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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  6,503 ratings  ·  299 reviews
The novel that set the stage for his modern classic, The Satanic Verses, Shame is Salman Rushdie’s phantasmagoric epic of an unnamed country that is “not quite Pakistan.” In this dazzling tale of an ongoing duel between the families of two men–one a celebrated wager of war, the other a debauched lover of pleasure–Rushdie brilliantly portrays a world caught between honor an...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 11th 2008 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1983)
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Oct 29, 2007 Lizzie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I reread SHAME this weekend and was once again reminded why Rushdie is one of the greatest authors of our time. In Shame he addresses may levels but this last reading I focused on how he has intertwined the relationship of Shame throughout the levels of our human experience. He draws his characters so that there many layered motivations and convoluted histories speak to more than simply internal shame but also how actions on level produce effects that reach as broad as national politics and hist...more
Although I always list Rushdie as one of my favorite authors of all time, it had been almost ten years since I picked up one of his books. So when I came across Shame in 12th Street books, I decided to dive back in.

I loved the way that the story kept leaping ahead of itself, rushing ahead like an impatient child to tell you things that wouldn’t happen until much later, and when they did happen how different they were from the expectations that had been seeded. The narrator of Shame, like many of...more
Paakhi Srivastava
Dear Sir Rushdie

Shame is an excellent satire written in your plainspoken magic realism prose, which has left me awestruck. It is astounding how perfectly you lamented the political state of affairs in Pakistan with that of unrest of hypothetical country Q. The chronicle of the shift in political powers and musings on deeper realms of human mind weaved together by an exotic language yet a quality prose is much appreciated.

Authors would like to write a gripping story for masses, you write for your...more
شادي  عبد العزيز
كما توقعت لما تخذلني الرواية، وتظهر سمات مشتركة بينها وبين الرواية السابقة (أطفال منتصف الليل)

استخدام التاريخ كمادة حكائية، ولكن التاريخ عند سلمان رشدي ليس هو كل الحكاية، فقط هو أداة، جزء من بناء الحدوتة، والحدوتة ليست دقيقة تاريخيا بالضرورة، كما أنها ليست مشغولة كثيرا بسؤال الحقيقة، سلمان رشدي قادر على تقديم حدوتة جميلة، وإجبارك على تصديقهاـ كما أن التناقض بين معرفة القارئ بحدث تاريخي معين وما يضفيه عليه رشدي من خيالات مثير للضحك أحيانا، ومثير للخيال في أكثر الأحيان.

لكل شخصية في روايتي سلمان رش...more
Hosam Diab
الرواية الثانية التي أقرأها للمؤلف بعد رائعته أطفال منتصف الليل. ينحو المؤلف إلى الرمزية، وبدل أن يتستر وراء الشخوص والأحداث، فإنه عبر الراوي (المؤلف) يسخر من هذه الرمزية، ويعزز ارتباطها بباكستان: بلاد الله. لا يخفي الراوي/ المؤلف كراهيته للنسق الاجتماعي المحدد للشرق، حيث العار يحيق بك من كل شيء: ينز من المياه، من الأرض، من الجبال، ومن الماضي. حيث - في القصة الخيالية- تتحول (صفية زنوبيا) الفتاة المتخلفة عقلياً إلى وحش يجز الرؤوس بسبب العار، بينما يسرد الراوي/ المؤلف خبراً عن الأب الباكستاني الذي...more
Shame is an undesired sperm that impregnates human psychic with acute guilt and discomfort to procreate a shameless fiend amid continual cerebral labor pains. Molded on a fictionalized caricature of Pakistan’s opinionated and influential communal strata it incubates the embryonic mesh of brutality resulting in social and personal turmoil.

Rushdie along with his emotive quandary constantly appears to be a lost child meandering on the South Asian political-cultural perimeter. With Satanic Verses an...more
I absolutely hated the first half of the novel. It seemed to drag on and on, introducing characters that I didn't find interesting in the slightest. However, it is interesting to note that as the book progresses, as the characters become more deranged (and consequently, more fascinating), I began to devour the book instead of checking how close I was to the end of a chapter every few pages.

Rushdie's style is sometimes a bit verbose, especially if you're not paying very close attention. However,...more
The controversy surrounding the reign and relationship of late Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his Commander-In-Chief at the time, Zia-Ul Haq has captured the imagination of the world for a long long time. I had heard vague stories about this conflict as a boy but had never really understood what had ensued before and after the successful coup that Zia undertook, overthrowing Bhutto and becoming the President of Pakistan himself. This was one of the primary points of attractio...more
Shame - the masterpiece of a master storyteller. I have read some Rushdie in past and every book has been an eye opener. Though his form of writing is technically called - Magical Realism. For me it’s pure and simple magical mythical storytelling. The way he writes is how ancient history is called as mythology. He picks up historical situations whether India's partition in 'Midnight's children, Kashmir extremism in 'Shalimar - the Clown, or Pakistan's politics in 'Shame' and the characters turn...more
Probably one of the best things I've ever been lucky enough to stumble across. The country that's 'Pakistan but not Pakistan' is an amalgamation of countries throughout history, - and events in Pakistan are still clearly the focus. It's an imaginative reworking of history in the style of magic realism, a polemic against theocracy and tyranny, with his main characters based on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto & Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq; and my God, it's brilliant. I'd do it a serious injustice if I attempted t...more
Rushdie has a very unique style to his storytelling; he narrates as a character outside of his tale, yet is wholly invested in it. His tone is casual, imitating the convolutions of an orally told story with not all the bits told in order. In this way, he plays with temporal and spatial linearity very freely, giving hints of the future in tantalising teasers- but still manages to surprise the reader. Shame is about politics, but it is also about families, and failures, and the fractures that can...more
"E' tra la vergogna e la spudoratezza l'asse su cui noi ruotiamo; su entrambi questi poli le condizioni meteorologiche sono le più estreme, le più feroci. Spudoratezza e vergogna: le radici della violenza."

Dopo il successo del suo primo vero grande romanzo, Rushdie tenta di bissare l'operazione, narrando questa volta del Pakistan, di nuovo ricorrendo a elementi del realismo magico. Con risultati decisamente deludenti. Se in I figli della mezzanotte Rushdie è stato capace di costruire un romanzo...more
This was my first encounter with the obscure genre of magical realism and Rushdie himself. The book is set in a fictional town of Pakistan or ‘Peccavistan’, although Rushdie elucidates that it can be any country because no one is immune to shame, even the ‘shameless’. It is an uncomfortable part of human existence which insidiously haunts our lives.

The book’s central plot deals with the relationship between Iskander Harappa and Raza Hyder, which are allegorically based on two of most influential...more
What do you say about a writer who is brilliant at his work, but uses it to highlight and exaggerate the negative aspects of life? I say its a shame. Its a shame that someone with Salman Rushdie's exceptional writing skills can't employ them in constructive writing. Instead, he chooses to write about the problems in the societies he used to inhabit. This most depressing aspect of his writing is most evident in this book, titled quite aptly, Shame.

The book is an encyclopedia of everything that co...more
Carl Brush
Shame is fantastic--not in the pop sense of high quality, but in the literal sense of worlds beyond reality. The book is filled with strange beasts and diseases. It travels through vast realms of soul, spirit, government, psychology, medicine, history, politics, religion, philosophy. It takes place in a country that is “not quite Pakistan,” and in a time that ranges from prehistory to the present. I am quite sure that those versed in Indian/Afghan/Iranian history find reams of allegory in the re...more
From Midnight Children on, seems that Roshdie’s preference moves tward the language rather than the narration itself. Comparing ”The ground beneath of her feet” and ”Midnight children” one comes to a more beautiful language but less interesting events.
در اثار رشدی زبان از زیبایی خارق العاده ای برخوردار است. واژه هایی که رشدی در زبان انگلیسی ابداع می کند و عمدتن مخلوطی از انگلیسی هندی- بریتانیایی ست، گاه به توجیه صحنه، عمل یا شخصیت در روایت کمک شایانی می کند. بسیاری از واژه های ابداعی رشدی در انک...more
Nicholas Hodler
The book is not bad and covers a very interesting topic in a fantasy Pakistan. However the fantasy world is pushed a bit too far and many analogies are a bit too self consciously explicit. By allowing himself to detach the story so far from "reality" it makes the thematic aspect of the book come out stronger, but at the expense of the narrative.
Lora Grigorova

In a typical Salman Rushdie fashion, Shame shocks from the mere start. Omar Khayyam Shakil has been born and raised in the fictional town of Q. (actually Quetta, Pakistan) by his three mothers – sisters who shared the symptoms of pregnancy as well as the birth itself, making it impossible to determine which one gave birth to him exactly. Confined in his home for more than 20 years, Omar develops into a strange and introvert fat boy, filled with hatr...more
yuck. perhaps I'm just not as intelligent as I thought, but, I hated this book. There I said it. And, I'm just going to leave it at that.
I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this book. I had first heard of Rushdie in relation to the fatwa against him issued by Ayatollah Khomeini and later learned that, along with Martin Amis and Ian McEwan, is one of the most influential and powerful writers in England from our parents' generation.

At any rate, this novel dramatizes the independence of Pakistan from India, its disastrous war in East Pakistan that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, and its troubled political history, ve...more
Gabriel Nita
Publicat de Salman Rushdie în 1983, așadar cu mult înainte ca acesta să devină faimos ca victimă a decretului religios al ayatolahului Khomeiny, Rușinea este un roman pe care l-am regăsit la o a doua lectură la fel de nedumeritor ca și la prima. Zic nedumeritor pentru că e o carte care în multe rânduri te face să întrevezi un uriaș potențial narativ și imaginar, dar se autosubminează cu promptitudine. Și regularitate. Nu o face prin prea mult scris, cazul altor romane ale autorului – nu e deloc...more
Кремена Михайлова
Една от моите шест звезди...

Забележителна фабула, следвана до края с голямо майсторство и убедителност, водеща към размисли за черти на човешката същност, в които се коренят други много по-глобални проблеми (например фанатизъм, авторитаризъм, власт и пари на всяка цена) и за тънката граница между срам и безсрамие (внушаването на срам чрез религия, традиции, затворени общества неусетно прераства в безсрамие и безнравственост, особено при самозабравянето във властта).

Всички стряскащи безу...more
David Mahaffey
There are moments of brilliance here, but I seem to have little tolerance for novels that sag and sprawl. I enjoy an intricately plotted novel sometimes but Shame isn't tightly wound enough to propel me all the way through without resenting all the random points of departure and, especially, the narrator's constant addresses to the reader. Still, this excerpt is reason enough to plow through:

" Where do you imagine they go? -- I mean emotions that should have been felt, but were not -- such as r...more
Madhurabharatula Pranav Rohit Kasinath
Someone close to me once said - this was praise, mind you - that Django Unchained was so unique because Tarantino had no respect for his audience. He made the film in his own messy, unorthodox manner and if you didn't like it - to hell with you. It made a kind of twisted sense.
I felt the same when I read this book. Rushdie is writing for himself - not for his audience - and the result is far from wonderful. In fact, its awful.
Writing is an inclusive activity. When you write, you want your reader...more
I'm so disappointed with this novel as the last Rushdie novel I read, Midnight's Children, I thoroughly enjoyed. Shame, to me, was long-winded and anti-climactic. Fair enough that Rushdie was trying to make a point about the political system in Pakistan, but it took so long to get anywhere I had completely lost interest by the time it came along.

This one got lost on me, sorry Mr Rushdie! I won't give up on you though, I just hope there's another Midnight's Children amongst your work.
Once again Salman Rushdie manages to dazzle with his unique manipulation of the English language and magical portrait of the Indian subcontinent as a fairytale. On this occasion he uses Pakistan at the time of the Bhutto political dynasty and the military rule of Zia Ul Haq and transforms it into a fairytale world based on the tenets of Islam as practiced by fundamentalists in Pakistan the like of General Zia. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the martyr of secular Pakistan is transformed into the self obses...more
Always funny, at times gripping, at times sad, this is a great book. The story spans over sixty-five years, but Rushdie never loses focus. The prose is playful and elegant, and the imagined world--which is, according to the narrator, both Pakistan and not Pakistan--is gorgeously realized.

If you're not into magic realism, this book might not be for you, but it might also be the one that changes your mind. Its quirkiness and fantastical happenings combine with an undercurrent of anxiety to produce...more
Alexander Barley
This book was stolen before I could finish it. I was using a picture of myself holding a puppy as my bookmark. Someone was shameless enough to steal a copy of a book titled Shame, which held a photo of its rightful owner and a puppy. Sharam. Sharam. Sharam.
Douglas Roberts
Really enjoyed this, although the authorial voice was offputting at first. I think without having read The Unbearable Lightness of Being first it would have bemused me more, but while the fourth-wall-breaking (or whatever the equivalent for novels is) there felt right and wonderful, here it drew me out of it a bit. But I got used to it and found the asides pretty interesting anyway. The characters presented to us as central get subsumed in the lives of two other characters whose lives follow the...more
I have just finished reading Shame, the second Salman Rushdie book I've ever read in my life.

It is without question a shining example of Rushdie's magical realism technique applied to the land of his birth--British India, which became through severe fear (and "shame") two countries upon independence from the same colonial rulers that once ruled the United States.

The fear was fed by a political leader of the Muslim minority, that Muslims would be discriminated against in predominantly Hindu India...more
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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a novelist and essayist. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun...more
More about Salman Rushdie...
Midnight's Children The Satanic Verses Haroun and the Sea of Stories The Enchantress Of Florence Shalimar the Clown

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