Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review: Midnight's Children

Midnight’s Children is the pseudo-autobiography of Saleem Sinai, the first baby born in independent India. Saleem tells the story of his life, as enmeshed in the history of the first 31 years of post-colonial India and entwined in the lives of the other 1,000 children born between midnight and 1:00 a.m. on the first day of the new country. Saleem describes this complicated, vivid, magical, funny, and disturbing mix as the "chutnification of history."

This was the first novel Salman Rushdie wrote and the first of his that I have read. I could kick myself for waiting so long. This book is a delight. There is a reason it show up on so many lists, including: Booker Prize Winners Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Radcliffe's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century


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draabe said...

You really are a "list" person, rose. Thanks for the mention of this book by Rushdie. I've got "The Enchantress of Florence" just ordered up from Powell's and look forward to reading it.

As an aside, I happened to meet Mr. Rushdie when he was in Minneapolis and was quite impressed by his humor, which was unexpected, and his good nature - which was.

Rose City Reader said...

It's interesting that he was so good natured. He may be the most famous author alive, so I would expect celebrity aloofness.

Enchantress of Florence looks intriguing to me. There are too many (did I just say that?) books on my TBR shelf to allow myself to buy more -- especially brand new books, since I know it would be years until I got to it. But I have allowed myself a little wiggle room with that self-imposed rule, which is that I let myself get whatever audio books I want from the library and put them on my iPod. So I was going to check if Enchantress was available in audio yet.

SocrMom78 said...

I had never before read a Salman Rushdie novel before I encountered this book as #90 on the Modern Library list. Boy was I sorry I waited so long. I loved it. The Brass Monkey was my favorite character and the only downside of the book for me was when how she disappeared out of the story.

Rose City Reader said...

SocrMom -- I had the same experience because I had never read his books until this one. I was blown away.

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