The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi Hardcover – 18 Feb 2010
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A gorgeous, jeweled, luxurious book (The Times)
Shafak will challenge Paulo Coelho's dominance. With its timely, thought-provoking message . . . The Forty Rules of Love deserves to be a global publishing phenomenon (Independent)
Enlightening, enthralling. An affecting paean to faith and love (Metro)
Colourfully woven and beguilingly intelligent (Daily Telegraph)
The past and present fit together beautifully in a passionate defence of passion itself (The Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Elif Shafak is an award-winning bestselling novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her previous novels include The Bastard of Istanbul, a San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller, and The Saint of Incipient Insanities. Her op-ed pieces have run in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and she has been featured on National Public Radio.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Greek's coined a term for the unconditional, divine and spiritual love of God and for enlightened beings for each other -- agape. Even in her understanding of what loving God means, the author confuses agape with eros. Less frenzy, more peace, less destructive self-indulgence, more understanding and forgiveness. Love is not a feeling, it is an action. Fleeing from your family, abandoning your marriage, following your emotions blindly regardless of the consequences -- these are not things that Sufism would countenance, and less acts of love than of self-destruction.
The author is gifted and a charming story-teller, which makes the work all the more problematic, seductive in its portrayal of a mode of thinking which is ultimately narcissistic and destructive. Sufism it most certainly is not.
Set in Turkey past and present it takes the Reader on a spiritual journey of enlightnment and love.
I learned so much about Shams of Tabriz and Rumi .The unique friendship they shared and the precious Poetry that emanated from it.
The present day Story involving Ella was poignant and wise.
As for the Forty Rules, I found myself writing them down so much did I want to absorb every facet of this marvellous work.
Highly recommend this work, you will not be disappointed.
Shafak's style is inventive, erudite and playful; she moves between present day USA, where Ella, a middle aged woman, is researching the background to a book for her publisher boss, to a story within a story (the story of the poet Rumi, famous for his verses about Love, and his friendship with a Sufi mystic), and her developing friendship through correspondence with the writer of the book. Shafak, as a psychologist, is concerned with what makes people tick; in this novel, the answer seems to be, Love - love for each other, and love for God/Nature/spiritual fulfilment. I can't think of any other author with her breadth of experience of different cultures (USA, Turkey), her ability to present copious amounts of historical research as entirely naturalistic detail, and her understanding of the human psyche. A fantastic read.
However, I found myself completely engrossed in a beautifully written novel that cleverly interweaves the present day and the 13th century. I shall have to rethink my criteria for buying books.
The Story: Rumi and Shams are two well known mystics and are a great source of influence and inspiration since the day of their meeting. Documenting their story in such a beautiful and well structured narrative is a challenge in itself, but drawing a modern-day parallel story underneath it to fuel its meanings is phenomenal, and that is exactly what the author did.
The narrative is informative, inspiring, and cohesive. The characters are intriguing, and the author managed to grant each his/her size without overdoing them. She conjured their stories and weaved them together meticulously. Each came in and out of the picture and the protagonists received a proper background and enough fuel for their events to fit within the narrative and provide full impact.
The Author: a great and quite provocative story-teller. The way she unfolds the events gradually, mixes them up, creates reading anxieties and excitement, and trickles the events in a gradual manner for me is highly intriguing. You get easily pulled into her world and she manages to immerse you in her newly created universe.
The Wisdom: simply put: The 40 Rules themselves are a marvelous piece of wisdom and inspiration. The short stories/aphorisms narrated by the characters are packed with wisdom as well. Both go hand in hand to reveal the essence of this novel.
In short, a piece of art that is a must in an ever-increasingly turbulent world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book of learning. One needs to be prepared to concentrate not just a holiday read to get the best of this book. Read morePublished 5 days ago by roger eves
I can easily say this is the most beautifully written book I have ever read.Published 24 days ago by Mohammed Al Meshaweh
Brilliant, thought provoking and spiritually strengthening book. Haven't read something like this in a long long time. Fantastic. Truly impressed with E Shafak!Published 1 month ago by Pooja Jain
One of the best books I have ever read. Full of wisdom in story form, and helped changed my outlook on lifePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Favourite book, strongly recommend. Great deal and fast delivery.Published 1 month ago by Anelia Vaneva
One of my favourite books
So well done
Modern and ancient together
This is the first of Elif Shafak's books I have read and, having heard great things about her work, I was a little disappointed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sarah
Great book. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Excellent book describing the relationship with a Shaikh and his disciple.Published 2 months ago by FM