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Shame Paperback – 18 May 1995

23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (18 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099578611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099578611
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,757 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

Review

"Salman Rushdie has earned the right to be called one of our great story tellers" (Observer)

"There can seldom have been so robust and baroque an incarnation of the political novel as Shame. It can be read as a fable, polemic or excoriation; as history or as fiction... This is the novel as myth and as satire " (Sunday Telegraph)

"Shame is every bit as good as Midnight's Children. It is a pitch-black comedy of public life and historical imperatives" (The Times)

"Salman Rushdie is a magnificent writer. He has a free-ranging imagination and a coarse, strong wit. He attackes language with energy and without constraint" (Independent)

"Shame is and is not about Pakistan, that invented, imaginary country... The theme is shame and shamelessness, born from the violence which is modern history. Revelation and obscurity, affairs of honour, blushings of all parts, the recession of erotic life, the open violence of public life, create the extraordinary Rushdie mood" (Guardian)

Book Description

A masterful combination of history, myth, art, language, politics and religion from this legendary writer.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "gen_williams" on 21 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
Someone else who reviewed Shame on this site said that the book is a struggle if you don't know anything about Pakistan. I studied this book on my university course and, having no prior knowledge about Pakistan whatsoever, found it by far the most enjoyable, captivating and enlightening book on our course.
It was the first Rushdie book I read [I've since sought out other novels by him]. The character threads and plotlines throughout the novel are complex and tangled, but distinctive and engrossing enough to keep the reader on track. Rushdie's unmistakeable writing style, which seems to appeal highly to some and repulse others, struck me as nothing short of ingenious; knowledgeable and informed without being condescending, humourous without being silly, and informal without being trivial; one has the sense of having a story told verbally to them by a wise and well-travelled uncle with a twinkle in his eye and a wandering memory prone to spinning off on charming tangents. Hugely enjoyable, and like nothing I've ever read before.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Though Rushdie begins the novel by introducing his hero, in a casual, Henry Fielding-style, and sets out what seems to be the main theme of the book (namely shame and embarrassment in the Islamic faith and culture), this book is never so simple. The narrative follows both numerous secondary characters, the hero never wholly central, in a winding but entertaining yarn which takes in as much Pakistan's own invented history as it does it present and the lives of the characters. Yet the interest of the reader is always held; the plot, though winding, never ceases to be fascinating in its endless blind alleys and diversions.
In the novel postmodernism is embraced fully; the past and present intermingle, and the narrative changes its focus throughout. Rushdie seeks to reconcile himself with Pakistan and his own Muslim upbringing in India and Britain, drawing heavily from his own life and from Pakistan's history. It is also Rushdie's answer to his critics, no doubt, as rather than ignoring Islam he challenges it and in particular there is a feminist aspect to the story. Rushdie shows himself to be at once a great writer in a the 'classic' tradition and a progressive and enlightened man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Brueckner-Schunk on 9 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I re-read Rushdie's novel now against the background of his 'Joseph Anton', and it is surprising how farsighted this book appears today. Many details seem to be foreshadowing, although, of course, they are not.
Apart from this, I love - as I did some 25 years ago - the colouring (or should I say seasoning?), the constant surprises (though I should not be surprised, really), the 'oriental' story-telling with its western breaks.
Three mothers to one child? - no problem!
Ali Baba's cave as a gigantic brothel for the in-laws of one family? - what an idea!

This book is sheer delight.

Thomas Brueckner
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By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Shame is the third novel by Salman Rushdie. The narrator tells us novel is and is not about Pakistan. The main characters are Omar Khayyam Shakil (who represents shamelessness), Raza Hyder (read Zia-ul-Haq), his daughter Sufiya Zinobia (who represents shame), Iskander Harappa (read Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) and his daughter Arjumand Harappa, the virgin Ironpants (read Benazir Bhutto). Once again written in magical realism, the plot loosely follows events leading up to the reign of Bhutto and then the coup by Zia. A political novel, it sent me off to Wikipaedia to fill in my sorely-lacking background knowledge of these events in Pakistan. Not the epic length of Midnight's children or of later novels, it is filled with satire, cynical intrigue and black comedy. Rushdie, as always, demonstrates his mastery of language and keeps the reader engaged to the last line.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a well researched and brilliantly written novel which would be of interest to anyone linked to Pakistan. Rushdie has a very playful narrative style which provides some comic relief as well as keeping the story from becoming monotonous.

The novel itself is about the reasons for Pakistan's struggles; still coming to terms with post colonialism, the effects of partition, conflict of the islamic religion, hostilities between west and east Pakistan, westernised elites leading the country. All these themes are encapsulated by the extremes of shame and shamefulness.

I have heard from some reviews that the book can be enjoyed without understanding the history of Pakistan. This may well be true but I do feel that you will get the most out of this book if you have an interest in the history and politics of Pakistan.
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Format: Paperback
An interesting tale of Pakistan, and one that is still relevant today especially in the aftermath of the Bhutto assassination. Bhutto appears in the book as the Virgin Ironpants and doesn't receive a favourable reception. However few characters in this novel do, when reading this one can feel Rushdie's vitreous hatred for almost everybody.

The story tells of Pakistan between its military coups. Whilst all names have been changed and personalities turned into charactures it is still easy to see for anyone with a passing knowledge of Pakistani history to see who they represent. For all Rushdie's faults, of which there are many, no one can deny his skill as a writer. He writing is exceptional and his books contain many humorous incedents.
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