16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 1999
Apparently Grimus was a flop when it was published. It shouldn't have been: maybe it was a cult hit, I don't know. It's Rushdie's first novel and about the only one that isn't about India, but it's still definitely a Rushdie book. It's an adult fairy tale about immortality and identity with a vivid plot and setting silhouetting some of the best fictional/mythological characters ever created:for example, a Russian aristocrat who was pregnant when she was made immortal, a brothel-full of prostitutes all with their own specialities, and the ugly, pathetic, heroic Virgil Jones. And the Gorf, an alien from a planet of game-obsessed rock-type things.
"The sands of time are steeped in new Beginnings."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Grimus is the first novel by Salman Rushdie and it has been described as a science fiction/fantasy novel. The main character is an Axona Indian, Flapping Eagle, who drinks an immortality elixir and, after living for 777 years, 7 months and 7 days, proceeds through some sort of dimension gateway to a strange place called Calf (Kâf) Island, inhabited by a community of bizarre immortals. Intent on regaining his mortality, he sets out to scale the mountainous peak, to find and destroy the source of the Grimus Effect.This novel does have the wordplay, puns and the original character names that Rushdie is known for, but these are not as clever or as numerous as in his later novels. Nor is the quality of the prose anything like that of later works. When interviewed, Rushdie said about this novel ".......... the writing was garbage--sometimes clever garbage, but garbage nonetheless. I think that also goes for Grimus. To me, it doesn't feel like my writing. Or only fitfully. It makes me want to hide behind the furniture." Much of the symbolism went over my head. Whilst not as good as his later offerings, this novel was interesting to read with the hindsight of knowing what his later novels achieved.
on 16 July 2008
This is such a surprising and engrossing book. It was my first Rushdie read and wiped away any preconceptions I had of him. A majestic blend of science-fiction and folk-lore, with deftly painted characters that you can believe in and an admirable economy of words. The story sucks you in and is imaginative and exciting without being ludicrous. One to be savoured.
Now I know why all the fuss is about Rushdie. He really is a master.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started Grimus. I'd never read a book by Salman Rushdie before, worried about hearing how politically aware and metaphorical his stories are I approached this story with some caution. I realise now that this first novel by Rushdie differs to his later, more popular works.
Grimus follows Flapping-Eagle as he searches for his sister after becoming immortal (as she has). His journey is a long one and along the way he meets a variety of great characters. There is love, violence and friendship admist the harships and fears he must face. I really enjoyed following Flapping-Eagle on his epic quest to find his sister.
Calf Island, the setting for most of the novel isn't what it appears to be however, and Flapping-Eagle soon finds out that there is much more at stake than finding his sister. His entire future and the destiny of those around him is suddenly revealed to be dangling from a thread. Does Flapping-Eagle have the determination to face his fate and save the world? You'll have to read it to find out!!
I was glad the book was so creative, it was refreshing to read something with such an explosion of imagination on every page. There are some wonderful ideas in Grimus. I did find however that some of the concepts were drawn out and over-complicated themselves. Rushdie simply doesn't need to go into the detail with some theories that he did and as a result of doing so, I struggled slightly. I'd advise the reader to not feel put off by some of the more complicated philosophical aspects of the book, it is an enjoyable read no matter how deeply you read between the lines.
Imagine Donnie Darko crossed with The Legend of Zelda and you're almost there. It's a great read, something that everyone should have a go at, just for the sheer creativity it will awaken in you. I'm about to read 'Midnight's Children' and hoping I will enjoy it as much.