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One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Feb 23, 2011
ISBN: 9780307786654
List price: $12.99
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The Satanic Verses occasionally ventures into the fantastic as many of Rushdie's other works, it doesn't do enough with those fantastical moments to be as gripping as those other works. Though clearly carefully crafted with symbolism and parallels abounding, the story progresses slowly and often seems to feel like drudging through until it picks up again. An interesting read but not necessarily the enthralling read I've come to expect of Rushdie.read more
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Layer on layer of imagery, free verse prose, a lyrical, magical alt-telling of the Prophet's life and the immigrant experience, controversial and beautiful. Let the words carry you where they will, and enjoy the ride.read more
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An incredible book that is famous for all the wrong reasons. The story of two men (Gibreel Farishta and Sallahudin Chamchawalla) who we first meet as they are falling from a Himalayan height, from what we soon learn is an exploded aircraft. They float smoothly to the ground and soon begin to notice some slight changes (horns and cloven hoofs, an angelic glow from behind the crown of the head). The book then explores a variety of issues including racism, colonialism (it is the man in the bowler hat who begins to turn into the devil of course), sense of place and identity, the history of Islam (which is where the trouble began), and a huge number of other issues that I am forgetting about or went over my head entirely during my four readings of the book. But no matter how much I miss there is always enough writing that is so incomparably beautiful that it just doesn't matter. Rushdie is a master of the language and he treats it playfully, constantly using puns, and word games which gives the book a modernity and a sense of humour usually lacking from other literary classics (and yes this is, already, a classic).Ignore all the hype about the offensive passages, and do what very few of those who condemned, banned, and burned it did; read it.read more
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Reviews

The Satanic Verses occasionally ventures into the fantastic as many of Rushdie's other works, it doesn't do enough with those fantastical moments to be as gripping as those other works. Though clearly carefully crafted with symbolism and parallels abounding, the story progresses slowly and often seems to feel like drudging through until it picks up again. An interesting read but not necessarily the enthralling read I've come to expect of Rushdie.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Layer on layer of imagery, free verse prose, a lyrical, magical alt-telling of the Prophet's life and the immigrant experience, controversial and beautiful. Let the words carry you where they will, and enjoy the ride.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An incredible book that is famous for all the wrong reasons. The story of two men (Gibreel Farishta and Sallahudin Chamchawalla) who we first meet as they are falling from a Himalayan height, from what we soon learn is an exploded aircraft. They float smoothly to the ground and soon begin to notice some slight changes (horns and cloven hoofs, an angelic glow from behind the crown of the head). The book then explores a variety of issues including racism, colonialism (it is the man in the bowler hat who begins to turn into the devil of course), sense of place and identity, the history of Islam (which is where the trouble began), and a huge number of other issues that I am forgetting about or went over my head entirely during my four readings of the book. But no matter how much I miss there is always enough writing that is so incomparably beautiful that it just doesn't matter. Rushdie is a master of the language and he treats it playfully, constantly using puns, and word games which gives the book a modernity and a sense of humour usually lacking from other literary classics (and yes this is, already, a classic).Ignore all the hype about the offensive passages, and do what very few of those who condemned, banned, and burned it did; read it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A strange and compelling book, with flashbacks and side stories set in different eras. I can see why this upset Muslims as there are parts which are very insulting of the Prophet. Unfortunately, the reaction of Fundamentalists then made it unacceptable for moderate Muslims to be seen to be complaining about the content of the book. Read it an make up your own mind.
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Having loved Haroun and the Sea of Stories, I was eager to pick up another book by Rushdie; I bought this ages ago and only now just got around to reading it. But this book is nothing like that one. I read it in tiny snatches, over meals, in the midst of all my school reading. This is how I do most of pleasure reading these days, but I usually manage to pull down large chunks at some point. I wasn't able to manage that with this; too busy even on weekends. So, my three-week-plus reading experience was disjointed and jumpy.But the book is disjointed and jumpy. Rushdie moves from idea to idea; Gibreel and Saladin keep on changing location, situation, and circumstance. I feel like keeping track of who was where when would have been hard under normal circumstances. I kept on not being sure when Saladin looked like a devil. I wasn't always sure how the dreams of Gibreel fit into what was going on. So it's hard for me to judge the cumulative effect of the book, because for me there was no cumulative effect of the book. I have snatches I liked (Ayesha the butterfly woman, Alleluia Cone, Saladin's childhood) and snatches I didn't like (some of the stuff (though not all) with Gibreel in the present). And the one part I did read as a big section-- the last 150 pages-- I was reading so hurriedly I suspect the effect was diminished. It never quite came together, though, and so I'm not really sure what to think of it. I want to like it, and I suspect I would if I gave it another read... but at 800 disjointed pages, that's a heckuva commitment. We're doing Midnight's Children in a class I'm taking next semester; I'll render a further (and hopefully better) verdict on Rushdie then.
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Imaginative and his use of language brilliant. But over complicated plot and confused changes in points of view as the action shifts among his characters and their changing states of consciousness. Struggled to read it as brought by wife for a Christmas present. Lets face it but for the publicity dream of the fatwa would you have brought it or even heard of it?
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