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Midnight's Children [Paperback]

Salman Rushdie
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

18 May 1995
Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India's independence, and found himself mysteriously 'handcuffed to history' by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent - and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times. Through Saleem's gifts - inner ear and wildly sensitive sense of smell - we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast, colourful background of the India of the 20th century.

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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: 3.8 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,179 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.


"'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"

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
122 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to live with... 18 May 2007
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, but Im glad I stayed with it 14 April 2001
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich, vibrant and symbolistic- shame about end 29 Jan 2003
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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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words cannot describe... 14 Mar 2007
Once upon a time I used the words `great' and `masterpiece' with frivolous regularity. Then I read Midnights Children. Salman Rushdie works on a different scale to other authors, seamlessly blending the magical and the realistic, enhancing and supplanting accepted history, and illuminating his tactile world to all. He is first and foremost a storyteller who juggles plots and ideas with consummate ease, building a tapestry of flawed heroes and three dimensional characters. He writes with such a conversational narrative voice that is a pleasure to sit back and wallow in his half real, half magical worlds. Common perception of Salman Rushdie is of a dense and unreadable author, for literary buffs rather than general readers. This is not true though his individual style takes some getting used to. If you have never read any Rushdie, start with his more recent work such as Fury to get into his groove. Once you have done this then grab this book, sit back and prepare to enter the magical world of the children of Midnight, eternally tied to the fate of their fledgling nation. You will not be disappointed.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a fantastical-magical great read 26 Nov 2002
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars history and humour
took a while to get into but it grew on me - pssibly not so interesting to those who are not old enough to remember the main event.
Published 7 days ago by Barbara
2.0 out of 5 stars requires a determined reader to finish! - what cannot be cured must be...
I love pickles and chutney, but the majority of the pickle and chutney contained in the jars of this book are unpalatable. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Miss R Kapila
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, but can take time to get into
It's easy to see why Midnight's Children is such a classic.

However, I found that I need some head space to give it the attention it deserves initially. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Janet
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Great story to read, something I don't think I would have read before my University degree, but so glad I did. I also watched the movie which was brilliant.
Published 26 days ago by Honeybun
1.0 out of 5 stars bad
I hated that book it was crap I can't believe I got that because it was so so bad you know
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars hard going
I found this book immensely hard to get into. Tried a few times and just abandoned it in the end :(
Published 4 months ago by Monica Crisp
5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight's Children
A rich novel that is a thousand and one little stories, full of life and character.

Some people don't get on with Rushdie's unconventional narrative style, but those who... Read more
Published 4 months ago by David Brookes
2.0 out of 5 stars Pointless But Thinks It's Profound
A writer's job is to tell a story, to express something worth expressing, to reveal truth... etc. This book however, fails to do these things: it is written in such a convoluted... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kublai
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
It starts off with a fabulous chapter and doesn't let up for 350 pages. Unforgettable characters, mild manners and brilliant pictures, Mr. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dan Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
Rushdie's use of language is unusual and takes a little getting used to, but the whole is superb and well worth the effort.
Published 5 months ago by its ali c
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