Sunday, September 14, 2008

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

I know, I've had this discussion with Jackie, Becky and Amanda. Salman Rushdie? The guy who angered an entire religion and had a death sentence on his head for his writing? When you could be cruising with Torri Spelling? That Salman Rushdie? Yes, and he's a hoot.

Envision the story of the birth and beginning of the life of India as told by Forest Gump on crack. Add in the magic story telling of (I can't think of anyone else who can make up this stuff) and you've got what I think "Snow" was supposed to do for Turkey but failed miserably. To help you out, the narrator gives you a running start by giving you two generations before he was born at exactly midnight of the day India became a nation. As it turns out, anyone born around that hour was gifted with some kind of magic power, from changing their own sex at will, to multiplying fishes, to really being able to do magic, to (well, you get the idea). As a conglomerate, they are called midnight's children.

Now, it would probably help if you knew the background of the gazillion deitys that make up the Hindu religion but he gives you enough background to know a guy named Shiva will not be the hero of the story. It would also help to understand whichever language is Rushdie's native tongue (India has about as many languages as it does gods) so you would know when the thing he is eating (or is floating down a river) is a fish or a sweet piece of cake. In the end, it's sort of fun to figure it's either and see which way you like the story best.

Finally, I like his style. He tells stories with lots of parenthetical asides, as do I. Although some may find it annoying (present reader's company excepted), it worked for me. Of our faithful readers, Amanda would probably like this best but it really is a heck of a story and worth the 533 pages (did he say 533?) to tell the tale. Enjoy.


Becky said...

Sounds interesting....I may eventually get to this book, though the list keeps growing and growing! And I'm always happy to see the Tori Spelling references hit the blog. :-)

Jackie said...

Thanks for condensing the 533 pages for me...I'll skip this one.