrors the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious."

6 comments:

  1. I started it, but couldn't keep going g, as you said I may have not bee ready for it.

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  2. I started it, but couldn't keep going g, as you said I may have not bee ready for it.

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  3. I too was defeated by this book the first time I tried to read it, but mostly I feel it was due to my ignorance about India and its history. I will conquer it someday!

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  4. I am glad I was not the only one who had some trouble with this book. But it certainly is worth it. Read some other books about India first, maybe it will be a little easier then. I highly recommend "A Suitable Boy" but there are a few other good ones on my list.

    Happy Reading,
    Marianne

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    Replies
    1. Excellent advice! I have A Suitable Boy on my shelves.

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    2. That's a great coincidence. I really loved the novel, it's a "chunkster" but one of the best.

      Happy Reading,
      Marianne

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