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|Print List Price:||£8.99|
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Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Shame Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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.
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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