Niledaughter's Reviews > The Enchantress of Florence

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
3521888
's review
Nov 08, 11

bookshelves: india-pakistan
Read from October 20 to November 07, 2011

My first read for Rushdie …well , I was confused how to rate this book . This does not mean that I hardly liked it.No ,it is just that there were parts deserved 5 starts for me while other parts simply irritated me!!! still ...I do recommend it , and I highly appreciate the work that has been done in this novel, I totally understand the declaration that it took him years to write this one .Even as reader he pushed me searching and thirsty for more about the subject!

"the enchantress of Florence " is a historical novel that jump from a place to place ; Mughal India , Safavid empire of Iran , the Ottoman Empire , Renaissance in Italy ; reaching the New World at the end (?!) - all of this in the sixteenth century , but represented by events and characters (generations) that are separated by half a century .Certainly a beautiful yarn to gather east and west together in a significant point of history , I believe that this quote from the novel : " This may be the curse of human race . Not that we are different from one anther , but we are so alike ." has very much deal of the message of this book .

Other aspects were different philosophical meditations about power , religion , home , love and "self" or as Rushdie said himself " achieve significance as human beings". That woven fabric was done in an amazing way through actual re-drawn historical figures like "Akbar the great" and "Machiavelli" (Surprising/contradicting image to the limit that I need to read the prince to get balance!) . also through fictional characters that linked all the strings together ( I liked that) , one of them is our heroin : the princess (the Mongolic enchantress of Florence) and her love story - One of my irritating issues that I wanted to love her …to admire her journey , but I could not do so !(I was not attracted to any other female character except Akbar's aunt but she faded too soon besides her rebellion was Basically anti-religion ) . BTW , I noticed some reviews accusing the novel of being sexist , is that what annoyed me ? hmmm not sure; considering the time period ; when women influence came from behind curtains . yet I can not put my feelings or annoyment here into solid words !

The novel is very rich in details ; art and aurban took a prominent position in this book , now it will be a dream come true for me to visit " Fatehpur Sikri" that he cleverly drew her prosperity and transformation into city of ghosts ..

Akbar will be always a figure that I will never forget , his interest in religious and philosophical matters , the idea of "House of Worship" was quite interesting (I am still reading about the subject) . this took big part of the book , and I am not sure which of the religious thoughts in the novel were Akbar's or actually Rushdie's !

I have no more to say for the moment , but I like to quote Rushdie :" non-historians think of history as being a collection of facts, whereas actually it's not -- it's a collection of theories about the past. We revise our view of the past all the time, depending on our own present concerns " … an approach that I should always remember ..

N.B
* I enjoyed reading this interview with Rushdie about this novel in 2008 and found it very usefull in understanding the novel Salman Rushdie Spins a Yarn
9 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Enchantress of Florence.
Sign In »

Quotes Niledaughter Liked

Salman Rushdie
“This may be the curse of human race . Not that we are different from one anther , but we are so alike .”
Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress Of Florence


Reading Progress

10/20/2011 page 27
8.0%
10/26/2011 page 80
23.0% "interesting , Akbar image is strange to digest , yet I like the Sarcasm !"
show 5 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue I'm curious about this. I haven't read any Rushdie yet but found this book description interesting.


Niledaughter Sue wrote: "I'm curious about this. I haven't read any Rushdie yet but found this book description interesting."

This is my 1st one for Rushdie , I wanted to read him one before Midnight's Children , I was very busy in the last few days so I did not read . The novel seems interesting but I will give you a better feedback when I read more :)


message 3: by Paras (new)

Paras Allana Sue: I have read another book by Rushdie [The ground beneath her feet] and it was filled with detail. I got to know that is basically his writing style pretty much, he writes in details. That is one thing I can tell you :)


message 4: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue Thanks. I will have to give him a try. Maybe with this book.


Bernadette I was so excited someone donated this to our Dahab Library and it is on my to-read list so I look forward to hearing what you think! I LOVED Midnight's Children and Fury and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.


message 6: by Niledaughter (last edited Oct 25, 2011 01:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Niledaughter Paras ,
Thanks ...:)

I felt his caring for details , also the poetic descriptions ... theatrical dialogues (not sure if this is to maintain the magical portraying of that historical period or that is his style?) - so far (three chapters); philosophy was the first thing to conquest my mind .

* I need to read more about Mughal Empire and Akbar before moving on , I confess I am ignorant about that period :(


Sue ,
I Can not give you an opinion yet.

Bernadette ,
You read several books for Rushdie :) it seems you like him?


message 7: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue Enjoy the reading, ND.


Bernadette Yes, I am a fan of Rushdie! Although there have been some of his books that I just couldn't get into, like The Moor's Last Sigh.


Niledaughter Thanks Sue :)
Bernadette , I hope I will end up liking this one ...


Bernadette I still have a way to go...but I, too, liked Akbar's House of Worship and his thoughts on religion!


Niledaughter Bernadette wrote: "I still have a way to go...but I, too, liked Akbar's House of Worship and his thoughts on religion!"

Thanks for the "like" , I hope I made some sence ! waiting for your final opinion :)

Sue,
If you like history , I think you can give this one a chance .


message 12: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue I've looked at this book before and thought it might be good. I'm thinking now I should definitely consider it for Rushdie, perhaps as the first choice. Thanks again for the review ND.


Niledaughter Sue wrote: "I've looked at this book before and thought it might be good. I'm thinking now I should definitely consider it for Rushdie, perhaps as the first choice. Thanks again for the review ND."

You are welcome :)I am glad you liked the review. I hope I manged to express how I have contradicted feelings about the book .


message 14: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue I think the mixture of feelings came through well ND as well as the complexity of the novel.


back to top