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Midnight's Children

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3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  77,163 Ratings  ·  4,459 Reviews
A history of India since independence seen through the eyes of characters born on that independence was granted. Often hailed as a classic of magic realism, this is a many-layered and entralling narrative in which the complexities of the sub-continent are projected through the minds of its many characters, comic, tragic and fantastic by turns, this is the novel which revol ...more
Hardcover, Everyman's Library Edition, 589 pages
Published September 21st 1995 by Random House (first published 1981)
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John Addiego This is literary fiction in what I'd call the magical realism style, and it seems like one of the best novels about multi-cultural India during and…moreThis is literary fiction in what I'd call the magical realism style, and it seems like one of the best novels about multi-cultural India during and since its moment of independence from the British Empire. Mostly, it's a work of rare genius and terrific humor by a master stylist.(less)
Anna This is a slow, intense, complex novel, and even though I always read at a pretty high level, I do not think I could have handled this book at 15.…moreThis is a slow, intense, complex novel, and even though I always read at a pretty high level, I do not think I could have handled this book at 15. It's not inappropriate because of sexual content or violence, but because I think you have to have read a little more and been challenged by reading a little more before you can really dive into and appreciate it. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Shayantani Das
Dec 04, 2013 Shayantani Das rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cringe-worthy
If beating around the bush was a crime; then, Salman Rushdie would be charged with aggravated assault and attempt to murder of that bush.

If there was of contest of master of digressions; he would emerge as the undisputed winner.

And, if any novel could even come close to portraying India’s vast cultural identity;that novel would be Midnight’s Children .


Salman Rushdie is a wicked, WICKED author. In this booker of booker’s novel, he has given us one of the most unreliable, irritating, annoying, cl
...more
Turhan Sarwar
Jun 10, 2008 Turhan Sarwar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Midnight's Children is not at all a fast read; it actually walks the line of being unpleasantly the opposite. The prose is dense and initially frustrating in a way that seems almost deliberate, with repeated instances of the narrator rambling ahead to a point that he feels is important--but then, before revealing anything of importance, deciding that things ought to come in their proper order. This use of digressions (or, better put, quarter-digressions) can either be attributed to a charmingly ...more
Samadrita
What's real and what's true aren't necessarily the same.

Discard skepticism as you approach this epic. Suspend disbelief. Because myth and truth blend into each other imperfectly to spin a gossamer-fine web of reality on which the nation state is balanced precariously. And we, the legatees of this yarn, are caught up in a surrealist farce which plays out interminably in this land of heat and dust and many smells, our rational selves perennially clashing with our shallow beliefs but eventually s
...more
Dolors
Apr 02, 2015 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dreamers & Renegades
Recommended to Dolors by: Garima & Sckenda
“Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”

Living different ways of grasping the meaning of man and the world should offer a deeper perspective than the usual reductionism that we oftentimes subject cultures that diverge from our own
...more
Garima
Nothing but trouble outside my head; nothing but miracles inside it.

Being a child is no child’s play. A long wait within the sheltered darkness of a womb subsides when rhythmic beats of the heart resume their role in blinding light and mind, an apparent clean slate hold the fading marks of previous lives. While the time patiently takes its course to reveal the silhouette of million existent enigmas, the colorblind vision gradually sheds its skin and an exhilarating display of a new world comes f
...more
Whitaker
Apr 18, 2012 Whitaker rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been to a Hindu temple? It’s a riotous mass of orange, blue, purple, red, and green. Its walls seethe with deities. In one corner, Ganesha--the god with a human body and elephant head--sits on his vehicle, a rat. In another, a blue Krishna sits on a cow wooing cow girls by playing his flute. Durgha wearing a necklace of skulls kills a demon in another corner. Jasmine-decorated devotees stand around chanting. The press of people, the incense and the noise all combine and you lose yo ...more
Ahmed
Jul 15, 2016 Ahmed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

(وَقْع إسم سلمان رشدى على الأُذْن العربيه (وخاصة المسلمة) من أسوأ ما يكون , فهو ذلك الكاتب الذى اتخذ من قلمة أداة لإهانة مقدساتنا والتجريح فيها )هذه هى الصورى الذهنيه التى غالباً ستتكون عندك ولا ألومك فى هذا لأنك لم تقرأ له مثلما كانت هى عندى ولم أكن قد قرأت له بعد. فجرمه المزعوم المتمثل فى (آيات شيطانيه) كان من القوة بحيث أصبح ملازم لإسمه.وللحق فأنا لم أقرأ جريمته تلك لكى أحكم ولكن هى صورة ليست إلا .

ولكن بمجرد ما تنتهي من أول 10 صفحات من رائعته(أطفال منتصف الليل) لن تملك إلا أن تقع تحت تأثير سح
...more
Taylor
Nov 06, 2014 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rushdie newcomers, the ambitious, people who love their hometown
Back in 2000, lit critic James Wood wrote a huge manifesto on the problem of "the 'big' novel" for the New Atlantic (disguised as a review of Zadie Smith). He basically attacked quirky novels like Underworld, Infinite Jest & White Teeth. There were a lot of things about it that I agreed with - particularly his point that a lot of cutesy things some writers tend towards are in place of good structure. One major thing I didn't agree with was his inclusion of Rushdie in this lot of wacky writer ...more
Steve
Mar 08, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly am sorry, Salman. It’s trite to say, I know, but it really wasn’t you, it was me. I take all the blame for not connecting, ignorant as I am about the Indian subcontinent’s history, culture, and customs. I’m sure your allegories were brilliant and your symbolism sublime, but it was in large part lost on me. At least I could appreciate your fine writing. You were very creative in the way you advanced the story, too — nonlinearly, and tied to actual events. Your device that allowed narrator ...more
Cecily
“Nose and knees and knees and nose” – part of a prophecy about the unborn narrator. A few days after reading this, I was fortunate to be in the Acropolis Museum, and was struck by a collection of three bas-reliefs that were just of knees. Coupled with the relative lack of whole noses on some of the statues, I was transported back to this book.

This was my first adult Rushdie, following soon after his gorgeous children’s/YA novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

My initial reaction to this was “The
...more
Marieke
PART 1

I finished the book yesterday--but before I describe my overall response I have to start with this entry I wrote in my notebook while I was partway through.

I last opened this book ten years ago. This was the book that destroyed our little book club in college, my first year. A small group of avid readers, aspiring to read high and mighty works of literature. We made it through Snow Falling on Cedars successfully--I don't remember any discussion we had about it, but I liked the book.

Midnig
...more
mai ahmd
Nov 01, 2014 mai ahmd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات


إن قراءة سلمان رشدي في هذه الرواية لم تكن سهلة يجب على القارىء أن يمسك خيوطها منذ البداية فإن أفلتت منه سيكون من الصعوبة الإمساك بها من جديد ..شخصيا وصلت إلى أعلى قمة للمتعة تلك الحالة التي أشعر بها بالرضا الشديد بالإعجاب والإنذهال والتساؤل كيف يتأتى لكاتب أن يكتب بهذا الإحتراف أن يطلق بندقيته في وجه التاريخ دون وجل أن يخترع أفكارا وشخصيات خرافية لها صلة بشخصيات حقيقية كانت صانعة ومؤثرة.. تبدو لي أن الكتابة عنها ليست أيضا بهذه السهولة سأبدأ في اقتباس لفت نظري جدا لأنه يبدو لي لا يلخص السبب بل ال
...more
Andrea Schweiger Bregman
It doesn’t happen often, but from time to time after I finish a work of literature, I wonder, “What just happened?” In an effort to answer that question, my brain attempts to turn itself inside out to make sense of it all. This time that torture came from Rushdie’s Midnight Children. This novel is my first experience reading Rushdie’s work, so I am not sure if the writing style of this book is typical of the author, but I am not in any hurry to find out.

Being an English Literature student and an
...more
Erwin
Do not know what to say.......... I am speechless...unlike the main character of this book: Saleem.

What to compare this to? Not another book. Impossible! Perhaps it is best to compare this reading experience to a feeling, an image from my past:
A young boy listening in awe to his father (his greatest hero) telling one of his most wonderful stories at a campfire, hoping that the night and dad's story will never end.

Saleem's story and his narrative made me feel like that young boy again: an awest
...more
sweet jane
Apr 27, 2016 sweet jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
15 Αυγούστου 1947: Η Ινδία πετάει από το σάρι της τον Βρετανικό ζηγό και ετοιμάζεται για την αναγέννηση της. Εκείνη την στιγμή, πάνω στην αλλαγή της ημέρας, γεννιούνται δύο αγόρια με ιδιαίτερες δυνάμεις. Την τύχη τους θα αλλάξει η μοίρα, ή μάλλον καλύτερα η Μαίρη, και μπροστά μας θα εξαλλαχθεί ένα απίστευτο παραμύθι ανάλογο εκείνων από τις Χίλιες και μία νύχτες.
Τα παιδιά του Μεσονυκτίου είναι ένα βιβλίο ιστορίας, πολιτισμού και εικόνων από την Ινδία. Ο Ρούσντι πλάθει ένα παραμύθι τριών γενιών κα
...more
Ben
Dec 02, 2007 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who reads fiction written after 1965
This was an extremely good book; one which, for some reason, I couldn't quite fall in love with. I was, however, more and more impressed with Rushdie's mastery over his novel as I made my way through it.

Midnight's Children is as much a tale of history and nationhood as it is of a person. I think, in some sense, the book was a sort of authorial attempt to bring into the realm of substantial palpability everything that had happened to the Indian subcontinent since Independence in '47 (or thereabou
...more
Mahdi
(view spoiler) ...more
Algernon
Jul 27, 2012 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, favorites

I tried tackling this "sacred monster" of a book twenty years ago, and I was defeated - neither my English skills, nor my cultural background were up to the task, and I had to return it to the library only a third of the way in. In a way I'm glad I've waited so long to come back, because Midnight's Children is still a difficult book, but worth all the effort on my part and all the critical praise it received from the Booker Prize crowd.

It was from the start a most ambitious project - the Indian
...more
Rebecca
Dec 10, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading Rushdie's Midnight's Children is like listening to someone else's long-winded, rambling re-telling of a dream they had. And like all people who describe their dreams -- especially those who do so long past the point where their listeners can believably fake interest or patience -- Rushdie is inherently selfish in the way he chose to write this book. Midnight's Children is one of those novels that are reader-neutral or even reader-antagonistic -- they seem to have been written for the sol ...more
Paul Bryant
Dec 28, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, india
Update:

Just back from watching the movie and.... well... it kind of highlights the less great parts of the book, just because it's a movie. You notice the non-plot, you notice that the characters get dragged around from India to Pakistan to Bangladesh depending which big political event or war is happening as we make our way from 1947 to 1977; and we really notice how gushingly sentimental it all turns out in the end. All of these problems are there in the book but are melted, dissolved, and ble
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 06, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joselito, Jzhunagev and all the other brilliant people who appreciate great literary works
Recommended to K.D. by: TIME Magazine's 100 Best Novels, Man Booker, Best of Booker, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006 to 2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, booker, india
Now, I am beginning to like Salman Rushdie.

Last year, I read his controversial novel The Satanic Verses and I hated it so I gave it a lone star.

Here in Midnight's Children, his playful and I-don't-care-if-you-like-me-or-not writing style is still very much around. This is a long read and it took me the whole week to reach up to its last word on page 647. It started strong, interesting and clear. Once details, too much of them, are introduced, I dazed off and became an outsider watching the pass
...more
Rowena
Jul 15, 2012 Rowena rated it it was amazing
Salman Rushdie definitely enjoys beating about the bush! I come from a culture that's the same way so I wasn't too bothered by it, and quite enjoyed it, but I can see why some people may dislike his writing style. Not I! This is one of the best books I've read this year and makes its way onto my coveted "favourites" shelf.

The story transfixed me most of the way through, though my attention did start to waver towards the end. The way Rushdie intertwines Indian culture and history into a magical s
...more
Srividya
Inspired by Salman Rushdie, I plan to write this review in the same style as he has written the book. A small group, …. a huge beginning, ….. the first ever Book of the Month to be nominated, …. a young man with a desire to read the best, …. a Booker prize winner, and ….. me finally at the end, a reader with certain prejudices, which led to this book becoming the Book of the Year, not because it was the best book I have read this year but because it took me the better part of the year to finally ...more
Dusty Myers
An important novel. Rushdie's narcissistic narrator, Saleem Sinai, achieves this narcissism from being the first child born on the day India won its independence from Britain. He got a letter from the prime minister making it official, and from this momentous, synchronous birth, the history of Saleem is twinned step-by-step to the history of India. This is what makes it An Important Novel, and I don't much care for Important Novels.

Saleem's point of view is a slippery, deceptive thing throughout
...more
Fahad
Sep 24, 2014 Fahad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
أطفال منتصف الليل

أنهيت الكتاب قبل سفري بيوم، لهذا أجلت الكتابة عنه حتى أعود، وعندما عدت جعلت أؤجل الكتابة تحاشياً لكل تلك الكلمات التي يمكن لها أن تتدفق تحت تأثير سلمان رشدي وجنونه الذي جعله يحصد جائزة البوكر عن هذا الكتاب سنة 1981 م.

كان هذا كتاب رشدي الثاني، الأول مر بلا صيت، رواية خيال علمي غريبة، ولكن هذه الرواية أخذته إلى القمة، كان هذا طبعاً قبل فضيحة (الآيات الشيطانية) وفتوى الخميني اللتان جعلتا اسم رشدي تابو في الأدب المترجم للعربية.

كل من سيقرأ هذه الرواية سيميز وبسرعة تيار الواقعية ال
...more
Riku Sayuj
Truly deserving of booker of bookers.
Amber
Dec 30, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amber by: Michael Anson
Last night On August 14th, I finished reading Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. This was my first ever book I have read by Rushdie which I borrowed at my local library and what an enjoyable reading experience this was. Thanks to Michael Anson at the Reading for Pleasure book club for recommending this to me. Let me write a small summary of it then I'll post my thoughts:

In the Midnight Hour of India's Independence, a young boy named Saleem Sinai is born with extraordinary powers from beyond
...more
Miss Ravi
May 23, 2016 Miss Ravi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: رمان
امتیاز من: 3.6
مغزم باد کرده، از تاریخ هند، از وقایع غیرمعمول، از زندگی تمامنشدنی سلیم سینایی. او خیلی قبلتر از اینکه به دنیا بیاید داستانش را شروع میکند ولی برای خواننده عجیب به نظر نمیرسد که چطور؟ شاید به این دلیل که خیلی خوب میتواند خودش را همتای تاریخ نشان بدهد و در ردیف اسطورهها. خیلی راحت میتواند وقایع را به خودش ربط بدهد و خودش را «هند» بداند. خیلی هم صحبت نماد و استعاره نیست چرا که سلیم سینایی به این موضوع اشاره میکند. بارها خودش را هند میداند با آن لکههای روی صورت و آن دماغ خیاری. و هر چ
...more
Kevin Ansbro
For me, one of the most important books of our modern age.
I ADORE this playful, historical epic: Salman Rushdie is a literary god in my eyes, and can do no wrong - so I am biased.
Rushdie is one of the authors who has influenced my own style of writing, even though his overly-descriptive approach is discouraged by publishing editors the world over.
The 'midnight's children' of the story are those born in the first hour of India's independence from British rule.
It is true that the novel's meanderin
...more
Ritwik
The most courageous writer I have come across lately and my first venture into the genre of magic realism. I confess I had a different opinion of magical realism before I started reading this book. I had the opinion that magic realism would in general have a lot of similarities to fantasy fiction with an exception that the allusions made would be realistic and the exaggerations would just make the effects to the plot more pronounced. According to my findings, 'Midnight's Children' is considered ...more
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3299
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...

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“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.” 547 likes
“Memory's truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own.” 294 likes
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