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The Moor's Last Sigh

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  8,245 ratings  ·  401 reviews
In The Moor's Last Sigh Salman Rushdie revisits some of the same ground he covered in his greatest novel, Midnight's Children. This book is narrated by Moraes Zogoiby, aka Moor, who speaks to us from a grave in Spain. Like Moor, Rushdie knows about a life spent in banishment from normal society--Rushdie because of the death sentence that followed The Satanic Verses, Moor b...more
Paperback, 434 pages
Published July 4th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

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Kalliope
This is another hard book to rate and review. Rushdie is a smart, ingenious and purposeful writer. Everything is cleverly thought out and his use of language is magical. He bends the words with ease and brings out richer meanings. The plot is an original story that unfolds as a series of riddles to a satirical account of modern India.

Yet, in spite of all that, the book did not click with me.

The characters remain puppets. As exotic cartoons they act out a sort of fable that sometimes appears wit...more
Max
Going against my better judgement, I read this book on a recommendation from a drummer. He prefers the term, "percussionist," but we all know what he really is. He gave me the book for free. I lugged it around in my suitcase for a year (twice!)before I cracked it open.
Once inside, I found the world Rushdie created so full of metaphor and social commentary that I had a hard time distinguishing the story from historical anecdotes of various wealthy families I'd heard over the years.
Poetic, unp...more
Giedre
I admit that I had already given The Moor‘s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie a couple of unsuccessful tries before I finally challenged myself to reading it in one go a couple of weeks ago. It seemed just the right time to plunge into something by Rushdie after I unexpectedly met him at a conference he was giving in Madrid as part of the World Book Day celebration.

And yes, it was a big challenge. If one can love and hate a book at the same time, admire and despise it, crave for more and wish to fini...more
Russ
The Moor's Last Sigh is Rushdie's best book since Midnight's Children and is superior to The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Rushdie puts his spin on the multi-generational family novel. Like most such novels, it takes awhile to get the characters and families straight, but once you have the whole picture, you can begin to enjoy the magic that Rushdie is weaving through this genre. His first-person narrator ranges from funny to absurd to cruel, and Rushdie's playfulness with language is in full force h...more
Orionisisgray
I almost stopped reading this a number of times, but I have a thing about finishing books. Salman Rushdie is one wordy motherfucker, the opposite of what I tend to enjoy. He's all for the word play, the linguistic jokes, the rhyming slang and colorful Indian colloquialisms, which are cute for a while but wear thin. His narrative is baroque, dripping with dramatic asides and rhetorical questions to the reader, teasing hooks, and a number of other devices I don't enjoy.

Still, I am interested in I...more
Agnes
The Moor’s Last Sigh is a colorful, hard-hitting excursion into India. Squeezed into a paperback, it spans nearly a century, and through the tumultuous history of the Zogoibys as they enlarge their pepper trade in Cochin (wasn’t it with spices, the ‘hot’ pepper that it all started?) to a national scale diversification of all kinds of ‘spices’ of life, cruising through the intense political scenes of Independence movement to newly-acquired freedom to communal bloodshed to Indira Gandhi-led Emerge...more
Robert
Jan 17, 2008 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is my favorite of Rushdie's. It combines the lyrical mysticism of Midnight's Children with the hard-nosed magical-realism of the "present-day" sections of The Satanic Verses. I found Midnight's Children to have an almost apocolyptic feeling about it, especially in the later chapters -- this is hardly a knock against it. But I feel like The Moor's Last Sigh, while it certainly comes to a climactic head much as Midnight's Children, does so in a way that you feel is, I suppose, more thematical...more
Agnes
Review part 1 - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

So don’t let Rushdie fool you into thinking that “it is Moor/Zogoiby’s story and heck!, they’re somewhat flat, or Rushdie makes an allegory and fails on both counts – both the upperstory and understory are not
well-developed – happens when you want to ride two horses at once.” But, oh, dear, it is one horse, not two.

*sigh* this review just doesn’t end. But Rushdie is a crazy fellow, maker of an atom bomb – large scale destruction squeezed...more
Pewterbreath
Honestly, I remember almost nothing about this book---something about a man who ages at twice the age that normal people are supposed to, something about his mother (who I found to be the most interesting character in the book--actually the women in this book leave the most enduring memories)--a spice plantation and fights about money.

This began my love affair with magic realism--which has since somehow curdled. At the time, I thought this is IT, this is what writing should be---but since then...more
Ashley Sperling
I found this book really hard to get into for a few reasons. I would read some and then put it down for a few days, then try to resume and be entirely confused about who was who because there are so many characters and relationships introduced at the beginning, it's very hard to keep track. Also, Rushdie's wordiness made it much harder to get into the storytelling. At first the story seemed confusing and meandering until I got all the characters and relationships figured out. The last half seeme...more
Leah
“Even when people are telling their own life stories, they are invariably improving on the facts, rewriting their tales, or just plain making them up… the truth of such stories lies in what they reveal about the protagonists’ hearts, rather than their deeds.” (135)

“There is nothing to be said of a Fact except that it is so. – For may one negotiate with a Fact, sir? – In no wise! – May one stretch it, shrink it, condemn it, beg its pardon? No; or, it would be folly indeed to seek to do so. – How...more
Monthly Book Group
The final chapters of the book, and the opening chapter, to which they loop back, are packed (or “palimpsested”) with historical allusions. Moraes is not only Muhammad XI (Abu-Abd-Allah, or Boabdil, in the Spanish corruption of his name): he sees himself as Dante in “an infernal maze” of tourists, drifting yuppie zombies, and also as Martin Luther, looking for doors on which to nail the pages of his life story, as well as Jesus on the Mount of Olives, waiting for his persecutors to arrive. It is...more
Chris
I'm going tough on Rushdie with this rating: it's a really high 3. Akin with his usual work there are some incredible passages here. Midway through it my interest fizzled out, either because it didn't have enough direction or the narrator seemed to be choking on his english-hindu hybrid language. In a lot of ways it was similar to Midnight's Children in that we get to follow a family saga through the history of India and the narrator has a supernatural issue. I didn't really want to read a secon...more
Yllacaspia
I read this book flirtatiously. Which is to say that I used to always see the same gorgeous man on the bus. He had blond dreadlocks and wore a suit, which is one of my favourite looks. He always had a book with him, as did I, and I would catch him looking at my book and he would catch me looking at his book. And one day I decided to make him laugh by taking the same book he was reading: which is how I ended up reading The Moor's Sigh. And I got totally wrapped up in this beautiful story which wi...more
Simona
Leggendo questo romanzo, sembra di essere in uno di quei scenari tipici dell'America del sud, di Macondo, per la precisione. Solo che qui non siamo a Macondo, ma in India, una terra che profuma di pepe e cannella.
Una terra in cui le donne, da Aurora, la madre del Moro a Epifania sino a Isabella, sono le vere protagoniste, non solo della famiglia Da Gama, ma dell'India intera. Le donne sono le vere protagoniste, sono combattenti, sono determinate, sono loro che tengono in mano le redini della fa...more
Aistė
Kodėl sagos apie šeimas tokios patrauklios? Ar ne todėl, kad primena giminės paslaptis, genijus, nevykėlius ir piktadarius, kurių turi kiekviena šeima, taip pat ir maniškė? "Prisikasti iki šaknų - visų tų šeimos kivirčų, belaikių mirčių, sužlugdytų meilių, beprotiškų aistrų, silpnų krūtinių, galios ir pinigų, ir doroviškai net labiau abejotinų meno vilionių bei slėpinių"... Rushdie ieško šaknų. Pasaulio perėjūno, atstumtojo, "nenormalaus", asmenybės, ribojamos valdingos šeimos ir istorijos, šakn...more
Jelena
“The Moor’s Last Sigh” has about everything you would expect from one of Rushdie’s novels. The story of several generations of a dysfunctional Bombay family, their eccentricities and decadence, is full raw emotion and set into the colourful development of India’s history.

With its carnival of temper, madness, prophecy, allusions and several detours like the one set in Alhambra or the world of pictures, this novel is still rather linear for the author’s terms. But even so some threads simply get...more
Matilda
A week ago I went to see Salman Rushdie talk about his memoirs. In preparation I decided to read something by him, and picked The Moor’s Last Sigh from my shelf. The book had been there for quite some time, being picked up only to be put back again. Somehow I just did not seem to have the energy for Rushdie’s writing. The truth is that this state of mind still applied when I committed to reading the book, but this time my mind was firm, so I read it from beginning to end.

There is much to admire...more
Texbritreader
Rushdie offers a richly detailed family saga, full of passion and genius as well as secrets, lies and betrayals. Told by the multidimensional Moor of the title, Moraes Zogoiby, the tale begins with his grandparents generation and ends with the Moor's own demise. But between those two points Rushdie, in impeccable form, creates a fantastical exploration of Indian history, presents complex arguments about and descriptions of art, and questions the place and meaning of various religious affiliation...more
Rebecca White
I picked this book up after reading Cutting For Stone because I was looking for another tremendous book. I was a bit put off by Rushdie when I tried to read The Enchantress of Florence - simply because I was not so well versed in the historical setting he had used for the story.

I'm glad I moved past my own shortcoming in historical fiction and picked this book up. Although dense and a bit loquacious at times, it was splendid. I loved his blend of delivery - both the erudite and the simplistic,...more
JL
That I could taste the smells of a land I'd never been to. That if I ever had a child, I would name it Aerish. That I could fall in love with the way this man took you on a little turn. I read this book every morning after I returned from coaching...a top the little village of Sha Tin in New Territories of Hong Kong...always with my Marks and Spencer from a box cappuccino. It was the first book I read there and I remember it so well because I got to actually enjoy it. I didn't have to run off to...more
Sophie
Salman Rushdie is the kind of author that makes me feel like an idiot. But I totally love his books, perhaps for this reason, perhaps because not many other living authors have such a command of the English language in my opinion. Or if they do, they write boring stories in a stylish prose. The Moor's Last Sigh took me a long time to get into and long time to finish, because I can only manage so many pages before my brain needs a rest and it's not what I'd call pre-bedtime reading. However, desp...more
Jelle Peersman
Preliminary: CURSES ARIEHRAIOEHDFOIEADCECEZ. First time I attempt to write a review in ages and of course it disappears, just as I had typed the last word. I'm so happy. I'll try and re-write it, but it will never ever ever be as good.

___________

I always go through the same sensations when I read a Rushdie novel: my English eloquence is lifted into new realms of verbosity, O, I tell you, Sahib, the mellifluence of those orthographic tunes - carefully laid down by the master in zigzag brushstroke...more
Harald Gao
ooh...I really, really wanted to give this a 5-star rating....I reserve that for books that strike me as indubitably amazing and that didn't strike me as having any (major) flaws, and unfortunately The Moor's Last Sigh just doesn't match up.

Reading through it, I loved the book. This will be my third Rushdie novel, and I really wanted it to be as good as Midnight's Children - for a good 80% of the book, I thought it was that good, easily. I used this phrase to describe the book to a friend, but R...more
Saimah
If I had even the slightest doubt about Salman Rushdie's writing prowess (not that I had), I knew it will disappear as soon as I found myself flipping the pages to see the da Gama-Zogoiby family hierarchy of The Moor's Last Sigh.

By the time I reached the end of this book it struck me again, that Salman Rushdie is definitely a magician. Once in his hands, the words flow like a stream. Smooth, yet turbulent. Clear, yet enchanting. Simple, yet complex. Easy, yet profound.

Magic Realism at its best!

T...more
Sara
The Moor's Last Sigh isn't Midnight's Children, but it's not The Enchantress of Florence, either. It's good, solidly-rushing Rushdie, swimming in glorious language and wordplay and occasionally getting lost in an epic sea.

The beginning dragged a bit: at first, I thought I was reading an epic as fluffy as The Enchantress of Florence. Come on, Salman, get over these fantastical women already. I know you're in love, but they're not real!

But the book picks up once the Moor himself arrives. Reading m...more
Derek Baldwin
I found this tough going at times, especially the first several chapters where a wide cast of characters are introduced, sometimes fleetingly, making it tricky to keep track of who is who. The language is very rich and the texture of the story is often - but not always - very dense: you can have several pages of fine details, and then a page or two in which a lot of ground is covered very economically. This forces you to read very attentively or risk missing some vital turn of the plot. Even so,...more
Rags
Nov 09, 2013 Rags rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 5-star
I am writing this review almost a month after reading it .I also lost the notes , made during the course of reading but will try to do justice to it.

Premise

The story is recounting of family history by Moraes Zogoiby affectionately called 'Moor' while in exile. Only son of Abraham Zogoiby and Aurora Da Gama , heiress to the vast and affluent spice trade business. Moor suffers from a peculiar condition because of which he ages twice the normal growth rate. The family saga is an exquisite tale of...more
Moira Burke
"Gripping and whimsical story spanning a century of one Indian family's business, artistic, and leisure endeavors. Rushdie's writing is like candy, with sweet turns-of-phrase and quirky Dickensian characters, leaving the reader craving the next page. With Garcia Marquez-ish elements of magical realism and a pervading sinister feeling, like Dumas. Favorite passages:
The first point to note is that people's limbs got detached more easily in those days. The banners of British domination hung over th
...more
Kailash
This is an epic about many things : about Bombay, about growing up and about the different manifestations of love; but most of all, it is about women, about four generations of strong, proud, flawed mothers, wives & daughters, and their culmination into one ultimate flawed, hapless, helpless man - MOOR. The plot is a family history, a narrative of the life stories of 4 generations of the Da Gama/Zogoiby family where not one member is perfect (which is probably a true reflection of real-life...more
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Indian Readers: Salman Rushdie - The Moor's Last Sigh 26 110 Oct 04, 2013 11:07AM  
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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 Haroun and the Sea of Stories The Enchantress Of Florence Shalimar the Clown

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“A sigh isn't just a sigh. We inhale the world and breathe out meaning. While we can. While we can.” 62 likes
“We crave permission openly to become our secret selves.” 42 likes
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