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The Satanic Verses

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  31,022 ratings  ·  2,205 reviews
No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta ("for fifteen years t ...more
Paperback, 547 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Vintage (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Petra Xtra Crunchy
I never got past page 60 in this book. I read and forgot and reread and forgot again up unto about the fifth reading when I thought to myself that I might rate Midnight's Children as one of the greatest books I've read, enjoyed the depiction of Benazir Bhutto as the Virgin Ironpants in Shame a great deal, but I also couldn't read Shalimar the Clown and thought that Grimus was excreble (not even Rushie rated this first offering of his oeuvre). So what was I doing trying so hard with the Satanic V ...more
Riku Sayuj

Satanic Verses: A Composition

He had just finished his thirty-fourth reading of the play. The unsaid hate, the unseen events, the half-imagined wrongs; they tormented him. What could cause such evil to manifest, he just could not figure. He loved him too much to believe the simple explanation.

And then the idea starts growing on him - to explore the growth of evil just as Shakespeare showed, explored the tragic culmination of it. And because you show the growth, it can no longer be a tragedy, no,
...more
Max Ostrovsky
Occasionally, I will go into Half Price Books and buy a book that hasn't been recommended by any one I know, by an author I've never read before, solely because of its "critical acclaim." I buy and read a book because I feel that I should, based on the general public's reaction to it.

It is a weakness.

Many months ago, I decided to buy Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. My decision was based on the controversy surrounding the book. It was thought to be so controversial, so blasphemous, that Ay
...more
Hend
يقول المفكر البريطانى رولد ديهل
ان هذا النمط من اثارة الحساسية قد اوصل كتبا غير متميزة على الاطلاق الى قمة الكتب الاكثر مبيعا فى العالم ولكن فى نظرى هذه طريقة رخيصة للوصول للهدف وفى نظرى انه انتهازى خطير
ديلى نيوز مارس 1989

كتاب ايات شيطانية يدل على احد امرين اما الجهل المطبق بالاسلام والمسلمين او تعمد تشويهه بغير حق

فى اعلان عن كنيسة كانتربرى فى انكلترا يقول الدكتور روبرت رونسى

ان فاقد القدرة على تمييز الحق هو وحده الذى يخفق فى ان يرى ان نشر هذا الكتاب قد اساء للمسلمين فى كل انحاء العالم واعتقد ان ا
...more
Johanna
Sep 09, 2007 Johanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Magical Realism Fans, Neil Gaiman fans, studiers and enthusiasts of post-colonial politics
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is overwhelming in terms of plot, imagery, and its large cast of characters. However, it is completely worth it and it flows beautifully once you get in tune with the book. I bought the Satanic Verses when I was 17 and I was not ready for it--I read 15 pages and then put it away. I picked it up again 7 years later and could not put it down.

There is just....so much packed into this book. One would have to read it many many times to get the full meaning
...more
Ben
People jumping into this book blindly may soon find themselves wishing they had informed themselves somewhat beforehand. I must claim an embarrassing ignorance about just about every aspect of this daunting work at the outset: I had only the faintest whisper of a memory of having heard the phrase "satanic verses" outside of a discussion of the ever-present religiously-sanctioned hit out on the author's life. I had very little knowledge of Indian culture and none regarding the cross-cultural expe ...more
Taylor
Here's the thing about this book that you will immediately grasp from what everyone says: it's a beast. I do not mean this in a bad sense. I mean this in the sense that it's overwhelming. It's long, complex (storylines that involve overlapping characters and storylines that don't overlap in time or space at all), dense and occasionally slow. It is not for the reader with ADD. No matter how quickly you think you might read, reading this book will slow you down. No matter how determined you are to ...more
Aubrey
I'm giving this four stars because I acknowledge the importance of what this book has to say. The importance does not outweigh the fact that Rushdie does the "oh look how badly they treat women they must be bad!" dance while amassing almost a dozen girlfriends in the refrigerator and a couple personas whose bad ass character definition is completely subsumed by their (male) lover's plot lines, but stands alongside it, equally worthy of mention. It's a balancing of my importance as a self with my ...more
Stanka
I'm doing my best not to think "Here goes Rushdie again." I never read this one before although I read every other book he ever wrote. And now, to fill the gap, I am stuck with the last unread jewel, except that it's somehow lackluster because Salman doesn't age or accumulate well. I mean, the more you read him the more he sounds the same. And has this ever happened to you: that you discover in a writer just a wisp of too much wit and it's wit that bores you?
Yes, I'm reading on, with strange com
...more
Victoria
Jul 19, 2007 Victoria rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone with a lot of patience
I have decided that it's time for me to leave this book. I have tried to stick with it. It jumps around way to much, has too many moments of abstract non-sensical story inserts and I often feel as though I have ADD when I pick it up. I always have to read the last few pages I read the time before in hopes of refreshing myself for the current reading session. Unfortunately because the book is so abstract, new characters constantly appear as if they have been there all along, causing immediate dis ...more
Rich
Salman Rushdie uses excessive language to cloud discordant plots, has a part-time occupation of scouring the news to write op-eds about evil Muslim organizations he reads about, and is obsessed with celebrity.

Rushdie strangles his plot in The Satanic Verses by hitching every development to a forced and unnecessarily long description or metaphor. His overwriting prevents the development of narrative flow. He even returns to more metaphors about the same topic sometimes, like when he writes about
...more
Sheba
I can't really review Rushdie's work. I don't understand everything he writes about. But I do love him because his language and his prose and his stories are just so Indian.

He writes lushly, extravagantly, with story tripping over story, subplot over sub sub plot. Characters tromp through with no regard for their antecedents. The colors are candy pink, good luck red, and Aegean blue, and everything is crashing and tumbling into each other.

And on top, his stories are amusing, mischievous, clever,
...more
Lily
Life is too short to endure bad fiction.

The story started out interesting enough, with the characters literally falling out of the sky. It took me a awhile to get into the story, but I finally did. The problem was that every time you managed to get a hold of the basic underlying narrative it would evaporate and be replaced by a nonsensical dream sequence. The transitions between the two realities was so seamless that you frequently find yourself lost. Add all of that to the fact that you are try
...more
Ellie
I was massively underwhelmed by this. I have put off and put off reading it, and then I was told by a friend that it was her favourite book, so I thought I'd give it a go, and frankly I wish I hadnt bothered.

I found the writing pretentious, with very little story. It has the potential to be brilliant, as the bones of it is good, but there is so much waffle, rubbish and unnessessary wording that it fast becomes tedious and irritatnig.

That said its made him very rich, so good on him!
Manny

When the Danish Cartoon crisis erupted, I immediately went out and bought a copy of this book... though I'm afraid I didn't then go and read it in public places, as I should have done. It is indeed extravantly disrespectful towards the Prophet, as everyone knows. What's somewhat less well-known is that it's also very disrespectful towards a figure who sure looks a lot like the late Ayatollah Khomeini. I wonder whether this wasn't the real reason for the fatwa? No doubt it has already been discus
...more
محمد
الرواية فعلا مثيرة ، الاستطراد سمة أساسية في الرواية ، الخلط بين الثقافة الاسلامية و الهندية للأبطال واضح ، أيضا فكرة التناسخ ترد في فقرات كثيرة ، على المستوى الحقيقي و الخيالي
الاجزاء التي تحكي قصة النبي محمد ستغضب أي مسلم معتدل ، هناك الكثير من الأحداث المختلقة ، و لا تقف الأجزاء الصادمة عند قصة الغرانيق الشهيرة فقط ، هناك الكثير من الأفعال التي يقوم بها الصحابة ، مجتزأه من احداث وردت في السيرة ، او مختلقة تماما
في بعض الأحيان ألاحظ ان المترجم حذف بعض الجمل ، رغبة في الاختصار ، و مع ذلك فسلمان ر
...more
Jr Bacdayan
What kind of idea are you?

This question, scattered throughout the pages of this novel, is the intermediary between the author and his work. A waterloo of sorts, a windbreaker giving rise to the question of the material’s purpose. It gives us some sort of glimpse as to why he chose to name it “Satanic Verses”, insight to all its diabolical implications, and some sort of motive as to why it is disrespectful to Islam and the Prophet. So what kind of an idea is this? In turn, what kind of idea are w
...more
Jean-marcel
It's always interesting returning to a book read years before and gaining a different perspective. I first read this my final year of highschool and it blew my mind at the time; I don't think I stopped talking about it for months. A few months ago I returned to the book and, while I still think it's great, and I probably got a lot more of the references, it's not as amazing to me as it was over ten years ago. Rushdie's style is occasionally flowing and lyrical, but then he'll throw in all sorts ...more
El
Here are a few things I picked up along the way:

-I didn't understand all of it. I probably didn't understand even enough of it.
-But that didn't really matter. All that stuff I didn't understand? Was written so beautifully and so interestingly that I just wanted to lie down and let Rushdie pour his words all over me. Which, erm, isn't meant to sound as sexual as it appears to be when I look at written that way.
-There's this whole bit that involves butterflies that absolutely took my breath away.
...more
Djayawarman Alamprabu
I can't understand why Queen of England give Salman Rushdie a Knight of literature status? Anyone who like to put dirty words and provoke people can easily produce such books like this!

Just like anyone who can draw can produce cartoon to mock one's religion. I wonder why is a big powerfull country like britian still uses old lame monarch system and believe in that Dumb Queen who actually like to read this so called book, that only brings a provocation after another with bad foul mouth langguage
...more
Whitaker
I liked it more than I thought I would. Rushdie is a bit exceedingly heavy-handed with the symbolism (I mean, Indian expatriate who denies his Indian roots turns into the incarnation of evil? Come on!), but makes up for it by his pungent prose. Beware though. If sentences like, "Exit Pimple, weeping, censored, a scrap on a cutting-room floor." or "Here he is neither Mahomet nor MoeHammered; has adopted, instead, the demon-tag the farangis hung around his neck." make you cringe then you'll want t ...more
Adam
Excellent. Maybe not worth a death sentence, but excellent.
Javier
For all it's hype, I was pretty disappointed with this book. Pretty is an understatement actually. This experience reminded me of my attempted reading of Thomas Pynchon's "V." I have come to the conclusion that idiosyncratic wording and arrangements are a turn off, and that's exactly what I found in the "Satanic Verses." The book itself is also confusing because there's two or three story lines intertwined with each other. What you basically have is a story about two Indian born characters, one ...more
Beth F.
Salman Rushdie is a weird man. Sometimes he would write things like, “…Chamcha was going down head first, in the recommended position for babies entering the birth canal…” and “…Saladin, like a bloody lettuce, I ask you…” and he used a lot of big words I’ve never seen like “orotund” and “obsolescent” and the whole time, I kept thinking, ‘wow, Salman Rushdie made a cameo appearance in the Bridget Jones’s Diary movie and he has funny eyebrows like Jack Nicholson.’

Um. Right. This book was not an e
...more
Rohan
As an adolescent stepping out into the world of the big, burly and heavily mustachioed men(the men at the library), I was constantly in awe of the books at the top shelf that were territory wise out of bounds for my then miniscule self. Salman Rushdie hence stood on top of a pedestal for many years both literally and figuratively. As the tide of time caught up with me (and the little library in my town which still retained the old faces behind the desks probably with a tinge of grey in their hai ...more
Radhika
Jul 25, 2007 Radhika rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rushdie fans
I only picked up this book because I wanted to know what the big hullabaloo was about. It was a slog in parts and not Rushdie's best work. And yet, one must acknowledge that the man is definitely a master of his pen. This book is quite ambiguous in many ways and it is likely that the author meant it to be that way.

"Verses" refers not only to the pseudo-Koranic verses which appear in the book, but also to childish rhymes and other words spouted by various characters in the book. There is a chara
...more
Stela

David Lodge observed somewhere that there are books you read and books you'd rather read about – I’ve often wondered during my lecture whether it’s the second that applies to Rushdie’s novel, with all the scandal and the death threats around the religious issues that went with.

By the way, I doubt the author didn’t suspect his book would create controversies. Even if I don’t know much about Muslim religion I do know about fanaticism and you can find, if you want to, some pretty blasphemous allus
...more
Tim
For eight days we wrestled. "The Satanic Verses" and I locked in heaving struggle. At times it nearly escaped as I chased it uphill, my straining hand holding fast its heel as it wriggled; then I myself would seek respite from the battle, clutching for the out-of-bounds only to be pulled back in. But we finished the struggle, and were better for it.

"The Satanic Verses" is, I suspect, one of the most unread of best-sellers. It is, indeed, a cantankerous beast with sections that one must slog thro
...more
Reshma
Jul 27, 2007 Reshma rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are intrigued by confusion.
Well, I just finished it. Here's the thing. I made the mistake of reading this book a few pages at a time, spread out over a long time. Not the way to read this book. If you choose to read it, commit to it. Or it will confuse you more.

The "confusion" is not a bad kind of confusion. It's the kind that, after you finish reading the book, makes you want to stand back and smile, wondering how you got suckered into this ride and how you became consumed in it. You can spend endless hours trying to fig
...more
Navaneeta
I was ready to be disappointed by this book. It's too hyped, too controversial to have appealed to me. Or that is what I had thought before I started on it.

But the truth is Rushdie caught me by surprise. This is actually as good as Midnight's Children, if not better. The way Rushdie interweaves the many stories, the many characters present through time in different avataars, is simply spellbinding. The book definitely takes digs at Islam, but I think what is under attack here is not just one rel
...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 Haroun and the Sea of Stories The Enchantress Of Florence Shalimar the Clown The Moor's Last Sigh

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