Shalimar the Clown
Starred Review. For Westerners, Rushdie's latest may be better heard than read. While readers might stumble over the Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani names and accents, Mandvi glides right through them, allowing us to engage with Rushdie's well-wrought characters and sagas. Mandvi has a calm, quiet storyteller voice, often employing tempo to express emo ...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
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
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
The magical strand helps to creates a wonderful, unset ...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
Shalimar il Clown è la storia della nascita del terrorismo jihadista nel Kashmir, terra di confine prima invasa dai soldati indiani, che stuprano come se non ci fosse niente di meglio per piegare una popolazione, e poi "difeso" dai fondamentalisti islamici, provenienti dal Pakistan, che trasformano una terra di pace e coesistenza in una roccaforte del terrorismo e lasciano le stesse macerie dell'esercito indiano...
il racconto è i ...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
Interestingly enough, it's a tale of love and revenge and the lovers' broken hearts and desperate choices on the backdrop of the tragic history of Kashmir, which in Rushdie's occasionally stunning prose threatens to rip your heart out especially the poignant lyrical passage describing the destruction of the Kashmiri village of Pachigam.
This being Rushdie, there a ...more
Where so much is said about Kashmir issue, most of it is biased inf favor of one party or other. Slaman Rushdi has been able to provide most neutral of all descriptions of the issue, I've come up with. He has managed to cover the whole history of place in a single story with out appearing to lecture.
For as much, I could have given him five stars.
It is true that this is no Midnig ...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
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun ...more