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Shalimar The Clown [Paperback]

Salman Rushdie
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

5 Oct 2006

Los Angeles, 1991. Maximilian Ophuls is knifed to death on the doorstep of his illegitimate daughter India, slaughtered by his Kashmiri driver, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the Clown. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidable intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former United States ambassador to India, and subsequently America's counter-terrorism chief. The murder looks at first like a political assassination but turns out to be passionately personal.

This is the story of Max, his killer, and his daughter - and of a fourth character, the woman who links them all. The story of a deep love gone fatally wrong, destroyed by a shallow affair, it is an epic narrative that moves from California to France, England, and above all, Kashmir: a ruined paradise, not so much lost as smashed.


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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 (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A brilliant symphony... Exceptional... One of Rushdie's best novels yet" (Independent)

"Extraordinary... Worth engaging with at every level; a thrilling story told in thrilling language" (Erica Wagner The Times)

"Shalimar the Clown is Rushdie's most engaging book since Midnight's Children. It is a lament. It is a revenge story. it is a love story. And it is a warning" (Jason Cowley Observer)

"Deeply disturbing and immensely moving... An exquisite, broken thing of pain and beauty" (Independent)

"Excellent... A characteristically daring walk along the tightrope of fiction" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical Rushdie 6 Dec 2005
Format:Hardcover
This novel is a tale of love and revenge, of paradise torn asunder and a cultural lesson on Kashmir. The story takes us through Europe during the second world war, India and Kashmir over large parts of the 20th century, and California in modern day. As much as the story enchants, it is sometimes surrounded by too many lessons from our author. But when it picks up speed during the second half of the book, it is captivating, and the final pages are impossible to put down. A worthy read, Rushdie's language is mesmerizing, at least when he sticks to the story...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art! 20 Jan 2007
By Sonia
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rushdie at his best 9 Oct 2006
Format:Hardcover
I read this a while ago with Amazon's special offer for shortlisted Booker prize authors. Like all his stuff it feels slightly surreal to start with, then as he pulls the curtains back on the scene you see a larger and larger context. I had read about the devastation of Kashmir but somehow this showed the complexity and the madness of it all, the rise of insurgence / extremism out of poverty when your beautiful country is being destroyed and you're caught between the monsters. The story line was compelling and the language as usual dry, humorous, rich, sardonic and made you quietly gasp in its understated description of horrific events both on a grand and personal scale. One of the best books I've read in a while.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art! 20 Jan 2007
By Sonia
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars back on form
After a period of time writing books which showcased his superb written skills but were about not much in particular (Fury, The Ground Beneath Her Feet), Rushdie returned to form... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cole Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Rushdie
It has to be said, there is no-one to hold a candle to Rushdie when it comes to quality modern english language fiction. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dillon the Villain
3.0 out of 5 stars As Kindly As Possible...
Rushdie has the great knack of precising characters into about three paragraphs and letting them flow. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dan Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Writing on Air.
This has been my first reading of a Rushdie novel. Overall, I found it engaging and thought-provoking. Read more
Published on 22 Feb 2012 by Fusionfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, compelling book on Kashmir's tragedy
This is Rushdie at his very best, and I am surprised that (a) it's not been more widely recognised and (b) that the book has not caused more controversy. Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2010 by Jezza
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Rushdie as we know him
This book is the magical Rushdie as his readers know him - fabulous language and literature and a compelling story. Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2010 by Stein Claudia Dr
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, maybe the best Rushdie novel so far
People said things so beautifully in the other reviews, that I cannot add much else. I can only say that I read the novel many months ago, and the words are still etched in my... Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2008 by Shantimar
5.0 out of 5 stars Crimes of Passion
Let me first just say that this is a wonderfully magnificent novel told by a master storyteller and that every sentence is richly woven and a pleasure to read. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2008 by G. Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Rushdie at his best:
This is storytelling magic of the highest order: whirlwind story and characters that stay with you long after you have finished the book (hell, the character of Shalimar will burn... Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2007 by F. X. Dessioux
2.0 out of 5 stars Abandon all hope
This is the story of a serial killer driven by unremitting hatred for his wife, her lover and their child, set in the context of the destruction of Kashmir by the Indo-Pakistan... Read more
Published on 11 July 2007 by Pipistrel
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