Shalimar the Clown
Sure enough, I'm finding Rushdie's authorial voice to be much like I remember it - extensive vocabulary, usage of magical realism/dreams/fantasies, strong character descriptions, and multi-cultural savvy that combine together seamlessly. For these reasons I'm finding the stor ...more
Wonderful. All of Rushdie's powers are at play here, but perhaps the most striking is his exploration of the social and psychological borderland between visceral, emotional impulse and ideological motivation. What motivates someone to become an assassin, a terrorist, a murderer? And in the enlongated moment of that decision, how do personal, emotional wounds gain political currency enough to justify killing someone? Or killing many people?
(For a second ther ...more
Rushdie is at full power in Shalimar. He combines his lush prose and diverse characters with political allegory and cultural savvy. Although it's ...more
Had anyone ever given us a non-fiction book about the issues related to Kashmir as raised in this book, we'd have probably abandoned it after 100 pages or so & I'm not lying or judging anyone when I say that, since that is pretty normal. That is perhaps since most of us have been watching the same thing over & ...more
some of this is just so long winded.
also, his descriptions of the character, "India," remind me of his first inkling of desire for his ex-wife,pseudo-human and nit-wit, padma lakshmi. sick.
and finally, if you're going to name one of your main characters after a sort of popular german film director, make sure your audience understands why. if anyone else has read this, what do max ophuls the director, max ophuls the main character, and kashmira from the story all have ...more
The magical strand helps to creates a wonderful, unset ...more
And Shalimar the Clown is entertaining, witty, and snarky as it flies from LA to Alsace to Kashmir to the Philippines, seemingly wanting to suck every aspect of globalized society (fundamentalism, Bretton Woods, decolonization, interracial romance, you name it) up into its propeller. It's no ...more
There is no doubt that this is a collection of beautiful sentences. The writing is vivid, lyrical, and evocative. Unfortunately it's mostly evocative of horror. The sections all pretty much start out "Here are some people. Horrible things happened to them. Let's examine their lives leading up to the horrible things." The Kashmir sections are the loveliest, I think, but that just makes the torture, rape, and systematic murder in them a ...more
A mournful lament of the paradise that was Kashmir ("a ruined paradise, not so much lost as smashed", says the blurb) wrapped in an enticing tale of love, loss, hatred, relegious extremism, power and that ubiquitous, terribly influential entity - luck. The writing is fabulous - at once evocative, captivating, heartbreaking and magical - and the characters are very real.
I read this book on cramped and somewhat-raining train journeys across the beautiful, pond-filled terrain of W ...more
Rushdie’s latest work, Shalimar the Clown, is a clear example of what ails the novel today. Notwithstanding my disdain for page long sentences a ...more
This is a book that is ostentatiously about the transformation of a Kashmiri stage performer into a vengeful assassin, but ends up being about too many things. The plot is the scorned love of the protagonist and his Kashmiri dancer wife. An American ambassador to India, an illegitimate daughter (named India), and the consequent murder of the ambassador by Shalimar The Clown, complete the plotline. In between, while giving a remarkable insight into the Kas ...more
Like some of the post-9/11 literature, Shalimar delves deep into the roots of terrorism and explores the turmoil generated by different faiths and cultures attempting to coexist. How can nations, Rushdie asks, go from near-peaceful ethnic and religious acceptance to violent conflict within a mere generation? Critics agree that Rushdie has brilliantly unraveled the construction of terrorists: some of them fight for ideas; others fight to fulfill vows or, if they are men, to reclaim their wives.
I find it a slight problem to prepare my comments on any Salman Rushdie Novel as I grapple with the oft occurring issue of where to begin from and how to end what I have started. Presence of this issue acutely describes my ineffectiveness in conjuring apt words and phrases to encompass the entire essence/worlds/themes that Rushdie packages into a single story-line. Rushdie’s stories, (atleast in those ones that I have read so far), hop through continents a ...more
Several flashbacks take the readers to the past. Shalimar, the clown, was once full of affection and deeply in love with Boonyi, a beautiful Hindu girl who he married. Things come to a turn when Maxmillian come ...more
These lines say a lot about Shalimar as a novel. Rushdie is a conjurer of vanished worlds, who laughs bemusedly at, then laments the breakdown of relationships. The novel hinges around one particular betrayal - by a young Kashmiri girl who wishes to escape the confines of her magical cook-actor community for the modern world. She betrays that community that tried to protect her in their own, constricting way, a ...more
Throughout the first part of the book, whose only real concrete event is India's birthday car ride with her aging father, Rushdie would drift away into the minds of the characters and it quickly became tiresome. ...more
Why didn't I like it more? I'm not sure. The writing was impeccable, from the first word to last. This is one of those books in which the setting is ...more
As a 30-something year old heterosexual male, I'm not really in the habit of declaring publicly my love for another man but how can one resist when it come to Salman Rushdie. The vision, intellectualism and grandeur of his writing is truly stunning and it makes it hard not to love (his mind and imagination) in any case.
What other author can take you from the gloss of America to rural Kashmir whilst also incorporating a whole section of World War II? I absolutely loved Shami ...more
Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie (2005)
A few years ago a friend of mine gave me what was then Rushdie’s latest with a very lukewarm recommendation. As a result, I set it on my shelf for until such time as I had the time and motivation to plough through the man’s florid prose. I had just read his The Moor’s Last Sigh the previous year and was mildly impressed by the constancy of its themes and the unusual historical context, although the story itself did not have a whole lot goi ...more
And yet the message does not stem from this feeling. Whereas the m ...more
The lives of Shalimar and Boonyi, a couple from the village of Pachigam, are a metaphor for Kashmir. Initially we see them young and in love. Despite their religious difference (Boonyi is Hindu and Shalimar Muslim), both their families and the villagers support and protect their union. The ...more
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun ...more