Midnight's Children Paperback – 1 Jan 1997
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Before Salman Rushdie had that problem with a certain religious-political figure with a serious need to chill out, he'd already shown he was an important literary force. Quite simply, Midnight's Children is amazing--fun, beautiful, erudite, both fairy tale and political narrative told through a supernatural narrator who is caught between different worlds. Though it's a big book, with big themes of India's nationhood and of ethnic and personal identity, it's far from a dry history lesson. Rushdie tells the story in his own brand of magical realism, with a prose of lyrical, transcendent goofiness. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"One of the most important books to come out of the English-speaking world in this generation" (The New York Review of Books) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Midnight's Children deserves a place alongside One Hundred Years of Solitude as one of the finest examples of Magic Realism. It is allegorical, reflecting India's development as a country and more loosely Rushdie's own childhood, but the books stands up as a piece of writing in its own merit. The writing is vibrant; the (many) characters are well-observed; the humour is delightful; and the story is melancholy and touching in places but is stuffed with examples of Rushdie's elegant style.
To me, it is more than just an allegory for the birth and development of a nation, it is more than a great piece of writing; Midnight's Children has become an evocative depiction of how we seek to find things to lift ourselves from the futility of existence, to separate ourselves from the normal. By way of example, I give you Saleem's birth. It is normal in every way apart from the accident of timing that gives the book its title but it's the way he uses this accident of timing to lift his existence away from the mundane that I love.
Finishing this book left me hollow and a little lost. In short, I loved it and have subsequently read it again and again. Rushdie has done nothing that matches this. I doubt he, or anyone, can.
This was my first Rushdie book. A multilayered, multifaceted book. The story of "Saleem Sinai, later variously called Snotnose, Stainface, Baldy, Buddha and even Piece-of-the-Moon.." who was born at midnight, the precise moment of independence for his country, India. And 'thanks to the occult tyrannies those blandly saluting clocks" he was "mysteriously handcuffed to history". His story is the immortalisation of his memories, the "chutnification of history", "the pickling of time". It is the story of a nation finding it's identity, of impressions and memories, of people and events, of families and more.
But it is Rushdie's fantastical, magical prose that brings the book to life, colours, sights and especially smells, like you've never experienced before. It is not necessarily an easy read, for at least the first fifty pages I couldn't get it, but then something clicked and I just immersed myself in the wonderful text. Some of the passages I read again and again to savour the intricacies. It won't be everyone's idea of a good read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe that I will enjoy it more when I come back the second time.
It seems that this novel is often overlooked because of the controversy surrounding 'The Satanic Verses';whilst I am the first person to review this book, there are 13 reviews for the Verses. I strongly recommend that anyone thinking about reading Rushdie starts with 'Midnight's Children'. It is a novel drenched in the atmosphere of India which draws you into the centre of the sprawling continent. In my opinion, it is Rushdie's great, although often forgotten, masterpiece.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I never read another novel, I know I have experienced the best.
ps I have since read other novels, including by this author. The oevre must be digested.
It's an interesting book, but I found it very difficult at some parts to follow. It feels like Rushdie is just rambling. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Sophie
A very special book, well worth reading or re-reading at these turbulent times.Published 12 days ago by Moira MS Walker
This was first, and probably last, Rushdie. Too long with not enough happening for my taste. Felt like everything went around the housesPublished 26 days ago by kelly liddle
I have not read this book yet but the title is interesting, and the story is set in a dramatic time in the history of the Indian sub-continent!Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great novel ! Love it .. Read for study !! Had read before .. Enjoyed more om second read !!Published 1 month ago by mrs j sharman
I think that one should know quite a lot about Indian history before one can fully understand the many metaphors in `Midnight`s Children`. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dennis Baron