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Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Khalifa Brothers #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  16,899 ratings  ·  1,416 reviews
Immediately forget any preconceptions you may have about Salman Rushdie and the controversy that has swirled around his million-dollar head. You should instead know that he is one of the best contemporary writers of fables and parables, from any culture. Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a delightful tale about a storyteller who loses his skill and a struggle against myster...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published by Viking Children's Books (first published 1990)
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The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best South Asian Fiction
30th out of 367 books — 1,243 voters
The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaMidnight's Children by Salman RushdieThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best Indian Books
51st out of 536 books — 1,553 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nicholas Karpuk
Sep 29, 2008 Nicholas Karpuk rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No One But hardcore Rushdie fans.
"The Satanic Verses" bent my brain funny. I thought Rushdie had some good prose, the ideas were interesting, but the surrealism combined with moments of silliness made for an odd mix, and in the end I left satisfied but disoriented, like I'd eaten an exotic meal.

"Haroun and the Sea of Stories" was Rushdie's attempt to write a children's book for the son he was estranged from. There's a certain sadness to the tone of the book, wherein a storyteller loses his ability to do his job, and his son mus...more
Dec 17, 2007 Ken rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
there is something about a story written for an adult audience as myth or child's tale that i love. it seems to be more concise, concentrated, and make the simplicity of good vs. bad, and having a moral seem beautiful rather than simplistic. maybe that is because dualities were more pristine as a child. rushdie's earlier works never captured me; "midnite's children" seem windy and ornate with insufficient structure to hold up the explainations. "haroun" is still written with all the mastery that...more
Review of 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' by Salman Rushdie.
Shelf: Modern English fiction,Indian writer/Indian origin writer,Magical realism.
Recommended for: Ppl who oppose censorship,young-at-heart readers.

Writers are not easy people to live with: Dickens,Henry Miller,Naipaul... the list is long. But when you read a book like Haroun and the Sea of Stories,you find yourself wishing there was a writer in the family! Imagine a book written exclusively for you,a poem dedicated to you- & centuri...more
about halway through the book, i realised it reminded me of something. but i couldn't put my finger on it. a very annoying feeling, it really is, to feel like you've read something that sorta kinda maybe looks like the thing you're eating throgh right now.

not to worry, i realised what it reminded me of. Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

yep. Salman Rushdie's writing reminded me of a radio show turned book.

is it bad? not really, no. it didn't remind me of easy, uncomplicated...more
Salman Rushdie blew my mind with his magnum opus Midnight’s Children. I’ve been an ardent fan of him since I first read it last year. Then I read the allegedly blasphemous The Satanic Verses, which turned out to be quite a good book thought it was at first a tumultuous experience. I waited with bated breath for his memoir Joseph Anton, which I, unsurprisingly, devoured. And with Haroun, Rushdie has blown my mind again.

Rushdie wrote Haroun for his son during the fatwa. It’s quite incredible that...more
Aug 23, 2007 AlegraMarcel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids
This is a kids book that really is just for kids. I know the editors' reviews tell you that it will change your life, change the world, or something else great. But, trust me, it's just a cute story.

Haroun's dad is a story teller. His life is happy until one day his mom leaves him and his dad and his dad can no longer tell stories. This puts the mat risk of losing everything because that's how they maek their money. They are invited to tell stories on behalf of politicians, and the night before...more
This was recommended to me by Laurice as a children's novel--we both love kids' books--so I went into it expecting a children's book, albeit, a children's book as Salman Rushdie might approach children. As a 6th grade teacher, my first thoughts were that it would be too difficult to teach to my class (I prefer the teacher lens to the previous MFA creative writing student lens, but ultimately the best is when the lenses recede because I'm too far into the world of the book, which quickly happened...more
Haroun and the Sea of Stories reminded me very much of The Phantom Tollbooth, especially, of course, in its use of allegory.
I thought this would make a good reading assignment for a middle schooler. I can't say it affected me any which way at age 42 except that I was not immune to the horribly depressing image of the sea of stories being choked by poisons. I guess I also thought it was interesting that the son's pronouncement on the father's stories could have such a profound effect.

Salman Rushd...more
i hate this book!!!!!!!!!!! it's so bad- what with its unneccasary capitalization, cheesy, overdramatic-ness, and just plain being weird. ugh, so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enchanting, delightful, full of fun and intrigue. Haroun is a boy who finds his way to Kahani and the Ocean of the Streams of Story, where all of the world's stories comes from. There he not only saves the Ocean and all the stories, but his father, mother, town, and self from sadness. There were so many wonderful parts to this book: the P2C2E (aren't many things that way?), Mr. Butt and Iff, the blending and renewal of stories in the ocean. It is a fascinating narrative, full of a sort-of-dream,...more
May 01, 2008 Victoria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults, both men and women
Salman Rushdie is known for writing The Satanic Verses. After publication in his country of India, many violent protests against the book occurred. Faced with many death threats including the request of his killing by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Rushdie went into hiding for nearly a decade. During that time, in order to entertain his family and young daughter he told many fantasized stories. This novel stemmed from that experience.

Haroun's father is the famed storyteller Rashid Khalifa - someti...more
This book is about a boy named Haroun Kalifa, who lives with his father and mother in "The sad city." A city so sad that it forgot its name. His father Rashid Kalifa was a storyteller. The famous "ocean of notions." The poeple of the city loved to hear his stories, of the many heros who would rescue the princess from danger, and no story was alike. One day Mr. Oneeta , who was their neighboor, a grumpy, gloomy, and bored neighbor who always had something negative to say, decided he was fed up wi...more
Rushdie, returns to his own familiar terrain with this book,the genre he has made utterly his own, Magic Realism. But this time it is not only a father writing a post-modern fairy tale for his son, Zafar, but also an author, who uses this facade to prove a point or two. Written two years since "Satanic Verses." Rushdie in this novel chooses a premise of a sad city so sad that it has forgotten its name. And of course a story teller, who suddenly loses his ability to tell stories anymore, after hi...more
This is a book for anyone who has ever said, "Daddy, tell me a story." Or for any father who has heard that plea.

And that's what this book really is, a yarn, a make-it-up-as-you-go fairy tale, that Rushdie actually wrote at the behest of his young son. Of course, like The Wizard of Oz, it is also so much more.

The clues are in the names. In fact, we are told early on: All names mean something. Hmmm. What was that Valley of K called once upon a time? Was it Kosh-Mar? Kache-Mer? And the slimy poli...more
Mario Angelo
Feb 03, 2010 Mario Angelo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mario by: Pat
"Happy endings are much rarer in stories, and also in life, than most people think. You can almost say they are the exceptions, not the rule."
Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories invokes a tale of learning, to strive for the better things in life when everything seems like it's a mess. Set in a world where chatter and noise are separated from silence by a Twilight Pass, a young boy discovers that his choices determine how his life would turn out to be.

I enjoyed reading this book. With...more
Tieu uyen
Sau khi xuất bản quyển : “những vần thơ của Quỷ sa tăng” thì anh Rushdie bị truy sát. Ảnh lẩn trốn và cuối cùng cho ra quyển Haroun và biển truyện. Độc giả náo nức, người hâm mộ tò mò về cuộc sống của ảnh sau thời kì ấy. Được xem như một câu truyện ngụ ngôn về tự do dân chủ và ngôn luận, tự do tưởng tượng, tự do sáng tạo của Rushdie.
Cultmaster Khattam-shud đã hoàn thành tốt vai diễn Ayatollah Khomeini mà Rushdie thiết kế cho. Bà con háo hức theo dõi từng bước chân Haroun, cùng với sự dũng cảm c...more
Càfê Sữa
Biệt ngữ

Thói quen duy trì lâu ngày sẽ thành văn hóa. Mặt khác, thời gian cũng bào mòn dần cái nghĩa ban đầu của thói quen. Ngôn ngữ xét như một khía cạnh của văn hóa, cũng mang trong mình quá trình quên lãng như vậy. Dù không thể phủ nhận nghĩa trong một sinh ngữ được định nghĩa và tái định nghĩa thông qua biết bao hoạt động đời sống cộng đồng ngày ngày.

Ví dụ như gay vốn chỉ đến những người vô lo (carefree) và vui tươi (merry), nay phần lớn được hiểu như xu hướng tính dục đồng giới (homosexual)....more
Nora Ghenciulescu
It’s a story about a beloved storyteller an his son, Haroun. They live in ,,The Sad City" ,a city that has forgotten its own name out of sadness.
One day Harouns mom runs away with Mr. Sengupta, and the storyteller loses his skills. A captivating adventure begins.

,, Haroun And The Sea Of Stories” a marvellous,amazing book.
Salman Rushdie is such a show-off. A lot of aspiring writers would save heaps of money on writing classes, if they just read this short novel and asked themselves the question: Can I write something as seamless and perfect as Haroun And The Sea Of Stories? If not, don't bother.
Rashid is the father of Haroun and his father is a storyteller but he is kind of shy to say his story in front of a big audience. Haroun and his father go throw alot. Finally his father get the wish he wanted.
‘But but but,’ I thought as I finally finished the last lines of Rushdie’s ‘Haroun and the sea of stories. ‘This is no children’s book as was proclaimed originally!’, I went on still reeling under the dizzying array of the thrill ride I had had during my record time of reading it in a flat 2 days. Of course, given that it is less than a 6’ x 9’ paperback of 211 pages makes it easier. And the reason I used the three ‘buts’ was to quote the effervescent Butt the hoopoe, a large mechanical robotic...more
Oh Mr. Rushdie! You have such a way with words! It's no wonder beautiful women flock to your feet!

okay Regine, let's be serious now

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a book that Rushdie wrote for his estranged son after the fatwa. Rushdie gives us his own version of Wonderland, Kahani. He writes about a world where stories are made, and a boy trying to rescue his father.

Rushdie gives us a book that is imaginative, enchanting, and heartfelt. Usually when a "great author" tries to write a childr...more
Mar 30, 2010 an rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: penggemar dongeng
alice in negeri seribu satu malam

seakan itulah yang dijadikan tema oleh salman rushdie dalam kisah ini. dongeng. demikian lebih tepat na sebutan untuk kisah yang dia tuturkan melalui penutur tentang petualangan rasyid khalifa, sang legenda samudra khayal dan anak na, harun.

apalah gunanya dongeng yang tak mungkin terjadi di alam nyata?

kalimat inilah yang dilontarkan harun kepada ayah na karena merasa sang ayah adalah penyebab kepergian ibu na. ayah yang terlalu asik dengan dongeng na dan tidak me...more
Rushdie wrote this during the dangerous time following his publication of Satanic Verses, when a fatwa was declared and his life was in constant danger (I'm still at a loss for how that novel was deemed incendiary). His young son Zafar asked him to write something for children, and much is borrowed from the bedtime stories created for his son. The novel references many works like The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings and Arabian Nights, as well as films and songs. The great thing about this work i...more
Sarah Milne
I LOVE this book. If I ever have kids I will read this to them at bedtime. It is an enchanting story with layers of value. Haroun and the Sea of Stories can be read as a nice adventure about the importance of story telling. And it is most certainly about the importance of stories, foremost. It can be read as a sort of manifesto, with Rushdie painting amusingly wicked pictures of corrupt politicians and advocating freedom of speech and government transparency. I don't know why this is not more po...more
Jul 23, 2011 Shriya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shriya by: Navdeep
Shelves: favourites
A fair warning: everybody might not like this succinct story full of references to the need as well as pointlessness of censorship and allegory for several problems existing in society today, especially in India and the Indian subcontinent. Yes, the novel contains an allegory of the fight between the imagination, the forces of freedom, and the forces of obscurantism. But then, much like 'Le Petit Prince', all these subtle hints are well-hidden to the eye inexperienced to the genre of Magical Rea...more
After finishing The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie began work on a children's novel which was dedicated to his son. His son told him he should write some books that children would want to read, and this was his response. Well, I'm no longer a child, but I would've enjoyed the crap out of this one when I was going through my Daniel Pinkwater / Bruce Coville phase--hmm, which was about the same time Haroun was written. Too bad I never heard about it back in the day.

Haroun is the son of Rashid. Ras...more
This book felt like Salman's version of The Phantom Tollbooth The Phantom Tollbooth. Haroun's father, Rashid, is touted as the greatest story teller in all of India, until his mother runs off with their next door neighbor, a sniveling clerk who asks, "what is the point of stories if they aren't even true." Soon after, when his father steps on stage at a political rally to tell stories in support of a candidate, his story well dries up and for the first time in his life, Rashid can not speak. Wi...more
i can really relate to this book because instead of my mom,my dad left my house.I was only 5 okay Haruon is older buht no matter what age you are, you never understand how your parent can just leave like you dont excist.It hurts but after a while you live with it and in this book Haruon trying to figure out how to help hes dad get his stories back. The thing is it might look like the stories arent there but they still are. I think its just that he remembers the times when she was there listening...more
Tara Lynn Tanner
Ahhh, Salman, you had me at Haroun. I am a Rushdie fan- so you should know that. But if you've been wary of him (you know, what with the fatwa and all) or even tried and failed to imbibe the brilliance of the Satanic Verses or Midnight's Children, you should pick this up. It is a YA appropriate novel- easy to follow- lovely characters- a feel good read that you can really feel good about, because it doesn't talk down to you.
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Character description 9 178 Nov 06, 2008 08:58AM  
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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 The Enchantress Of Florence Shalimar the Clown The Moor's Last Sigh

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“Nothing comes from nothing, Thieflet; no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old--it is the new combinations that make them new.” 39 likes
“He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real.” 25 likes
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