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Shalimar The Clown Paperback – 5 Oct 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099421887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099421887
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'a dazzling workout for the brain'
-- The Guardian, 19 October, 2006

Book Description

'This is Rushdie at his most flamboyant best' John Sutherland, Financial Times

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Salman Rushdie’s novel “Shalimar The Clown” begins with the dedication for the author’s Kashimiri grandparents and is, basically, about Kashmir, about Hindu-Muslim relationship in the area, about the artists and cooks village of Pachigam, about two youngsters Muslim Shalimar the clown and Hindu beauty dancer Boonyi, about their love, inter-religious marriage, Boonyi’s betrayal, Shalimar’s revenge, and then, also, Indo-Pak war because of Kashmir. It’s a book about reality, about destroyed values, the book that goes deep into ones soul, involving everything life can involve and, as if, smiling through tears at life’s total absurdity. The author masterfully pictures the way life is, opens characters’ souls, showing their ambitions, dreams, expectations, jealousy, love, lust and hatred. The story of the novel, the message sent through the novel, the way the novel is written and author’s knowledge – all was pretty shocking to me. Technically, the novel is very harmonious which was very satisfying to read and every phrase and sentence seemed to be worth learning by heart, taken as the words of wisdom or just written on the walls of one’s room. Although the story is about Kashmiri people, about what was happening in Kashmir and India (and about Europe in WW2 and today’s LA), for me it seemed like a story about humans and humanity, no matter which religion or continent they belong to, solving the great questions of being.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
With a rich and strongly descriptive style reminiscent of Midnight's Children, Rushdie tells the tale of a love affair gone wrong, polluted by conflict, lust, and betrayal.

The story takes places in different parts of the world, each described so vividly and in such detail that the reader is under the illusion of really being present.

Rushdie introduces a great number of exotic and interesting characters, whose life stories seem nothing but entertaining on the surface but are in fact full of symbolism.

This book, like all of the novels I have read by Rushdie, has multiple dimensions. On the surface it is a tale of a love affair tainted by betrayal and with horrific consequences. On a deeper level one finds the story of Kashmir, a beautiful region torn between Pakistan and India, losing its identity and its natural beauty in the conflict. The third dimension is that of the human struggle, what human beings might or might not do in the face of betrayal and oppression, feeling the need to redefine themselves, obtaining new goals and identities in order to survive and face up to their fate.

This book has left me with a deep impression of Kashmir, and with a sense of sadness for the loss of its beauty in the face of violence. Rushdie has touched me to the core with this novel.
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Format: Paperback
This has been my first reading of a Rushdie novel. Overall, I found it engaging and thought-provoking. The flawed emotional relationships of the main characters - for example, between Shalimar and Boonyi, a love mutating into a right of possession - has parallels with the cynical, geopolitical context within which much of the action takes place, i.e. the despoiling of Kashmir.

I found the novel to be a demanding read, in that the Kashmir elements, in particular, are infused with countless cultural and historic references, the pronunciation of which fell hard upon my unfamiliar Western ear. More generally, the reader must also be tolerant of swathes of narrative summary.

There is extensive use of magical realism, engendering an allegorical tone to the story-telling. However, the imagery is excellent throughout and the use of language masterful.

One aspect of the writing I found grating was the author's extensive use of casual English (that is, mainly American idioms) in representing the speech of Kashmir villagers. For example:

`... the two of them would sing their magic songs:

Lo, the wild young girl has her mild young guy,
Save them, God, from the evil eye.'

This stylistic choice marred my enjoyment of the long section named after the village girl Boonyi.

The ending of the novel is certainly very strong, pulling together the strands of the imaginative plot.

Four stars from me.
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Format: Paperback
With a rich and strongly descriptive style reminiscent of Midnight's Children, Rushdie tells the tale of a love affair gone wrong, polluted by conflict, lust, and betrayal.

The story takes places in different parts of the world, each described so vividly and in such detail that the reader is under the illusion of really being present.

Rushdie introduces a great number of exotic and interesting characters, whose life stories seem nothing but entertaining on the surface but are in fact full of symbolism.

This book, like all of the novels I have read by Rushdie, has multiple dimensions. On the surface it is a tale of a love affair tainted by betrayal and with horrific consequences. On a deeper level one finds the story of Kashmir, a beautiful region torn between Pakistan and India, losing its identity and its natural beauty in the conflict. The third dimension is that of the human struggle, what human beings might or might not do in the face of betrayal and oppression, feeling the need to redefine themselves, obtaining new goals and identities in order to survive and face up to their fate.

This book has left me with a deep impression of Kashmir, and with a sense of sadness for the loss of its beauty in the face of violence. Rushdie has touched me to the core with this novel.
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