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Midnight's Children Paperback – 18 May 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (18 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099578514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099578512
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Salman Rushdie is the author of many novels including Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury and Shalimar the Clown. He has also published works of non-fiction including The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz and, as co-editor, The Vintage Book of Short Stories.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Before Salman Rushdie had that problem with a certain religious-political figure with a serious need to chill out, he'd already shown he was an important literary force. Quite simply, Midnight's Children is amazing--fun, beautiful, erudite, both fairy tale and political narrative told through a supernatural narrator who is caught between different worlds. Though it's a big book, with big themes of India's nationhood and of ethnic and personal identity, it's far from a dry history lesson. Rushdie tells the story in his own brand of magical realism, with a prose of lyrical, transcendent goofiness.

Review

"'Salman Rushdie has earned the right to be called one of our great storytellers.' Observer"

"'Huge, vital, engrossing... in all senses a fantastic book.' Sunday Times"

"'The literary map of India has been redrawn... Midnight's Children sounds like a country finding its voice.' New York Times"

"'A brilliant and endearing novel.' London Review of Books"

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Neil Kealey on 18 May 2007
Format: Paperback
Like many, I intially read this at University and didn't really enjoy it, but there is a huge gulf between reading and studying and when I came across it again on a forgotten book shelf I thought, "Well, it won the Booker of Bookers, I must've missed something." With this in mind, I read it again and oh, my goodness, I'm glad I did. I certainly missed something. Actually, I missed rather a lot (and not just lectures).

Midnight's Children deserves a place alongside One Hundred Years of Solitude as one of the finest examples of Magic Realism. It is allegorical, reflecting India's development as a country and more loosely Rushdie's own childhood, but the books stands up as a piece of writing in its own merit. The writing is vibrant; the (many) characters are well-observed; the humour is delightful; and the story is melancholy and touching in places but is stuffed with examples of Rushdie's elegant style.

To me, it is more than just an allegory for the birth and development of a nation, it is more than a great piece of writing; Midnight's Children has become an evocative depiction of how we seek to find things to lift ourselves from the futility of existence, to separate ourselves from the normal. By way of example, I give you Saleem's birth. It is normal in every way apart from the accident of timing that gives the book its title but it's the way he uses this accident of timing to lift his existence away from the mundane that I love.

Finishing this book left me hollow and a little lost. In short, I loved it and have subsequently read it again and again. Rushdie has done nothing that matches this. I doubt he, or anyone, can.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Im only 16 and wanted to see if I would handle a Rushdie piece of work. I grabbed this book at the airport before a trip to India and was at once surprised and exasperated. I did find it difficult and had to re-read many passages to try and comprehend what Rushdie was saying. But the idea, writing and ending were superb and Im glad I stayed with it, although as this has been described as one of Rushdie's "easier" novels to read I think I'll stay away from him for a few years yet!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alex Magpie on 29 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
Rushdie's writing style is incredibly dense and rich making the going quite slow (especially considering this is no mere slip of a volume!). If you appreciate complex writing and don't need to necessarily finish a book in the space of a train journey you may enjoy Midnight's Children. Some of the other reviewers have criticised Rushdie's writing style as being too interruptive of the narrative and giving the game away. This may seem difficult for most Western readers to grasp but is following the traditions of Indian literature (and especially oral traditions). Rushdie's authorial comment adds to the sense of doom building in the novel.
Having said that the end is quite a let down in some respects- many of the characters are built up never to be heard of again and the operatic sense of fate is never fully executed.
This is still worth a read though if you like a taxing, mind-bending book even if it is flawed in the reading.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By scjackson3 on 26 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
Four and a half stars.
This was my first Rushdie book. A multilayered, multifaceted book. The story of "Saleem Sinai, later variously called Snotnose, Stainface, Baldy, Buddha and even Piece-of-the-Moon.." who was born at midnight, the precise moment of independence for his country, India. And 'thanks to the occult tyrannies those blandly saluting clocks" he was "mysteriously handcuffed to history". His story is the immortalisation of his memories, the "chutnification of history", "the pickling of time". It is the story of a nation finding it's identity, of impressions and memories, of people and events, of families and more.
But it is Rushdie's fantastical, magical prose that brings the book to life, colours, sights and especially smells, like you've never experienced before. It is not necessarily an easy read, for at least the first fifty pages I couldn't get it, but then something clicked and I just immersed myself in the wonderful text. Some of the passages I read again and again to savour the intricacies. It won't be everyone's idea of a good read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe that I will enjoy it more when I come back the second time.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 1999
Format: Paperback
Whilst it is through 'The Satanic Verses' that Rushdie has received most of his media and public attention I feel that it is around this book that any literary praise should be centred. It is this book that won the 1981 Booker Prize (and was subsiquently voted "Booker of Bookers") and it is in 'Midnight's Children' that the reader sees the true mastery of Rushdie's writing. His ability to blend magical fantasy with the stark realism of Post-colonial India is breath-taking; the dexterity with which he manipulates the english language is stunning.
It seems that this novel is often overlooked because of the controversy surrounding 'The Satanic Verses';whilst I am the first person to review this book, there are 13 reviews for the Verses. I strongly recommend that anyone thinking about reading Rushdie starts with 'Midnight's Children'. It is a novel drenched in the atmosphere of India which draws you into the centre of the sprawling continent. In my opinion, it is Rushdie's great, although often forgotten, masterpiece.
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