Sarah's Reviews > Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
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's review
May 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, fiction
Read from May 15 to 28, 2011

I had mixed feelings about this book. The prose is dense, cumbersome, and you get the feeling that Rushdie really doesn't care if you like his style. The pace of the book slows painfully in several places (the last third of the book, especially) and I had to have Wikipedia open at all times to make sense of the historical context. The main character, Saleem, is physically unattractive, sometimes unsympathetic, and is repeatedly wronged by family, his country, and fate.
But... there were whole sections that were powerfully moving and beautifully written, like the chapters surrounding Saleem's birth and childhood. The magical, fairy tale style (did it really happen that way?) keeps you guessing. There are heaps of symbolism and recurring themes to help guide the reader, and a parade of bizarre, complex characters.
Overall, I recommend it for its epic scope, interesting historical context, and unique style... but give yourself plenty of time and patience.

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