Radhika's Reviews > The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
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's review
Jul 10, 2007

it was ok
Recommended for: Rushdie fans
Read in January, 2007

I only picked up this book because I wanted to know what the big hullabaloo was about. It was a slog in parts and not Rushdie's best work. And yet, one must acknowledge that the man is definitely a master of his pen. This book is quite ambiguous in many ways and it is likely that the author meant it to be that way.

"Verses" refers not only to the pseudo-Koranic verses which appear in the book, but also to childish rhymes and other words spouted by various characters in the book. There is a character called Mahound who may be based on the prophet Mohammed. There is also a schizophrenic character who might be angel or just a deluded, insane man and another physiologically morphing character who might be a devil or just someone who had weird protuberances grow on him. It is all quite a mishmash so I assume, the muslim reader who believed themselves justified in seeking Rushdie's death were much more interested, keen and astute readers than those of us not trained in the koran and haditha.

Hitchens could point out some absurdities in Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religion without fictionalizing anything and be called an atheist who is making his argument (hopefully my saying this does not lead to a fatwa on him). Rushdie does the same, albeit, in a convoluted story that jumps places, times and ideas and he is seen as heretical.

Anyway, it is not a great book.
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