Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock and Roll Rushdie
Don't know really. I felt that 'Moor's Last Sigh' may have had a flash superficiality about it, for all its qualities, and this could be the case here too. The book is about Vina Apsara and Ormus Cama - lovers and mega rock stars coming out of India. The book is not always comfortable in dealing with them as global rock stars - I didn't believe all of that. It is much...
Published on 15 Feb. 2000

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An epic love story.
I love epic love stories, and this is definitely one of them, a story about dynasties, consuming passion (of love and music) and a tragic love triangle. No doubt Salman Rushdie is a great storyteller, but more than a few times while reading the novel I felt that he was straining occasionally to find new things to say, repeating over and over again things that were already...
Published 18 months ago by Lola


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock and Roll Rushdie, 15 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
Don't know really. I felt that 'Moor's Last Sigh' may have had a flash superficiality about it, for all its qualities, and this could be the case here too. The book is about Vina Apsara and Ormus Cama - lovers and mega rock stars coming out of India. The book is not always comfortable in dealing with them as global rock stars - I didn't believe all of that. It is much better on Rushdie's home turf - childhood and early years in Bombay. Characters from 'Midnight's Children' and, I think, 'Moor's Last Sigh' make bit part appearances, and passages are up there with the best of those books. And there are certainly really vivid passages later.
The book comes back to the ground beneath our feet all the time - characters have it removed from beneath them by natural forces, by the despair of unrequited love, by betrayal of trust, by a lack of god or gods or idols to believe in. This is a world of uncertainties and dislocations.
Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is the third character, Rai, who watches and narrates this great mythic story. A childhood friend, successful photographer, and Vina's secret lover. In these roles and as narrator of this story he is an outsider - detached from the main picture; a watcher. Successful, well known himself, but also regretful of lost opportunities. He lives a good life, but not a mythically great one. It is easy to see elements of Rushdie in Rai, and in the artist rock star Ormus, who withdraws himself from the world.
I enjoyed this novel. It is very readable, often vivid and spectacular. It isn't a great novel, and I have this slight sense of Rushdie straining sometimes to find new things to say, and to engage fully with contemporary popular culture. Rushdie might just be developing a career path that shows a gentle decline from a glorious peak. But it is worthy and worth reading, and I could be wrong.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfectly stitched together, but pretty thread., 10 April 2003
I'm new to Great Modern Literature (the closest thing I've read is Kate Atkinson), but this served as a fine introduction, as the dominating subject matters are familiar enough for the reader to get to grips with the style. In agreement with other reviewers, it's not one to read in small sections - though it can be taken a chapter at a time, I got my greatest enjoyment when reading 150 pages in a single sitting.
It's a book with massive scope, providing us with a vivid sense of time and place as it stretches across more than fifty years and most of the globe. It's not only a love story and an exploration of mythology and the world of rock'n'roll, but an exciting and richly-woven tale of interlinked families, and along the way it deals with all sorts of unusual-but-interesting concepts, from the goat industry to pirate radio.
It's certainly not perfect. Though the three main characters are complex, it's overwhelming singular frustrating personality traits that are usually in evidence. We lose hope of seeing Vina as anything other than a diva, Ormus anywhere other than lost in his own world (literally!), Rai as anything but pathetic, though we sympathise with all of them. Further, all of them possess talents too extreme to make them believable: perhaps they're meant to be seen as the heroes of myths but this is hard to keep in mind, considering the book's mostly-realistic setting.
Their tale rambles and repeats, the pace flags and passages reek of "See how intelligent I, Salman Rushdie, am! I am mighty, and therefore I shalt get away with discussing pretentious notions that you ordinary mortals would never dare voice to your mates down the pub!" However, spookily, whenever I was thinking "Whatever happened to name_of_secondary_character? I want to see more of them", they'd be back in the next section. And the novel is undeniably a feat. It's impossible not to be left in awe of Rushdie's knowledge, the humour in his rewritten history of rock, the way he interests us in the most irrelevant of subplots, the atmosphere he evokes of politically-troubled India, acid-addled 60s Britain and even the airspace above the Iron Curtain, the thrilling twists, and the deft-handling of the rock world - we're shown Rushdie has the ability to write indulgently of its luxury and decadence, but instead chooses to allow many aspects of the characters' lives to be focussed upon. These aren't seamlessly bound together, but most of the strands are enjoyable enough separately.
I hear most of Rushdie's other novels are better, so I'll be moving on to them, but I believe this one's worth the (very long) read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He ain't heavy, he's Salman Rushdie!, 14 July 1999
By A Customer
Highly entertaining and thought provoking. In the Ground Beneath her Feet, Rushdie brilliantly examines the distinction between reality and our socially-skewed perception of it. By using the most artificial modern-day construct, Rock 'n'Roll, as a metaphor for society, Rushdie underlines the fragility of cultural existence.
But if you can't be doing with semiology, The Ground Beneath Her Feet also provides a rollicking tour through popular culture. With witty associations and an abundant imagination, Rushdie comes up with a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
Gavin Jackson
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Onwards, 7 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
For a novelist like Rushdie, a uniquely famous writer of serious literary fiction, the move from the religion, politics and history of the subcontinent to Western popular culture may seem a bizarre move, but it is as inevitable as it is bold. Unable to return to India for 11 years and possibly never able to return, Rushdie, by his own admission, has written all he can or wants to within the context of his own Eastern and Western experiences before the Fatwa (The Moor's Last Sigh, beautiful but familiar, was a big hint) and TGBHF is perhaps most interesting as a transitional work. It's not so much a disappointing novel, just, well, a bit of a shock!
TGBHF lacks the authority of previous novels. It's difficult for any writer to evoke the direct, sensory appeal of music through the virtual aesthetic of literature, and Rushdie's evocations of rock music are awkward and theatrical. The familiar fluid prose and imaginative set pieces of the novel, instead of flowing around the grand narrative style and grotesque characters as usual, often seem contrived and self-conscious. The central themes in Rushdie's novels, the transformation and alienation of migration, imperialism, loss of identity and the false certainties of belonging are supremely relevant to Western civilisation, and it is his skill in expressing them via experience, insight and outrage that has cemented Rushdie's literary reputation. Now there are new experiences to be written about, and America isn't lacking in the kind of social hybridity that fascinates a novelist like Rushdie. I believe his extraordinary talent will continue to astonish and delight. TGBHF is a beautifully written book, skilful and absorbing, but readers new to Rushdie should read his other novels first and appreciate this one in context, a flawed but exciting taste of things to come.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madonna meets Maharaja?, 15 May 2001
By A Customer
The world of pop music isn't quite the scene I'd imagined Rushdie would portray after his literary semi-exile. It sounded almost flippant. Maybe he welcomed the nominal liberalism of this crowd. Maybe this was as far as he could safely get from the religious sensitivities which have plagued his career. Maybe he simply spent too much time chained to the kitchen radio in those bleak years after the publication of Satanic Verses. But the world of pop music is what we get, and it's a world portrayed so delicately that we experience simultaneously sentiment and satire, feel the irresistible pull towards modernity and a desperate yearning for the values it replaces. But then, what else would you expect?
As always with Rushdie, you enter a world larger than life, larger than India, larger than the UK, or America, larger than realism or mysticism, yet with such attention to detail that you catch your breath. You enter a joyful swirl of language, and never really manage to fight your way out until the book is finished. You experience comedy, tragedy and walk along that painful frontier where the two collide. And - as ever - you come face to face with a master plotter, in the best old traditional sense of the word.
Read this book. You may not like it - after years of recommending this guy, I realise that he's something of an acquired taste - but if you value a good, entertaining and insightful read, you owe it to yourself to give this book a go.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salman Rushdie continues to get better!, 10 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
Rushdie uses the story of two pop superstars, Vina Apsara and Ormus Cama, as an excuse to tell the story of the world. Or, if you like, of the other-world. What he presents us with is, if I dare use this analogy, a literary version of the popular movie, The Matrix. He asks: what if what we think is reality, is not? The world of Ormus Cama is a parallel one, a world in which Nixon's tragedy is merely a paperback story, and where Simon & Garfunkel are women. Rushdie daringly uses Lewis Carrol's Through The Looking Glass to explain these opposites; they are merely the other side of the mirror! The story is vast and entertaining, as are all of Rushdie's novels, perhaps the most entertaining since Satanic Verses. For seriousness of thought, it comes close to Midnight's Children, though many may argue that it does not attain that height. But all in all, it is a very good read, much better than The Moor's Last Sigh (which wasn't all that bad either!)
David Njoku
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He ain't heavy, he's Salman Rushdie!, 13 Feb. 2007
By 
Gavin Jackson (Addlestone, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Highly entertaining and thought provoking. In the Ground Beneath her Feet, Rushdie brilliantly examines the distinction between reality and our socially-skewed perception of it. By using the most artificial modern-day construct, Rock 'n'Roll, as a metaphor for society, Rushdie underlines the fragility of cultural existence.

But if you can't be doing with semiology, The Ground Beneath Her Feet also provides a rollicking tour through popular culture. With witty associations and an abundant imagination, Rushdie comes up with a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning - One of the best books i have ever read!, 26 July 2000
A multi-layered story of how two rock star lovers have been moulded together by the deep disturbances within their families. At turns a mythical and otherwordly epic it also works as engrossing biographical fiction. A combination of Wuthering Heights, King Lear, A Passage to India and rock magazine writing. Defies adequate description - a modern classic in the making.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An epic love story., 27 Aug. 2013
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ground Beneath Her Feet (Kindle Edition)
I love epic love stories, and this is definitely one of them, a story about dynasties, consuming passion (of love and music) and a tragic love triangle. No doubt Salman Rushdie is a great storyteller, but more than a few times while reading the novel I felt that he was straining occasionally to find new things to say, repeating over and over again things that were already said. And the whole novel felt a bit superficial, unreal (and I do not refer to the "other" universe the heroes seem to find themselves in, where Watergate is just a book about Nixon and John Lennon sings "Satisfaction"). This epic love story is about Vina Apsara and Ormus Cama - soul-mates and global rock'n'roll phenomena from India (a bit shallow if not completely unbelievable). Whilst their childhood and youth in India is colourful, vibrant and "alive", Rushdie, it felt to me, was not really at ease in describing their lives as mega rock stars, not only I found it hard to believe, I found the whole passages about their fame in the Western world (and the base of this fame) a bit patchy. The early Indian years were much better described and thought through than the rest of the lives of the characters.

The ground beneath our feet is a constant allegory, another character of the book, often mad and unreasonable, uncertain and shaky and hard to deal with and count on (from real earthquakes to the loss of your balance when you are betrayed). Rushdie comes back to the ground, this unstable layer beneath of our feet, over and over again. "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" is not just a love story, it is also a story of loss. Loss of balance, home, country, identity, friendship, trust, love and, ultimately, life.

I somewhat enjoyed this novel. It is interesting, ambitious and impressive. It isn't a great novel, and is not the one to pack with you on a deserted island (if you only had one book to pack). But it is clever, the vocabulary is broad, the narrative is mostly pleasing, full of sarcastic, interesting, unique characters, and the book is worth reading. But it felt strangely unsatisfying to me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but enthralling, 14 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
This is a novel of great scope which is a strength but ultimately its failing. This isn't just the story of Ormus and Vina and their love told through the eyes of thier friend Rai. Rushdie creates a whole parallel world in which things are almost but not quite the same as ours. Some artists with different names, historical events become fiction. This is a first entertaining but in the end becomes a bit warring. Add in the classical references to Orpheus and the underworld and there is often too much back story to let the main story take flight.
Rushdies writing however is as wonderful as ever, ever when the story lags there is much to admire and enjoy. It is a long book though - and feels long partly because of the rambling plot. Like another reviewer I read it on the tube and 40 minute chunks is probably not the best way to enjoy it. Long afternoon sessions would I am sure be much better - take it on holiday.
If you have never read Rushdie before best not to start here - but is you like his writing you will enjoy this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Ground Beneath Her Feet
The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie
£4.68
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews