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Shame Hardcover – 8 Sep 1983


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; First edition (8 Sep 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224029525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224029520
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 671,293 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

"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." -- Malcolm Bradbury, "The Guardian" "A pitch black comedy of public life and historical imperatives." -- "The Times" "From the Trade Paperback edition."

About the Author

Salman Rushdie is the author of ten novels, one collection of short stories, three works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the Best of the Booker, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its forty year history. The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 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 Sep 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D Burin on 1 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Released between the critically acclaimed 'Midnight's Children' and the hugely controversial 'The Satanic Verses', Rushdie's 'Shame' is a book which has been largely forgotten and overlooked in recent years; but is it a novel which can stand toe-to-toe with Rushdie's best? Not really. The novel centers, unsurprisingly, around the idea of shame, weaving a self-consciously uncertain, and often fragmented tale of upper class Pakistani life, but also of the cruelties, suppression and rumour of a country which has seen it's fair share of conflict. There are flashes of Rushdie's brilliance in the book, such as in his exploration of the martyrdom of the wrongly revered former President Iskander Harappa, and in his discussion of issues like censorship, but too often the book stumbles. Rushdie's treatment of the brain-damaged Sufiya Zinobia is perhaps the novel's biggest mis-step, a bizarre story which seems to link her deficincies to evil, and by rumour, transforms her into a mythical white panther. The mystical elements of Rushdie's novels has rarely seemed so poorly used.

On the whole, 'Shame' is a work with definite promise, and some interesting explorations of the danger of restrictions on social freedoms, as well as a curious, and in-depth exploration of the issue of Shame itself, but this is a novel which never quite finds its footing, and passages of the book seem both akward, strange, and even rather dull. For Rushdie fans, there's enough here to make this a worthwhile, if rather frustrating read; but for the uninitiated, this is far from Rushdie's best work, and probably not the place to start.
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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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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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